The Long Tail of Call Analytics

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Telmetrics-After-the-ClickThis is the fourth and final article in a series sponsored by Telmetrics focusing on the acute problem of attribution in mobile. To view previous articles in the After the Click series, click here. You can also click here to view the companys talk at Street Fight Summit on the topic.

The old problem of not knowing which of your marketing dollars are working and which aren’t has mostly become a thing of the past — but knowing which of your marketing dollars are turning which media consumers into paying customers of which items is the final bridge to cross. The mobile channel is the closest to solving the attribution problem, which is why call campaigns that utilize mobile effectively have the power to deliver efficiencies, and revenue.

Call campaigns yield further bounties in the data gathered. Pay-per-call campaigns paired with call tracking systems give marketers a way to store and analyze consumer information and behavior. Data collected can be used to optimize ads, channels, and partners so that marketers can put more energy into those areas that deliver the highest conversion rates. By optimizing campaigns this way, marketers have multiple points along the path to purchase where they can bridge the gap between online-to-offline conversions and continue to improve return on investment (ROI) long after the call has ended.

Implementation Strategies
Tracking calls is similar to tracking web-based clicks — except calls provide additional user data about secondary actions that can help marketers keep better track of online-to-offline conversions. This is especially important, according to the recent xAd/Telmetrics Path to Purchase survey, because 64% of mobile shoppers complete their purchases offline.

To gather such data, call tracking numbers may be used, in which each publisher is assigned a specific phone number that is tied to the original source once consumers make their calls. In other cases, call analytics platforms use dynamic number insertion (DNI), which tracks source of a call, such as a campaign, web search terms and the like by dynamically replacing phone numbers on websites/landing pages via two methods:

  • one-to-one number replacement, which assigns a unique number to each referrer and/or keyword combination, and
  • session-based replacement, also known as “pooling,” which uses a pool of tracking numbers that get cycled through web sessions, with resulting calls matched back by date and time stamping.

Pooling can help keep down the costs and complexity of a national campaign using thousands of SEO keyword combinations, however matching those leads is less accurate than with one-on-one DNI. Regardless of the method used, campaigns should feature local phone numbers since 73% of consumers prefer them to toll-free numbers.

Marketers that use call tracking, especially DNI, can trace each caller back to a specific campaign, keyword, search engine or app, learn which campaigns are delivering results, and capture demographic data about the callers as well. The results can also be used to distinguish among leads generated via different networks, ad partners, keyword searches, multiple creative pieces, and various partner placements.

The Long Tail of Search Data
Search analytics techniques identify keywords that perform best and show whether various SEM or SEO methods deliver more calls and better results. Campaign managers can then adjust the use of these keywords accordingly to better target their desired audiences. The same goes for channels. Effectively redistributing campaign dollars leads to a lower cost per call lead. Over the long-term, this data creates a historical pattern to be applied not only to focus on the immediate well-performing campaigns, but unpack the nuances in behavior in niches: considering keyword and intention, platform and channel, among other factors.

The Long Tail of Caller Intent
Using call tracking can weed out bad calls (as well as lower-performing call center/local business employees), help route calls more efficiently and help to better identify which callers are more likely to become customers. This leads to a reduction in the cost per acquisition. Call analytics can present a picture that almost looks like a focus group, understanding what consumers are seeking, and where campaigns, categories and tools can be optimized to reduce mismatches. Categories can be shaped better to help businesses assign those that deliver results.

The Long Tail of Call Interactions
The above help to assign value to mobile ad tactics, channels and categories. Tracking caller purpose and responses (did they ask for directions, make reservations or appointments, request additional information) adds insight into purchase intent. Calls also provide an opportunity to capture customer demographics, which can be analyzed to identify patterns linked to purchases.

Non-call factors are also very important. How many searches resulted in clicks on maps or directions? Are you using geo-targeting ad placements, or in-store beacons? If so, serve up trackable ads with coupons. Even further down the funnel, factor in offline purchase behavior, such as mobile payment tracking.

Combine all these search, call and post-call behaviors and analytics, and you have a powerful dataset that can tell a lot about consumer behavior in relation to mobile ad campaigns and help predict online-to-offline conversions and achieve the holy grail of attribution.

TelmetricsFor more about mobile attribution strategies, read other posts in Telmetrics’ After the Click series, click here.