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Insight: Is there a role for the telephone in the age of digital marketing? - ResponseTap

25 Oct 2017 - 13:45 |

Insight: Is there a role for the telephone in the age of digital marketing?

Whilst most of us love our profession, the job of a marketer isn’t always easy. Marketing teams have to wear many hats, ensuring they deliver moments of creative genius, powerful project management skills and comms wizardry. They’re also being asked to take responsibility for the customer experience, granular data analysis, campaign spend optimisation and sales conversion ratios like never before.

It's definitely a ‘juggling act’, and the ongoing push for evidence-based decision-making helps explain why many marketers have whole-heartedly embraced the world of digital marketing. Yes, tools like DoubleClick Campaign Manager, Google AdWords and Optimizely produce a sometimes mind-boggling wealth of data, but they also help to present a detailed picture of the impact every single activity has.

But – and here’s a big but – in focusing so much on the world of digital, the role of the phone is often being overlooked.

The role of the phone

First thing’s first – the phone isn’t a crucial channel for every brand. But in the B2C space, for example, it proves hugely influential in the research and purchase of bespoke and/or high-value products and services such as travel, insurance and home interiors. It’s got some clout over in the B2B environment too, with calls generating 30-50% conversion rates compared to 1-2% for clicks.

And that’s before we think about millennials opinion of the phone. A Searchengineland article reported that this consumer group is most likely to use the click-to-call feature, for instance, and wider research revealed that whilst 64% of millennials do all their research online, they value speaking to someone over the phone to verify information before making a purchase.

So where does this leave the digital marketer? Haven’t they already got enough to do, I hear you cry?!

Perhaps they do. However, better evaluating the role of the phone needn’t cause a migraine!

My top 5 tips for marketers – who think the phone could play a greater role in their marketing activity – are therefore:

  1. Encourage calls throughout your marketing comms – don’t automatically direct someone to complete a form simply because it’s the easiest option. It’s about offering customers a choice that’s most suited to them, not you.
  2. Let technology bridge the data gap. If you don’t encourage calls because you can’t determine what made the phone ring, implement Call Intelligence software. This uncovers every single prospect or customer’s online or offline interaction with a brand, up until the point of them making a call.
  3. Integrate this data with insight from other MarTech platforms to produce a rich hub of information that helps attribute call outcomes, sales revenue and other objective completions, back to specific campaigns. This way, you can better optimise your marketing activities and budgets, and prove just how well you’re doing your job!
  4. Encourage contact centre operators to use the real-time insight that Call Intelligence uncovers, so they can hold more tailored, meaningful conversations with each individual when they call. If they’re clearly a ‘hotter lead’ at a more advanced stage in the funnel for example, why not steer the conversation towards pricing? If they’re only at the start of their research phase, there probably needs to be more of a solution sell. It’s all about steering the dialogue to boost the chance of a conversion.
  5. Don’t rely on assumptions. Only 5% of UK businesses that could benefit from this type of data analysis actually do it. If you’re not sure of the role of the phone within your organisation, speak to your target audience to find out if it really matters.

ResponseTap is a provider of Call Intelligence technology, headquartered in Manchester with offices in London and New York. The company has more than 2,400 clients worldwide, including household brand names, renowned integrated marketing agencies and lesser-known yet forward-thinking organisations within which the phone plays an important role.

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