How Call Analytics Can Help Marketers Move Programmatic Advertising In-House

Derek Andersen Copywriter, DialogTech

Programmatic advertising comprises more than 80% of US digital ad spending and continues to climb each year. Though agencies have traditionally handled programmatic ad buying, a recent industry survey found that 84% of marketers are seeking greater control over their programmatic operations. 

Shifting programmatic advertising in-house comes with significant risk. It can be a multi-million dollar endeavor to invest in the talent and tools needed to carry out a programmatic strategy. To maximize return, marketers are tapping into their first-party data. The more first-party data marketers can connect, the more easily they can reach the right audience with the right message at the right time for the right price.

Current programmatic buying adoption

While most marketers are connecting data from their online channels, many are overlooking a crucial source of insights: consumer calls. Below, learn how call analytics data can help you make a smoother transition to in-house programmatic by improving both your attribution and audience targeting.

What Is Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic advertising is the process of placing automated, real-time bids on online advertising. Algorithms place these bids based on factors like consumer demographics, location, devices, interests, buying intent, and previous interactions with the brand. The goal is to target high-value consumers with the right ads in the right place at the right time for the right price, which will in turn increase conversion rates and make ad spend more cost-effective.

Why Are Marketers Shifting Programmatic Advertising In-House?

In the past, brands would entrust agencies with purchasing ad space, due to their strong relationships with media companies. But with today’s programmatic technology, any marketer can buy media online and target audiences with automated real-time bidding. This isn’t to say there aren’t still barriers to entry in the process—it can cost millions to secure the right technology, make the right digital transformations, and hire the necessary talent to execute a successful programmatic advertising strategy. Therefore, brands do not make the decision to move programmatic in-house lightly.

One of the catalysts for the widespread shift to in-house programmatic was ANA’s K2 Report, which showed a pervasive pattern of price markups and cash rebates for agencies in the U.S. media-buying ecosystem. These practices artificially increased costs for brands and went against their best interests.

Also, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, regulations like the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act went into place in 2018, increasing emphasis on data security. By handling programmatic in-house, brands can maintain complete control over their data.

Finally, brands are seeking additional transparency into their media buying and the return it generates. A survey by IAB found that 47% of brands in-housing their programmatic plan to enhance their ROI attribution. 

Survey of programmatic in-housing objectives 

Marketers Are Enhancing Their Programmatic Attribution and Audience Targeting with First-Party Data

Leading marketers don’t think of programmatic ads as digital billboards, but as touchpoints in each consumer’s journey. Rather than getting as many eyes on programmatic ads as possible, marketers should focus on getting the right eyes on the right ads. 

To achieve this, marketers are connecting their first-party data sources. First-party data provides valuable insights about consumers’ past interactions with your brand. It also provides a competitive advantage, since you maintain exclusive ownership of it. By harnessing first-party data, marketers can gain attribution and insights that allow them to optimize their bids while providing a higher level of personalization to their consumers. 

In addition to connecting data from their CRM, website, and mobile apps, marketers are using call analytics solutions like DialogTech to tap into an often-overlooked data source: consumer phone calls.

Why Should Marketers Care About Phone Calls?

Though it may seem counterintuitive at first, today’s online marketing landscape is generating more offline calls than ever before. According to BIA/Kelsey, since 2014, the number of inbound calls driven by digital marketing has increased by 86%. The reason? Even though customers can shop online, complex or expensive products and services still require a real person to answer questions and provide situation-specific information. This is especially true for the automotive, financial services, healthcare, insurance, real estate, senior living, and travel industries. 

Annual mobile calls driven by marketing channels 

In addition, callers are often a company’s most valuable customers. A study by Forrester found on average callers convert 30% faster than web leads, spend 28% more, and have a 28% higher retention rate. 

This influx of inbound phone calls—which are, on average, more valuable than web leads—presents a golden opportunity for marketers. By capturing insights from these interactions with call analytics solutions like DialogTech, you can connect the full customer journey and retarget consumers who called your brand with relevant and compelling messaging.

How Does DialogTech Work to Attribute and Analyze Calls?

Call placed from programmatic ad

Step 1: Consumers call your business from a trackable phone number on your website, from call extensions in search results, or in your offline campaigns and other marketing.

Financial services call transcription

Step 2: The marketing source that drove the call—along with information on the caller such as their name, phone number, and location—is captured, and the caller is automatically routed to the best agent or location to assist them based on their data and your unique business rules. The resultant phone conversation is recorded, transcribed, and stored along with the information on the caller and what drove the call.

DialogTech's AI analyzes calls to generate reports

Step 3: DialogTech’s AI algorithm analyzes the transcription to determine many factors, including the call’s intent, urgency, conversion outcome, and potential value as a customer.

DialogTech integrations

Step 4: The call data is activated in the search, programmatic, and digital ad platforms you use, as well as your CRM and the digital marketing tools in your martech stack, to better inform your digital and offline strategies and personalize consumer experiences.

Tip 1: Track the Full ROI of Your Programmatic Ads to Optimize Your Bids

While most marketers track the online results of their programmatic campaigns, the offline results are often a black hole. This means, if someone calls from one of your programmatic ads or landing pages and makes a purchase over the phone, you’ll be unable to attribute this conversion to the ad that drove it. 

This blind spot in attribution is especially problematic for brands taking their programmatic advertising in-house. Without accurate attribution, marketers cannot prove the full impact of programmatic spend on their business results. This can make it difficult to develop a winning programmatic strategy, or worse, sow doubt about the whole in-house programmatic operation.

To solve this issue, DialogTech’s SourceIQ™ connects each call to the marketing source that drove it. Then, DialogAnalytics™ uses AI to capture insights from the call, including if the caller converted. Using DialogTech’s IntegrationStudio™, marketers can push these insights into the platforms they use to measure and optimize programmatic campaigns. As a result, marketers can prove the full ROI and optimize for the ads that are driving the most conversions—both online and over the phone.

Brands turn conversations into first-party data to fuel programmatic

Tip 2: Use Call Data to Inform Your Audience Targeting

In addition to determining if the caller converted, marketers can use DialogAnalytics to capture a wealth of first-party data from the conversation. This includes basic profile data like the caller’s name, phone number, and geographic location. DialogTech also leverages AI to capture insights like if they were a qualified sales lead, the products/services they expressed interest in, questions they asked, barriers to the sale, and life events they mentioned. 

Marketers can, in turn, leverage this data to target consumers with ads that are tailored to their past brand interactions. For example, if someone called a resort’s call center and expressed interest in their Grenada resort for their honeymoon, you could serve them ads for a special honeymoon package. Simultaneously, you could exclude them from seeing irrelevant ads for wedding packages.

Retarget callers using insights from their conversations

Tip 3: Reach New Customers by Finding High-Converting Lookalike Audiences

Callers are often the most valuable customers—on average, they convert faster, spend more, and have better loyalty than online leads. So building lookalike audiences for programmatic campaigns based on callers who converted can be a great way to reach high-value sales prospects.

Comfort Keepers leveraged DialogTech to find new audiences resembling callers who became customers and targeted them with programmatic display ads encouraging them to call. Over 6 weeks, this caller-modeling audience tactic generated 16x more conversions than the next best tactic.

How Comfort Keepers uses DialogTech to track and analyze calls

To learn more audience targeting best practices, download our eBook, Fuel People-Based Marketing Success with Call Analytics.

To learn more audience targeting best practices, download our eBook, Fuel People-Based Marketing Success with Call Analytics.

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