“Why did we hire you?”
This is one of the last questions a marketer wants to hear from their boss.
If they have to ask what contributions you’re making to the company, then you may want to prepare yourself for a summons to their office and an invitation to “shut the door.”
The ability to prove marketing value is important for job security — And it’s even more critical for campaign optimization.
But we can’t do this if we are unable to properly attribute the leads that our campaigns are generating.
So, how do we take credit for all of the leads that we are bringing in, increase ROI and demonstrate marketing value?
The Lead Source That You Can’t Afford to Overlook
Most marketers can get pretty fanatical about monitoring their web analytics data.
They want to know exactly how visitors are interacting with their websites, the path that led them to their destination and the power to zero in on any weak points in their conversion funnels.
Clicks are important – But what about phone calls?
- According to BIA/Kelsey, phone calls are considered to be the most valuable lead source by 86% of business.
- 70% of mobile searchers call businesses directly from search results.
- And approximately 29% of phone calls result in a conversion.
These stats represent a major opportunity for marketers, and highlight the need for more data around these types leads.
If you aren’t tracking phone calls then you are basing your strategy on incomplete data AND failing to take credit for all the leads your campaigns are driving.
Phone calls as a lead source are something that the modern marketer can no longer ignore — especially when you consider the breakneck rise of mobile search.
Mobile Search = More Calls
The device in every prospect’s pocket has changed their search behavior, intent and expectations.
Smartphones have not only transformed the way consumers access their information, they have also impacted the way that they connect with businesses. Mobile search has a much higher likelihood of triggering users to take action and this action is usually a phone call.
Declarations of an upcoming ‘mobile explosion’ have been trumpeted for years. Well, we can all stop holding our breath. It’s already happened.
- Last year, mobile searches surpassed their desktop counterparts for the first time.
- Annual calls to businesses from smartphones are projected to hit 162 billion by 2019 — compared to 77 billion in 2014.
- According to a report from eMarketer, 85.9% of digital ad search dollars will go toward mobile by 2018.
- New ad formats, such as call-only AdWords campaigns, are being tailored to meet the growing business demands associated with mobile consumers.
If you want to take advantage of this trend, it’s critical to understand how mobile drives conversions. Follow-up actions on mobile devices have a tendency to happen very quickly. In fact, 55% of conversions (store visit, phone call or purchase) take place within an hour.
The nature of phone calls also present a different type of prospect and a unique engagement opportunity. A caller is someone that needs his or her questions answered and the immediacy of a phone call provides significantly higher conversion potential.
Calls often have a larger revenue value and involve big purchase decisions.
In order to accurately monitor and extract the value from this leads source, marketers need in-depth call data that can compete with their web analytics metrics.
Stemming The Flow of Leaking Data
Every lead needs to be correctly attributed to its source.
And if you want to prove marketing value, then you need to add phone calls to the equation. Failing to track the calls that your marketing is generating makes it impossible to optimize campaign performance and marketing spend.
By including call data, you can get a complete picture of your campaign results. This data can be used to distinguish the campaigns that are producing results from those that are not.
When you combine this information with the reports you are pulling from your web analytics platform you will finally have the data you need to modernize your marketing process.
So, what types of tools can be used to take advantage of calls as a lead source?
- Call Tracking: On a basic level, call tracking allows marketers to identify the precise ads, channels and marketing activities that are generating phone calls.
- Call Analytics: This speech recognition technology provides insight into the actual sales conversation, which can be used to assess lead quality, track conversions, evaluate sales performance and more.
- Bid Management: This software can be integrated with your call tracking and analytics platform to automatically adjust your bids to get the highest return from your ads.
- Marketing Automation: Your call data will not provide much value if you don’t follow it up with action. If you truly want to optimize your call marketing performance then you may want to explore the possibilities offered by automation tools.
When you can associate specific marketing strategies to leads and profit then you can focus your budget on the most rewarding channels and experience an immediate lift in ROI.
And the results are even more pronounced when you can see what takes place after the phone rings.
Moving Beyond the Size of Your Lead Pool
Even when you have the insight provided by both web and call data, you are still in danger of being fooled by the numbers.
As marketers assess their campaign performance, many of them are so focused on the numbers that they forget to dig into the quality of their leads.
Let’s say that you are running two different campaigns and you are at the point where you want to evaluate their performance. Campaign A has generated 38 phone calls and Campaign B has produced 66 calls. With only this data, it would appear as if Campaign B is the clear winner.
But once you actually examined the metrics from the content of the phone calls, you would see that although Campaign B generated more phone calls it resulted in fewer qualified sales opportunities and conversions.
The ability to delve into call conversations used to be dependent on human call scoring, but the development of call analytics technology has made it possible to access key metrics from calls in near real time.
Instead of being forced to rely on weak call quality indicators, such as duration, marketers can now base their decisions on deep call data. With call analytics you can extract metrics like lead score, sales readiness, commitment to buy, appointments set and missed opportunities just to name a few.
Call tracking gives you the ability to track ALL of the leads produced by your campaigns. And with the addition of call analytics, you can also analyze the quality of these phone leads and even automate actions based on call content.
Your marketing is probably working better than you think it is. Get the data you need to prove it.
About the Author: Shemmah Al-Darweesh is the Content Marketing Specialist at Convirza, the first call marketing optimization platform. You can read more of her work on the Convirza blog or by connecting with her on LinkedIn.