Increasingly, small businesses are looking to build their digital presence, putting more muscle — and money — into mobile and online ads. And while these avenues are crucial to a business’ success, companies like Toronto-based Telmetrics look to remind them of the importance of an oft-overlooked essential: the phone call.
The call tracking and call analytics company announced this morning that it has named Andrew Osmak its new CEO, replacing former CEO David Howard (who assumes the role of chairman of the company’s board). Osmak had been serving for the past two years as managing partner of Leverage Capital, and was previously with Transcontinental Digital Media and Lavalife.
Osmak told Street Fight that Telmetrics’ key strength is in its ability to show businesses what ads drive a call to business by providing a unique telephone code for each type of ad.
For instance, if an automotive business is displaying a mobile ad, the phone number listed will be different than the one listed in that same business’ print ad. This way, businesses can learn which ads are driving direct calls and at what time of day. Ultimately, these businesses can use that information to hone their advertising strategy.
“If search is making the phone ring but display is not, a business can fix it, optimize it, or reallocate their spend,” explained Osmak,
Osmak is careful to point out that Telmetrics in no way offers an alternative to digital or mobile advertising, but rather its services — and those unique phone codes — can be integrated into a business’ ads as a way to better measure attribution.
“For the last 10-plus years marketers have been busy watching online and getting behind digital mediums,” said Osmak. “That’s great, but one of the most important things any ad can do is drive an actual phone call to a business.”
Osmak says he will also be looking to underscore that smartphones, though smart indeed, are still phones, which still serve their traditional purpose of connecting a consumer to a business by voice: “Our network is capable of massive scale and I see an opportunity to extend that level of quality to smaller customers as they are getting more sophisticated.”
One of those ways opportunities lies in location-based data. While he says that Telmetrics is not a geotargeting company, per se, it does have a geotargeting option.
“There’s a disconnect [between area code and place],” said Osmak, referring to smartphones, which he adds account for more calls to business than landlines. “And we have access to that [location] data. Whether we make it available is up to the client. We offer a rich menu of data we can provide on every call and caller.”
Businesses can learn for instance, whether they’re getting more calls from Verizon customers versus people signed up with AT&T. How that matters to an automotive business pushing a local deal isn’t really clear. But a cable company offering free installation in the neighborhood might appreciate that information.
At any rate, being able to access information on consumers that are calling in can help businesses build a more comprehensive data profile on their callers. They can also measure the ads that driver phone calls against the ads that drive other types of calls to action, like a mobile check-in.
What’s more, until talking on the phone goes extinct, it will remain a staple of how offline businesses communicate with shoppers. Telmetrics argues — so why not make the most of it?
“Marketers started with display or search and went on to building an email list and a newsletter, and then social,” said Osmak. “If you’re an offline business, you’ve probably spent the last decade trying to add online. Now close the loop with phone calls.”
Nicole Spector is a contributor to Street Fight.