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Google Won’t Support Third-Party Cookie Alternatives — Marketers Should Prioritize First-Party Data From Phone Calls

Derek Andersen Senior Content & SEO Specialist, DialogTech

Google recently announced that once it phases out third-party cookies, it will not build or support alternative user-level identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will it use them in its products. Google believes that the alternative user-level ID solutions vying to replace third-party cookies are not privacy-compliant, and instead will offer Google’s Privacy Sandbox and FLoC as the successor to third-party cookie targeting.

This announcement comes on the heels of new restrictions on third-party cookies like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP), Mozilla Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP), and The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Without third-party cookies or replacement identifiers for cross-site tracking in website browsers and apps, marketers will have to make a shift to leverage more of their first-party data (the data they collect directly from consumers) for digital advertising optimization and audience targeting. For many organizations, there’s room for improvement in this area — according to a recent eMarketer survey, marketers are, on average, using just 47% of their first-party data potential.

In this blog, we delve into one of the richest sources of first-party data marketers can tap into: inbound phone calls to businesses. Read on to learn about the types of data marketers can capture from these phone conversations as well as how they can leverage this data to decrease cost per lead, increase sales conversions, and drive revenue.

What First-Party Data Can Marketers Capture From Phone Calls?

First-party data, or the data you collect directly from your audience and customers, will become the standard for data-driven marketing as third-party cookies continue to face restrictions. Inbound phone calls to businesses are a rich source of first-party insights — they provide a direct line into the voice of the customer and a wealth of insights marketers can leverage to improve performance.

In these phone conversations, each caller is telling you in their own words exactly what they want, their product/service interest, concerns and preferences, where they are in the customer journey, and more. Marketers that use a conversation intelligence solution like DialogTech are able to not only capture this data from calls automatically as structured data, but can also see who the caller is (via their phone number and other identifiers) and their search and online activity on your site.

Below are some of the first-party data points conversation intelligence solutions like DIalogTech capture from phone calls that marketers can use to measure and optimize digital campaigns.

1. Caller Profile Data

At the time of the call, conversation intelligence solutions automatically capture profile data about each caller. This data includes:

  • Caller name
  • Phone number
  • The day and time of the call
  • If they’re a new or repeat caller
  • The geographic location they called from
  • Mailing address
  • IP address
  • Digital click IDs

2. Marketing Attribution Data

When a call is placed, the conversation intelligence solution also captures information about the caller’s activity on your website and the marketing source that drove the call. You can get granular online information, down to the exact channel, campaign, ad, and search keyword that drove the call or visit to your site. And, the right solution uses first-party cookies to track the caller’s journey on your website before the call, the page they called from, and what they did after the call.

Below is a list of some of the attribution data you can capture from calls:

  • Marketing channel that drove the call
  • Campaign & ad
  • Search keyword
  • Referring URL
  • Website activity & webpage called from
  • The device/OS the caller used to engage with your marketing

3. Conversation Intelligence Data

When the call is made, the conversation intelligence solution detects if the call was answered, and if so, records and transcribes the conversation. It then uses AI to analyze the conversation for insights specific to your business. For example, if you are an auto dealer, the AI can see if the caller is a lead, if they are calling about purchasing or servicing a vehicle, if they expressed price sensitivity or buying intent, if they scheduled a test drive or service appointment, and more. These voice-of-the-customer insights are then connected to caller profile and marketing attribution data already captured for the caller and can be visualized in reports and dashboards or pushed into martech tools like Google Analytics, Google Ads, Salesforce, Search Ads 360, and Adobe Experience Cloud.

Below are some insights a conversation intelligence solution like DialogTech can capture from phone conversations at scale:

  • If the call was answered
  • If the call went to voicemail
  • How long the caller waited on hold
  • If the caller abandoned the call
  • The duration of the call
  • If it was a sales or appointment opportunity
  • If the call was from a new or existing patient
  • What products or services the caller expressed interest in
  • The call’s lead score, on a scale of 1 to 10, based on the conversation
  • If the caller is looking to make a purchase soon
  • If the caller mentioned COVID-19 or the vaccine
  • If the call resulted in a sale or appointment
  • If the caller canceled or rescheduled an appointment
  • If a CX issue occurred on the call

How Can Marketers Use First-Party Data From Phone Calls to Drive More Revenue?

85% of marketers say phone conversations are a key component of their organizations’ digital-first strategies. Below are some of the most powerful ways marketers are using first-party data from phone conversations to drive more conversions and revenue.

