3 Interesting Things Marketing Agencies Discovered Using Call Tracking
Consumers are expected to make 162 billion calls to businesses via smartphones next year. And that’s just smartphones — phones of all kinds still support valuable experiences that build strong relationships, despite being an offline channel.
So why do so many marketing agencies discount offline conversions as a cornerstone of their marketing outputs? How does 162 billion of anything get overlooked?
The short answer is: Today’s marketers are equipped to measure everything digital, and that’s where most of their focus lies. Thanks to digital solutions, we know where online users came from, the ads they saw, the brands they follow on social media, their locations, demographics and more. We also know what links users clicked in our emails, what they did once on our websites and if these behaviors make them likely candidates for purchases. This is the digital age, and it’s now second-nature for agencies to use all of this information to optimize future marketing decisions.
But the rapid rise of phone calls to businesses is happening in this digital age, too. Shouldn’t we measure and analyze offline conversations as much as we do mouse clicks?
Most of today’s leading agencies know the answer to this question is “yes,” and they have closed the marketing attribution loop. Agencies track and measure inbound phone calls as a conversion type, understanding the richness of such leads. Decision-makers have also learned to leverage phone calls to build out a treasure trove of omnichannel customer and business insights.
Relevancy is a must for agencies in 2018. Over half of brands plan to move more marketing activities in-house this year, putting pressure on agencies of all types and sizes to continually prove ROI and reduce client churn.
When Your Gut Goes All Wrong
Call-tracking technology helps agencies eliminate wasted spend across multiple marketing channels and pinpoint underperforming campaigns. For example, an Australian agency recently added unique call tracking numbers to its advertising campaigns to understand where marketing dollars inspired phone call conversions. The agency was skeptical about offline campaigns on billboards and in newspapers, but the client insisted those channels were the best option.
Through call tracking, the agency discovered these channels produced zero phone calls over a 60-day period for its client, while Google and Facebook Ads performed extremely well. The agency cut steep offline spends altogether and poured resources into the channels that worked, resulting in a boon of new business for the client.
Call tracking can also help agencies reduce waste on a smaller scale, like by keyword. Agencies that track calls at the keyword level can optimize programs based on reason and evaluating lead quality — not guesswork, flimsy click or impression data, or gut feelings. You can even use negative keywords to influence digital traffic and avoid capturing unwanted leads. Granular keyword insights inspire small adjustments that reduce wasted ad spend over time, making a significant difference in your clients' ROI.
When Agencies Discover Voicemail Holds Their Leads
Call tracking compiles information into narratives real employees understand and act upon, ensuring agencies are not overwhelmed by the amount of data phone calls generate. A big perk is when call tracking companies provide missed call reports, which mimic the daily news digests many of us are already familiar with. Rather than sharing thousands of recordings in a massive spreadsheet, missed call reports highlight important trends in employee and consumer behavior, and offer potential solutions.
For instance, a missed call report could help an agency learn that too many calls go to voicemail daily and that it should consider hiring to alleviate stress. The report could also reveal that when service representatives do pick up the phone, they rarely greet customers with the right information and there’s an obvious skills gap among staffers. To provide a better customer experience, the solution here could be new educational collateral and additional training around the questions customers ask most often.
Avoiding Call-Tracking That Gets Offtrack
Every agency account manager wants to be a star. But as organizations scale and account managers take on more work, it can be tough to maintain the level of service customers expect and help clients reach their goals.
For example, a busy account manager may not realize there was an implementation issue with a call tracking number for a campaign that launched days ago. The phone rings, but the agency cannot tie those leads back to marketing efforts. Many call-tracking providers perform regular audits and monitor reports so details don’t slip through the cracks.
Related story: 12 Steps to Successful Telemarketing Calls