In 2021, marketing leaders will face steep challenges — COVID-19 has disrupted industries and transformed consumer behavior. In addition, consumer expectations for a frictionless, omnichannel buying experience have never been higher. To adapt, marketers need to understand their customers in the aggregate and as individuals. One of the most powerful ways to capture these insights is by tapping into first-party data from phone calls.
Calls are a critical piece of the consumer journey — and since the COVID-19 outbreak, they’ve only become more important. Marketers who leverage conversation intelligence data in their digital-first strategies drive more revenue and deliver better consumer experiences.
This blog shares 34 statistics marketers need to know in 2021, as well as insights about the powerful intelligence leading marketers are capturing from the call channel.
Marketing Leaders Are Facing Immense Challenges Going into 2021
1. 68% of CMOs say that being the growth driver is either their primary mandate or one of the highest expectations set by senior management and their board of directors. In this climate, marketers need to find new ways to increase their revenue (source: Google).
2. 82% of the marketing leaders surveyed cited the inability to attribute campaign or content activity to revenue as one of their major marketing challenges. Not only do marketers need to drive more revenue — they also need to prove it. However, many don’t have the right attribution in place to do so (source: NewsCred).
3. Data professionals list recovering from COVID-19, improving attribution, and linking online and offline data as their top 3 priorities in 2021. COVID-19 has transformed the customer experience and increased the importance of connecting your online and offline channels (source: Winterberry Group & Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)).
4. 76% of marketers are facing an “increasing pressure to deliver leads since the COVID-19 outbreak.” With many budgets shrinking, marketers need to find ways to do more with less (source: Dun & Bradstreet).
5. 82% agree COVID-19 will have a “moderate to “enormous” impact on how they will address customer calls in the long term. Consumers are calling businesses more than ever during COVID-19 — this channel is a powerful but often untapped source of insights (source: Forrester).
Expectations for the Customer Experience Have Never Been Higher
6. 87% of marketers agree customer needs and expectations are on the rise today more than ever before. Even though consumers are radically changing their behavior due to COVID-19, they still expect businesses to quickly pivot and meet their needs (source: Forrester).
7. Fifty-eight percent of consumers could recall at least one brand that quickly pivoted to better respond to their needs, and 82% said this led to them doing more business with the brand. When you respond to your consumers’ changing needs in times of crisis, they take notice — you will forge trust and lasting a bond with them (source: Deloitte).
8. 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. When consumers buy from your brand in 2021, they’re not just purchasing a product or service — they’re purchasing the experience you provide, too (source: Salesforce).
9. 57% of customers stopped buying from a company because a competitor provided a better experience. If you fail to provide frictionless experiences, the stakes are high — it will cost you customers and drive business to your competitors (source: Salesforce).
10. 51% of customers say most companies fall short of providing good experiences. Despite the high stakes, many marketers fail to provide the kinds of seamless experiences that earn customer trust and loyalty (source: Salesforce).
11. 60% of marketers still believe they don’t have all the data they need to accurately engage prospects and customers. One of the biggest barriers to providing frictionless customer experiences is data (source: Forrester).
12. 58% of marketers are challenged with targeting or segmenting their audience. Many marketers are unable to tap into all the rich first-party sources at their fingertips — this leaves them unable to personalize consumer experiences (source: Forrester).
13. 57% of marketers are challenged with optimizing next-best-action marketing decisions. Marketers also lack the data they need to guide consumers through the funnel after their initial brand engagement (source: Forrester).
First-Party Data Has Never Been More Valuable to Marketers
14. When Fortune 500 board members were asked how marketers could bring the most value, 42% said consumer insights. In today’s climate, it’s more important than ever for marketers to understand their customers and communicate those learnings to their organization to inform decision-making (source: Google).
15. A recent survey found that 82% of marketers plan to increase their use of first-party data. One of the best ways to understand your customers and meet their needs is to tap into the rich first-party data at your fingertips (source: Signal).
16. According to McKinsey, “personalization can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50%, lift revenues by 5-15%, and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by 10-30%.” Using first-party data to inform marketing personalization has a direct impact on revenue (source: McKinsey).
17. Industry leaders are 2x more likely to use insights from omnichannel KPIs to inform business decisions. Marketers who leverage first-party data from multiple sources make smarter business decisions and provide superior personalization for consumers (source: Google).
18. US companies use email addresses most frequently to help identify their customers across devices. Many also use IP addresses, site login data, and phone numbers. The more identifiers you use, the better you’ll be able to track consumers across touchpoints and provide them with personalized experiences (source: Forrester).
