The increase in mobile connectivity has helped to shape communication as we know it, connecting people from all corners of the globe and creating new opportunities for business. No longer do consumers operate in a limited, defined space. Instead, the boundaries of communication are blurred and in some cases, non-existent. Within the category of consumer technologies, cell phones are the most rapidly adopted with the innovation of the smartphone largely responsible for an increase in phone call leads. Today, businesses are experiencing higher inbound calls across new and emerging channels as consumers are utilizing the power of technology at their fingertips.
This increase in inbound phone call leads can provide valuable data and insight, thus enabling businesses to better analyze the quality of these leads and develop more specific strategies for lead conversion. Gone are the days of companies taking on the role of aggressor to actively engage consumers and clear a path through the competition. The tables have turned as consumers are now demonstrating more proactive buying habits by seeking out the products and services that they want with a high intent to convert these searches into purchases.
Call Data & Lead Quality
In their latest mobile local media forecast, BIA/Kelsey's research points out that mobile search will generate 73 billion calls to businesses in 2018, up from 30 billion in 2013. This increase in call volume provides immense opportunities and the report, "Phone Calls: The New Currency of the Smartphone Era" explores the world of call monetization, most of which is attributed to the wide use of smartphones. (Source: BIA/Kelsey) Some of the BIA/Kelsey's report's key findings include:
- Estimated $64.6 billion is spent annually across media on localized ads to generate calls to businesses.
- The growth in call volume works well with local business' sentiment towards calls, with SMBs naming them the most valued form of incoming leads according to BIA/Kelsey's Local Commerce Monitor™ survey.
- One of the driving forces behind the growing importance of calls as currency is the growing sophistication of call analytics, to measure call quality and gain strategic insights from call data.
- The value assessment of calls is highest in local verticals that place a high value on new customer acquisition (e.g., appointment-based local verticals such as financial services, home services, and professional services such as lawyers, doctors).
In essence, marketing and technology combine to form the perfect union as consumers now have a tool to perform searches at their leisure, as well as the ability to make an instant phone call, converting a prospect into a final sale. There is no denying that marketers will inevitably come to the same conclusion that phone call leads are a valuable lead source. For mobile users, post-engagement comes naturally and should be considered an important insight for sales teams to use to their benefit. By the time the consumer has decided to take the next step by calling, they have already gone through most of the pre-purchase decision making.
Advertisers and marketers can also engage in tracking and analytics best practices to measure the effectiveness of campaigns designed to encourage consumers to a call to action. In particular, location based advertising is key as consumers are more likely to actively pursue a sale if they are in close proximity to their intended place of purchase. Through strategic messaging, advertisers can expect a high ROI on the ad dollars and an increase in high quality leads.
Insights into Call Tracking – Calls are King
Prior to the onset of multi-channel marketing, elements such as print, television and online media co-existed separately in the sphere of analytics, never really crossing over or merging. Now, multi-channel marketing tactics are blended to create more powerful campaigns that can effectively work together.
Through these different channels, companies can now integrate tracking campaigns for a variety of media such as website visits or inbound phone calls and can even start comparing phone call conversion rates with online conversion rates. Even within your website, different phone numbers can be assigned to specific campaigns or pages allowing for very astute analytics.
By investing in mobile driven advertising campaigns, businesses can expect to find tremendous lead- generating opportunities. Statistically, inbound phone calls are 10-15 times more likely to convert than inbound website leads. Through call tracking data, routed calls can be handled by the best available sales representatives who can seize the chance to convert prospects into confirmed customers by opening discussions for specific product sales or promotions.
Consumers today, especially avid mobile users, tend to do product research at a much more practical level. In reality, extensive research is rarely performed on a mobile phone, but rather research for products or services that are for an immediate need. This in turn shortens the distance between when the customer searches for an item, to them calling for further inquiry.
With higher conversion ratios, valuable customer insight can be gained at such an individual level. These insights are important in tracking consumer behavior, retention rates and probability of returning customers.
There is no disputing that the more data retrieved from inbound callers can give the best return on investment, however, a point of frustration for some advertisers is the increase in spam calls received. Telephone hacking or computer generated spam calls detract from the marketer's goal of focusing on qualified calls and leads. There are a number of call integration tools that can assist businesses with blocking these unwanted calls so that the goal of converting qualified leads is always top priority.
In today's mobile driven world, there is no doubt that call data can provide valuable insight into consumer patterns, have a direct impact on ROI through conversion and provide a means for high quality leads.
Companies can enjoy these benefits by:
- Implementing call tracking phone numbers on websites and any other marketing channel available.
- Collecting data to analyze call generation through the different advertising channels as well as conversion rates.
- Optimizing the marketing channels that produce the most calls and conversions.
These insights help by building on higher quality leads, which in turn lead to enhanced marketing strategies and increased conversions.