The following post is part of the DialogTech “Expert Voices” series where leading marketing experts share insights and best practices and recommend technologies. This post is authored by Tamara McCleary, CEO of Thulium, an agency specializing in B2B and Enterprise marketing. Tamara was named #1 Most Influential Woman in Martech by B2B Marketing.
I speak extensively on the power of AI, machine learning, big data, martech, and engagement on social media to drive sales conversions. Like anything I advocate in the sales and marketing sphere, my number one philosophy in moving the needle on the business bottom line is business growth through relationships. Genuine, real, and authentic engagement with prospects and clients. Consistent and relevant engagement with customers not only drives new sales, it is absolutely essential for up-selling across verticals, as well as decreasing customer churn. To build solid relationships with our prospects and customers, we must get to know and understand them.
One of the biggest mistakes I see with companies is being too impersonal and corporate in an era where people are craving transparency and a human feel from companies. One of the most popular studies from my talks, sourced through the U.S. Small Business Association and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, depicts the power of customer personalization and what drives customers to switch brands.
Only 14% of customers switch brands because of dissatisfaction, and fewer still (9%) switch brands due to pricing considerations. The primary driver for customer churn is perceived indifference by the company, resulting in a whopping 68% of customers switching brands due to feeling unloved and unappreciated.
So if dissatisfaction and pricing are not the motivator of brand loyalty, what is? Relationships, trust, and a feeling of being connected in some way to the organization.
Phone Calls Are Considered the Most Valuable Conversion for Many Industries
Interestingly enough, with all of this technology and digital connection, the top method of engagement for return on investment (ROI) is a telephone call. Conversions from phone calls are high. A phone call is still the closest we can come to a face-to-face interaction. Virtually all of my organization’s (Thulium) agreements are driven by one, or a series, of telephone calls.
It’s imperative that marketing engage in call tracking, measuring phone call conversions, and call attribution and use all of the data gathered to run a more complete picture of marketing analytics. We must dissolve the data silos that impede marketing’s ability to understand not only the customer, but understand what strategic marketing initiatives are delivering ROI.
“Customers who initiate inbound calls convert to revenue faster, spend more, and have a higher retention rate.”
— Analyst firm Forrester
Call tracking shows us that phone call conversions result in 10 to 15 times more sales than web leads. Did you also know that:
- 70% of people want to call to book local services.
- 70% of senior care marketing leads are phone calls.
- 68% of people want to call while researching financial services purchases.
- 88% of healthcare patients still book appointments by calling.
- 40% of insurance purchases happen over the phone.
- 35% of travel bookings are made from phone calls.
- 39% of telecom purchases are made over the phone.
Attributing and Analyzing Calls from Marketing Is Now Essential
With call attribution, marketers can track the ROI in advertising campaigns driving customers to interact via the phone. Most organizations are not taking advantage of the tools to enable call tracking and call attribution, and are thereby missing out on proving marketing’s worth through trackable conversions.
Have you been measuring what your marketing initiatives have been generating in sales via phone call conversions? Missing call attribution means marketing is not getting credit for their efforts, and executive leadership might be cutting marketing budget allocation to programs that are actually generating significant ROI.
As you know, I’m a technology geek and I’m a big fan of using tools that help to track and measure. If I can’t measure it, I can’t manage it. And that’s top of mind for me managing a huge marketing budget. I have to prove my spend. For example, one tool I’ve found to be incredibly helpful is promulgated by a company called DialogTech. DialogTech has created a very simple solution to seamlessly track, manage, and convert telephone calls. No longer do you have to guess how many sales conversions are being driven through your marketing campaigns — it’s now trackable. DialogTech provides complete attribution data on calls so you’ve got your pulse on precisely how to optimize media spend to drive more.
With current technology like DialogTech it’s now possible to track what drove the call, tying each call back to the:
- Marketing channel
- Ad creative
- Referring URL
- Search keywords
- Website behavior
- Device, OS, and browser
- Adtech/martech data
Personalization and customer journey are more than marketing speak du jour. In fact, customers today are far more savvy and expect the same level of personalization from companies as they’ve receive from Amazon and Netflix. That translates to phone calls. Shoppers often need to pick up a phone and speak to a voice on the other end of the line in order to feel heard, acknowledged, and comfortable sorting out complicated requests.
Conversions truly are mission critical to the customer journey and I think marketers are remiss to not only discount telephone calls in an era of digital transformation, but fail to gather the metrics that lead to interesting customer discoveries and insights that can be gleaned from the unstructured data of the telephone conversation. Integrating call data into an existing CRM program and getting a 360-degree view of customers is crucial to understanding current and future customer needs. AI and machine learning will play a major role in helping to mine insights within the structured and unstructured data collected, providing an edge to not only sales, marketing, and customer service, but product development, for future innovation keeping the organization relevant with its target market.
If you wish to learn more about call tracking and call attribution, this guide from DialogTech, The Digital Marketer’s Guide to Call Attribution, provides an excellent summary.