Calls Are a Critical Piece of the Consumer Journey — and They Will Become Even More Important in 2021
19. 41% of global shoppers would rather buy from a company that offers a range of ways to connect with them, including calls. Today’s consumers are omnichannel — they want to engage with your business on whatever channel best suits their needs at any given time (source: Google).
20. 30% of users click to call retailers while searching on mobile for information about a product they’re searching for. During the purchase cycle, consumers often bounce between online interactions and phone calls — marketers need to create seamless call experiences to accommodate them (source: Google).
21. 84% of marketers report phone calls having higher conversion rates with larger order value (AOV) compared to other forms of engagement. Phone calls are often the most valuable marketing conversions (source: Forrester).
22. 87% of marketers report an increase in phone conversion rates by 10% in the past 12 months. COVID-19 has increased the importance of phone calls. Consumers are restricting their in-person interactions with businesses, opting to call instead (source: Forrester).
23. 41% of organizations report having increased phone conversion rates by 25% or more in the past 12 months. Not only are consumers calling more due to COVID-19 — they’re also calling with higher intent to purchase. Both the volume and value of calls is increasing for many businesses due to COVID-19 (source: Forrester).
24. 85% of marketers believe inbound calls and phone conversations are a key component of their organization’s digital-first strategy. Marketers across industries plan to tap into phone call data to better understand their customers and inform their strategies (source: Forrester).
Calls Are Often a Blind Spot and Missed Opportunity for Marketers
25. 72% of marketers find it challenging to get insights into offline customer behavior relative to online behavior. Despite the importance of creating seamless omnichannel experiences, marketers are having trouble creating a unified customer view of both online and offline engagements (source: Forrester).
26. 26% of marketers find capturing what marketing sources drive consumer phone calls to be “very challenging.” A glaring blind spot for many marketers is attributing phone call conversions to the marketing source that drove them. This makes it difficult to optimize for the campaigns driving the most revenue — both online and over the phone (source: Forrester).
27. 82% agree insights from inbound calls and call experiences may reveal costly blind spots in their marketing and customer analytics. Without call data, marketers base their decision-making on an incomplete data set. This can lead to lost revenue opportunities (source: Forrester).
28. 50% of marketers believe the customer experience will be negatively impacted by challenges and blind spots inherent in the call channel. A lack of call data makes it more difficult for marketers to tailor consumer experiences based on past brand engagements (source: Forrester).
29. The top challenges organizations face when trying to leverage inbound call data are integrating insights with other platforms, a lack of tooling, and a lack of skills. To effectively leverage call data, marketers need to choose a robust call tracking solution with attribution and conversation analytics capabilities. They also need to ensure the solution integrates with the martech tools they use (source: Forrester).
Tapping into Conversation Intelligence Data from Phone Calls Helps Marketers Drive Revenue and Deliver Better Consumer Experiences
30. 48% of marketers have provided or expect to provide enhanced customer experiences as a result of scaling conversation intelligence across the enterprise. With conversation intelligence data, marketers can enhance ad targeting, segment email campaigns, serve personalized website experiences, and more, based on the content of phone conversations (source: Forrester).
31. 43% of marketers have improved or expect to improve customer acquisition and retention as a result of scaling conversation intelligence across the enterprise. When you tailor consumer experiences based on the content of their phone conversations, you better meet their needs and earn their loyalty (source: Forrester).
32. Marketers who have scaled conversation intelligence across the enterprise have seen or expect to see improved analytics efficiency, increased business efficiency, improved employee productivity, and seamless integration with existing systems. Conversation intelligence allows businesses to get smarter insights into their consumers and make more informed decisions to drive efficiency (source: Forrester).
33. Marketers who have scaled conversation intelligence across the enterprise have seen or expect to see increased revenue growth, increased profitability, better R&D decisions, increased market share, and increased product innovation. Conversation intelligence also helps marketers identify untapped revenue potential (source: Forrester).
34. 89% of marketers find scaling AI-fueled conversation intelligence imperative to stay competitive. As adoption rises, marketers who fail to leverage conversation intelligence will get left behind (source: Forrester).
Forrester surveyed enterprise marketing decision-makers to learn about the challenges they’re facing in 2021 and the data they need to stay competitive. Download the full report here.
Forrester surveyed 200+ enterprise marketing decision-makers to learn about the challenges marketers are facing in 2021. Download this report to learn their findings and recommendations for how marketers can use intelligence from their call channel to improve marketing ROI, sales, and CX.
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