Call Are A Timeless Performance Metric

xAd | 11/21/2013


Consumers’ research and purchase patterns have been changing rapidly, keeping marketers on their toes as they modify multimedia ad programs to meet their latest needs. Despite this evolving state of media engagement, the phone call remains a “go to” consumer response across multiple media — and thus represents a strong conversion indicator for many local and national businesses.

In fact, our recent xAd/Telmetrics Mobile Path to Purchase Study showed that for the Insurance category, phone calls are the top way mobile searchers convert, whether by calling a local or national agent.

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Measuring calls goes beyond tracking call counts to capture deeper insights like call duration, call time, caller location, and caller demographics — all of which help businesses evaluate lead quality.

By linking multiple forms of online and mobile advertising to offline actions, call tracking technologies can help marketers discover which ad investments are paying off and how to make strategic modifications to generate a stronger ROI.

Calls Help Solve Cross-Media Performance Attribution Puzzle

Industry research confirms that consumers are engaging with multiple media platforms throughout the purchase process.

A recent BIA/Kelsey study shows that, on average, consumers use 6.8 different media sources when shopping for local products or services. Savvy marketers are looking to harness this trend by developing and executing multi-screen, cross-platform ad campaigns. However, measuring integrated campaigns can be an apples-to-oranges debate due to limited universal metrics.

For example, digital media is most often rated on clicks and ad impressions – data points that cannot be applied to traditional media. Phone calls, however, link both traditional and digital consumer response and can provide a comprehensive picture of advertising impact and proper attribution.

Calls Bridge Online & Offline Engagement

In addition to the cross-media attribution challenge, one of the perennial marketing questions is how to effectively close the online-offline attribution gap. While SEM campaigns provide relevant click-through data, they provide little insight into non-click activity. Call tracking can bridge the divide by revealing which websites, landing pages and ads prompted a consumer’s call.

Some newer mobile technologies are helping marketers capture in store visits resulting from online ad views or mobile searches. Utilizing a combination of call measurement and these in-store engagement technologies can provide an even more comprehensive view of the multimedia-driven purchase cycle, including which campaigns, digital assets, channels, and creatives are driving offline conversions.

Calls Play Key Role In Mobile Consumer Engagement

Without fail, mobile has provided an easy and immediate means for consumers to connect with businesses and provides another pipeline for leads, especially those driven by calls. Per our Mobile Path to Purchase Study, mobile is a primary media resource during consumers’ research and buying process and calls play a strong engagement role.

Accurately capturing mobile call-driven leads can be a challenge if marketers are only measuring the number of clicks on a click-to-call button. This is a common mistake that leads to poor call data and misrepresents the number of completed calls.

Call tracking technologies, however, help marketers capture an accurate call-through rate. This actionable intelligence is critical for measuring mobile engagement, optimizing overall ad campaigns and understanding how mobile ads complement other digital and traditional ads.

Calls: A Universal Metric

Ultimately, calls are a universal metric. Call tracking complements other media- and category-specific metrics to help marketers determine which traditional and digital ad investments are truly paying off and where changes can yield more targeted results. It also enables them to test different creatives or evaluate whether certain promotions are better suited for one platform or another, e.g., mobile vs. radio, and ultimately helps determine the best path to maximize ROI.

By providing ad-specific call response data regarding the volume and quality of offline leads, this timeless conversion metric gives marketers granular visibility into integrated campaign performance.

Article originally posted on Marketing Land