It is said that nineteenth century retailing pioneer, John Wannamaker opined: “I know that 50% of my advertising is wasted. My problem? I don’t know which half is working.”
You are not alone if examining your advertising budget makes you feel like Wanamaker expressing the frustration that comes from a lack of clarity on exactly which advertising and marketing programs should get credit for generating leads and sales.
Picking up on Geoff Karcher’s message to avoid gambling with your marketing spend, I want to introduce the use of phone call attribution to help you turn the odds in your favor.
The Karcher Group’s Director of Traffic, Leanne Wicks explains how CallTrackingMetrics – a call tracking software suite - helps our team and our clients better attribute success and failure using granular identification of ads that generate phone calls.
“One of the most important skills at TKG is being able to track the success of the work we do for our clients. Increased traffic is a key indicator; in the end though, it comes down to the question "Did we increase business for the client?" On an e-commerce site, that's easy to measure. We can look at sales. But, for non-e-com sites, our job is generating leads.
Form completion on websites is one way we help generate leads, but phone calls are also key. Believe it or not, people still actually pick up the phone!! Even sites that feature online ordering often have a strong component of direct selling or sales assistance via inbound phone calls.
Call tracking gives us that piece of the marketing attribution puzzle that used to be missing.”
Recognizing the Importance of Phone Calls
Through the years, our digital marketing agency had encouraged and helped clients monitor which channels contributed to online sales and incoming form-based leads through Google Analytics and asking people on the phone about how they found out about their business. Driving the use call-attribution analytics was the fact that in providing marketing services for manufacturing companies, over half of certain clients’ inbound leads came via phone.
“About half of our customers call on the phone to check on production lead times,” a client shared during a strategy session, adding, “many call in to get customization information and then send in an online RFQ on their own.”
TKG wanted to know which advertising channels—from Facebook to Google to Bing to ThomasNet—were delivering the highest number of phone conversions and therefore the greatest return on investment. By connecting about a dozen numbers that they allocated to different campaigns across multiple channels we could track which sources – and specific campaigns from those sources - were contributing to phone calls and conversions for our client.
Phone call attribution tells us a different story about the sources that drive people who prefer to make contact over the phone. Similar to using “live chat” for manufacturers and custom service providers, call source attribution helps provide insight that changes how clients advertise and how we allocate money.
Dynamic Number Insertion
Similar to filtering website visitors who complete an online sale or fill in a form, call tracking analytics dials in your marketing campaign data bringing specific focus to not all visits to the website but isolating only those that result in a phone call.
Call tracking for your marketing provides real-time attribution to many possible advertising sources - organic listings in search engines, PPC (pay-per-click ads), referral from partner websites, social media and direct lead sources (think postcards with the URL: ExampleSite.com/special-offer).
One of the more frequent questions we get when discussing ad source tracking and attribution is: “How do the numbers change?”
A pool of phone numbers, each of which is attributed to the different advertising vehicle, is available to be shown on your website. Through forwarding, all phone calls all ring directly to our client companies’ phone lines; the secret is the use of a small programming script in the code of all pages on the site.
Depending upon how a website visitor originally connects to the website, a different phone number is shown site-wide during the entire visitor session. The dynamic number insertion matches back a phone call to its originating source – showing channels, campaigns, and even keywords that are driving qualified leads and converted sales.
Customer Satisfaction AND Call Center Training
“This call may be recorded for training and quality purposes.” We have all become familiar with that opening line when placing a call. In addition to identifying an originating media source, call analytics toolsets can also record inbound phone calls.
Call tracking analytics allows us to better identify successful campaigns triggering phone calls that generate sales; listening to playback of recorded calls can give your management team valuable data points to help you optimize and improve your business beyond the advertising extending into sales.
In cases where sales management listens to recorded calls provide helpful intel into both sides of the conversation - your customers’ interests / intent levels, and how your salespeople handle inbound calls.
Using recorded calls to improve call quality with your phone salespeople while desirable, can potentially meet with resistance on the part of your call center staff concerned about feeling watched. CallTrackingMetrics’ blog featured a case study which can be helpful for any company receiving inbound calls.
The article quotes a director of sales whose team answering phones initially went from feeling very autonomous, to now feeling watched.
Her solution, detailed in the case study, was to ask phone agents to send her just 2 recordings each day - a 1-star call, and a 5-star call. 1-star calls were ones where the agent felt he or she could have performed better had they had better tools, more authority, etc.; a 5-star call was one that went well.
“I shared that I wouldn’t listen to anything else, and that got them very comfortable and they began to see the value of recording the calls. Now I had visibility into what they needed to be trained on and had something to go off of, as we worked together to improve from a 25% conversion rate, to a 35% conversion rate, with an ultimate goal of 50% conversion rate.”
Call analytics software can also use recordings to help isolate specific conversations for further evaluation. Calls can be flagged in the system based on certain products mentioned, or a caller’s use of expressions like “need pricing” or “get a quote”.
The key here is developing a mutual understanding with the phone reps that the company can repurpose those calls down the road when bringing on new employees.
50/50 or 80/20?
A case can easily be made that better ROI comes from focused ad spends based on knowledge of what programs drive leads and sales. In certain cases, a very small proportion of your current and potential customers may account for a very large proportion of your company’s profitability.
The ability to focus - and increase your marketing resources - on those highest performing customers and associated marketing spends can yield dramatic shifts in the success of your marketing.
The Karcher Group takes pride in staying focused on the most important metrics for your company – real, actionable leads and sales.
Reach out to see how TKG can help you improve your ROI by remove the underperforming or non-performing portions of your marketing investment.