In today’s world of data-driven performance marketing, phone calls are a key component in the omnichannel customer journey. Yet for many brands, tracking and measuring call-center-based sales activity is not a priority. Consider this: while many brands are developing marketing efforts for mobile, few of those efforts include provisions for voice-based communications. That needs to change, and the foundation for this change is in precision, integrated call tracking.
BIA/Kelsey reports that this year, businesses will receive 162 billion customer phone calls from mobile — a number that has doubled in five years. Optimizing these important interactions can clearly have a big impact on your business. Call tracking can help give a more complete picture of partner marketing ROI, create a more consistent customer experience, and help capture more revenue.
Let’s take a look at the increasing value of inbound calls, as well as the necessity of integrating call tracking and analytics for performance marketers.
Calls Impact Your Business Now More than Ever
The click-to-call option in organic and paid mobile search results has been commonplace for years. Additional digital ad formats that drive calls include native social ads, landing pages, review sites, and directory apps. Customers have come to expect immediate answers from any channel they choose, and for many, phone calls are preferable to websites, email, website content, and even search.
According to Forrester Research, a customer who initiates an inbound call during their journey converts 30% faster, spends 28% more, and have a 28% higher retention rate. Consumers are being driven to call companies via more paths than ever before. The same Forrester study cited above found that U.S. marketers use an average of 7.7 channels to market to or interact with customers. These include email, social media, display ads, print ads, TV, direct mail, phone, and a slew of others.
With all of those touchpoints to manage, brands need to prioritize their focus on the channels that lead to the highest engagement and conversion. With callers converting faster and spending more, customer service and the ability to attribute ROI to this channel rise as well.
Leverage the Power of Calls at Many Stages of the Customer Journey
An average customer journey could include seeing online ads, reading review sites, looking at products in a physical store while price comparing on mobile, product comparisons on authoritative publisher sites, searching online for deals and special offers, calling the company with specific product questions, and maybe finally an online conversion. Across the full gamut of interactions, it is important to recognize and reward marketing partner performance for conversions in real-time.
Accurate and Integrated Call Tracking is Essential
According to a newly released study on the state of performance marketing in the United States, spend on the channel in 2018 is estimated to have been over $6 billion, with return on ad spend by participants in the study averaging 12:1. In the world of performance marketing, connecting online to offline activity is key to understanding what touchpoints are driving performance. This is particularly true in partner and affiliate marketing, where accurate attribution to individual partners is so important.
Tracking the consumer journey across all touchpoints, as well as rewarding partner performance for both online and offline conversions in real-time, is critical. Call tracking technology can provide marketers with these insights, along with details on what the consumer did prior to hitting the call button on their mobile. Other benefits for partner and affiliate marketers include better sales attribution, which in turn leads to better performance measurement and better remarketing opportunities. Ultimately, this will lead to Increased ROI from affiliate marketing activities.
An example of integrated tracking between a performance platform and a call tracking system is our integration with Delacon. With integrations like this, online touchpoints are juxtaposed with call center activity to ensure that partners receive compensation for every conversion that they drive, even if the conversion occurs via voice.
As mobile technology continues to advance, consumers have more ways to connect than ever. Marketers are realizing phone calls are critical interactions for today’s omnichannel customer, and they are more comfortable than ever using digital channels to connect with consumers over the phone.
Phone calls also tell a valuable story about the people who make them, from their interests and preferences, to information about where they live and how likely they are to make a purchase. Marketers are using call intelligence technology to gain valuable insights from each and every call, and they are connecting this data with their marketing stacks.
Charlie Calabrese is Vice President of Operations for Partnerize