COO Speaks – Why should a phone call matter to Digital Marketers?

My mood as a shopper changes every week. On some days, I am well researched and I know what I want. On some other days I need help selecting or maybe knowing what I want. What I mean to say is that it all boils down the need of the hour.
You can aim to become another Amazon – 100% online checkouts and no-phone calls from your online visitors. I’d like to call it the ‘The Amazon Dream’. What you must also consider is that

  • Amazon sells mainstream products, the information for which is easily available online.
  • Amazon commands very high Brand equity and is synonymous to reliability.

But, if you need an insurance package, a house, a holiday package, a new broadband service or a test drive, you will most probably search online, find an offer, browse through that offer, and in 65%* cases you will call the service provider!

What happens to the customer who calls?

As a caller you have disappeared from online marketers’ radar, appeared on the sales agents’ interface and you leave that website and/or you will close the browser after the call. From a web analytics perspective, you are a drop off while, in reality, it is actually the digital marketer who ‘enticed you! But again, from the tools’ perspective, you have no value and you’re a targeting mistake. Now that is a real paradox.

Missing on 65% information?

Your marketing teams and their media agencies are using super-sophisticated technology, totally data driven, in order to optimize online campaigns in real time – Advertising, targeting, re-targeting and all of that! The decisions made by the Ad-Tech stack running these campaigns are based on one key data point: Has this visitor bought or not? Imagine that in 65% cases, the answer to that question is wrong. That is a whole lot data-driven decisions going wrong. This black hole in data is ruining all the efforts in understanding how programmatic media buying, marketing automation and user journey analysis really work. Is this 65% data really worth ignoring?

Plugging the ‘Gap’

You can optimize your online user journey, A/B test to reduce abandoned cart as much as you want and hide the phone number in the deepest graveyard section of your website, but this won’t fix your problems entirely. However you can leverage on the calls and by increasing your visibility and making your marketing tools more intelligent.
Yes, I can hear these questions from you already, “What am I going to do with all this information, how many people in my organisation do I need to involve?” It is obviously not your job to collect, process and use this data, instead get your tools to do that. They’ve been built to welcome this data, to analyse it and to adjust decisions based on them. Your most engaged customers are surely not worth ignoring!
(*)source Panel of Freespee users across Automotive, Telco, Real estate, Travel)