U.S. businesses spend more than $300 billion on advertising each year, but only about 15 percent of that is spent on online advertising. The other quarter trillion dollars is spent each year not to drive a click but to drive a store visit or a phone call – tens of billions of phone calls each year from U.S. consumers to businesses. And that number is growing by billions of calls each year due to the growth of mobile search and the ubiquity of mobile phones, which results in consumers being connected wherever they are.
These developments have increased the importance of call marketing for advertisers. So, for businesses that talk to their customers on the phone, call tracking is now an essential capability. It allows marketers to properly attribute calls and marketing campaigns to a lead source, providing essential business intelligence.
Call tracking is a technology that is decades old, and it has long been a key component of campaigns involving call centers. Businesses want those calls because they convert into customers at a much higher rate than Internet clicks and also at a higher average order value. But they only want high-quality calls because it costs them several dollars each time they answer the phone. So, for businesses that are looking to fully capitalize on the value of call marketing campaigns, lead attribution is merely a starting point. Call marketing automation is the key to truly unlocking the value of a call marketing campaign.
There is some confusion about what constitutes call marketing automation in the industry, with some initially believing that call tracking and call marketing automation are one and the same. However, call marketing automation is a much more comprehensive approach, of which call tracking is just a single component. The right call marketing automation solution delivers complete campaign management, clear attribution and practical analytics in one end-to-end solution and makes it easy to seamlessly integrate with the solutions marketers already use.
With call marketing automation, many more elements are involved, including quality filtering and routing calls with IVR technology. This enables businesses to ensure that only qualified leads reach call centers and are routed locally, allowing marketers to successfully manage resources and maximize ROI.
Many companies include call filtering and routing processes in their phone marketing campaigns, but most have not yet integrated these processes into their call tracking systems, which ideally include detailed analytics that support lead scoring and campaign optimization. Those who track, analyze and optimize calls are ahead of the game, but there is an even better way to extract the most value from the campaign through call marketing automation. The next step for the savvy marketer is to generate more of the most valuable calls through syndication.
With syndication, marketers can establish complementary partnerships and increase distribution, using a syndication provider’s technology to bundle and distribute offers with their existing platform. With the right provider, this process doesn’t require IT support (and the budget hit that entails). Marketing operations can easily and quickly accomplish syndication using intuitive tools.
The right syndication partner allows marketers to move beyond call tracking and effectively manage operations on a single, easy-to-use platform, growing their business through call marketing automation.
A comprehensive solution should include the following elements:
· pay-per-call campaign creation and management;
· comprehensive call tracking, including keyword, traffic source and other metrics;
· click-to-call capabilities;
· call analytics and real-time reporting;
· true comprehensive ROI optimization; and
· search keyword call services.
This type of solution can be efficiently delivered via cloud technology, enabling the marketer to maintain complete control of the campaign at their fingertips, in real time. It includes call tracking, but that is just one of several elements, including quality filtering and routing, detailed analytics and, most importantly, distribution syndication to generate more valuable calls.
In today’s competitive environment, marketers must find new ways to improve ROI and drive qualified leads to their business. A call marketing automation strategy can be the ideal approach. Marketers who value phone calls and want to grow their business should move beyond call tracking and generate the maximum return on their call marketing investment with call marketing automation.
Jason Spievak is the CEO of RingRevenue Inc. (www.ringrevenue.com).
Edited by Stefania Viscusi