1. Get Attribution for Every Marketing Conversion and Optimize Your Media Budget

Phone calls are often the most valuable conversions your digital marketing drives — in fact, 84% of marketers report phone calls have higher conversion rates with larger order values compared to other forms of engagement. What’s more, for industries like automotive, healthcare, financial services, insurance, and home services, a phone call might be the only way a website visitor engages with you, which means that call is your only chance of identifying the person and turning an otherwise anonymous website session into a known consumer.

By capturing the caller’s identity and connecting that to their online activity, the marketing source of the call, and the insights from the conversation captured by AI (if the call was answered, if they were sales calls, if they converted, etc.), you can now get credit for all the call conversions your digital marketing is driving. In addition, you can understand the campaigns, ads, keywords, and website pages that are responsible for driving the most valuable conversions — both online and over the phone. You can then optimize your paid media by allocating more budget to the channels, campaigns, and keywords that are truly driving the biggest ROI.

DialogTech Real Estate Call Quality Report

DialogTech report showing the number of sales calls each marketing source drives

2. Enhance Audience Targeting With Conversation Intelligence Data

Have you ever been served ads for a product you already bought? This not only creates a poor customer experience, but also flushes marketing dollars down the drain. Marketers can avoid this all-too-common mistake by connecting the full customer journey — including phone calls.

With conversation intelligence data, you can retarget callers in walled gardens like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft Advertising with ads for the products or services they expressed interest in over the phone. If the caller already converted or made a purchase over the phone, you can upsell them with ads for a companion product/service or exclude them from seeing ads to avoid wasting spend.

First-party data on your callers from conversation intelligence solutions can also be an effective way to improve the performance of your lookalike campaigns. Lookalikes are a strategy that can help replace the use of third-party data for targeting new audiences interested in your products/services with digital ads. You can build lists of your most valuable callers and have Google or Facebook or other services that offer lookalike campaigns to use those lists to find other consumers with similar characteristics you can market to.

You can also use conversation intelligence data to retarget callers with custom website experiences that align with their interests and buying intent. For example, if someone called one of your retail locations and expressed interest in a grill but didn’t convert, you could target them with a recommendation carousel or homepage banner that shows grills in their price range and related accessories.

3. Use Insights From Conversations to Improve SEO and CRO

As a marketer, it’s critical to understand your consumers. WIth conversation intelligence data from phone calls, you can capture powerful insights from the voice of the customer at scale with AI, then optionally dig into the call recordings and transcriptions for deeper insights. You can discover the key phrases callers use when talking about your products/services, the questions they need answered that they can’t find on your website, any barriers to purchase they face, and much more.

You can use these insights to improve your SEO and content marketing. If a caller uses certain phrases to refer to your products or services over the phone, they’re likely entering those as queries in search engines as well. By creating SEO-optimized content to rank for those terms, you’ll make your brand more discoverable via search.

You can also use these insights to improve your website conversion rates. If you notice many of your customers are asking certain pre-purchase questions over the phone, that’s likely because you’re not providing that information on your website. By ensuring these questions are clearly answered on the relevant webpages, you’ll remove barriers to purchase and increase online conversion rates. You’ll also free up your sales agents by reducing unnecessary phone calls.

Sample DialogTech call transcription

4. Use Keywords and Phrases From Phone Calls to Enhance Contextual Advertising

The death of third-party cookies will likely change how marketers run display campaigns. One option we might see is a reversion to contextual advertising, which instead of targeting particular consumers with ads specific to their interests places advertisements based on the content of that website or page (for example, placing a display ad for a special deal on a mattress alongside a “best mattresses” article). This advertising method assumes that consumers reading the content of that page are interested in that topic and therefore are good candidates for an ad for a related product or service.

Example of a contextual ad for a special deal on a mattress alongside a mattress article

To execute a successful contextual advertising campaign, marketers need to choose the right parameters in their advertising network. This means selecting the right “topics” and “keywords” that align with the content of their ads. This process can be challenging, since many ad networks require a long list of keywords — Google Display Network, for example, recommends using up to 50 keywords in each contextual campaign. To improve their results, marketers can feed keywords and phrases their prospects voice on inbound phone calls into their contextual advertising campaigns.

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about how you can use conversation intelligence data from phone calls to drive better marketing results? We’ve compiled some of our top resources below.

Want to learn more about how marketers are leveraging first-party from phone conversations? Download the Forrester report: Unlock Voice-of-the-Customer Insights From the Call Channel to Fuel Marketing and Drive Revenue.

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