Telephone Poster in pop art style. Vintage colorful phones

The question search marketers should be able to answer

By Oyin Bamgbose, Account Director, ResponseTap


As customers’ paths to purchase become increasingly complex, search marketers are under mounting pressure to evidence their contribution to ROI within the multichannel mix. But with more tech platforms to integrate than ever before, is there room for Call Intelligence within the growing MarTech stack? Oyin Bamgbose, Account Director at ResponseTap, explains how advancements in this seemingly-niche field are helping search marketers raise their game…

Swamped in martech

Despite the significant evolution of the call tracking and Intelligence market, the technology, to date, is utilized by fewer than 5% of businesses that could benefit from it. In part, this is due to a lack of understanding about the role it can play in a world where digital marketing is continually making waves. It can also be said that many marketing professionals are feeling somewhat swamped in an already complex MarTech landscape.

The fear is often that Call Intelligence would be just another platform to manage. As a result, search marketers have, understandably, concentrated on the arsenal of tools at their fingertips in an attempt to penetrate the market, drive acquisitions and increase conversions. They’re being savvy with retargeting to speed up the sales cycle, continually measuring and optimizing spend, and hooking up multiple analytics platforms to fuel smarter decision making. There is an unswerving focus on digital marketing ROI, and rightly so. But the goal behind every marketing activity is surely to leverage and make sense of big data, in the ongoing plight to achieve the holy grail of the ‘single customer view’.

The untrackable gap

So why are calls still being overlooked by the majority of brands? Online and offline behaviours are not mutually exclusive, so nor should they be viewed in isolation. But still there remains a seemingly ‘untrackable’ gap for most organisations, when a prospect or customer reaches the point in their journey where they pick up the phone. Greater collaboration is therefore needed.

Search marketers have a vested interest in understanding what makes the phone ring. For some, this means the procurement of campaign-specific telephone numbers. But they provide insight only at an activity level. And, with so much effort going into personalizing journeys at an individual level, this will not suffice. Marketers need to understand every single prospect or customer’s interaction with the brand, up until the point of them making a call. This is why Call Intelligence is important to search marketers, even if they don’t have direct ownership of the phone channel. It can deliver an unparalleled insight into a customer’s journey, integrating data from multiple external sources ranging from Google Marketing Platform to Google Ads and SalesForce to Optimizely. It can unravel the origin source of an individual’s journey, the impact of PPC campaigns at keyword level, which pages were subsequently visited, for how long, and at what point they left to call. It can even identify when they leave the online experience and come back.

Improving quality of service

The result is the ability to truly understand what made the phone ring, which helps to attribute sales revenue and other objective completions to specific campaigns, enabling activities and budgets to be optimized thereafter. It is possible to understand which keywords are worth the investment for example, because, whilst some may be more expensive, they may lead to better quality calls and conversions. Armed with this background data – in real time – contact center operators can also ensure more tailored, contextual calls help to improve the quality of service. Admittedly this is of direct interest to those responsible for the customer experience but it can aid search marketers’ efforts too because, the more clicks and calls that lead to conversions, the greater the ROI for the initial online efforts.

Eliminate the conversion blind spot

With the world of digital marketing evolving at such a pace, there may be an aversion to focusing on what might be seen as a more traditional marketing channel. But the global population is seemingly hooked on the ‘super-computers’ we carry in our pockets, and click-to-call spending is predicted to grow to £13.7bn in 2020. Research has also found 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.

Without greater insight into what makes the phone ring, search marketers might never overcome their conversion blind spot.