Measuring phone calls as part of a digital advertising strategy – five things to consider

Measuring phone calls as part of a digital advertising strategy – five things to consider

Marketers continue to invest in software tools that enable them to measure their customers’ online journey more effectively. A recent study shows that 96% of UK marketers believe that ROI on marketing technology tools increased in 2021, and 91% thought they would invest even more in martech this year.

But, to demonstrate the total value of their campaign spend to the C-Suite, the marketing department still needs to get better at measuring offline journeys, and how it evaluates a path to purchase that moves between channels. A failure to attribute where digital advertising spend may have driven an offline sale leaves marketers unable to provide a true reflection of how well the marketing strategy or budget is performing.

There are a number of things that marketers can do to evaluate the impact of their digital ad campaigns better, from improving the UX to better targeting. But understanding the value of phone calls – something Infinity specialises in – is also high on that list.

Here's five things marketers can do to unlock that potential.

Accept that not all customers will begin and end their journeys online

With click to call options and call extensions available, some customers may want more reassurance than you can give them on your website. Infinity’s Pulse Check data has shown that call volumes have increased significantly since the emergence of Covid-19. And some customers will always prefer the picking up the phone. That doesn’t mean that your digital campaign wasn’t effective.

Measure calls as conversions

Your reporting should capture each phone call as a lead or sale which can be used to analyse the overall results of a campaign, and how well it performed for different audiences. Previously missing metrics like this can give you a much better understanding of the total cost per acquisition.

Be more agile

Deeper analysis of phone calls with conversation analytics enables marketers to see how much time calls linked to specific campaigns are lasting and how effectively they are being handled. What percentage of calls are leading to a conversion and are there any common barriers occurring? Can the online ad be tweaked to improve the outcome of phone calls? Call attribution data like this can be used to make rapid changes that can improve the performance of live campaigns.

If you’re outsourcing, work with an agency that LOVES data

You need to partner with someone that can see the full picture. Agencies can be brilliant when it comes to creativity and execution, but that must be backed up by the strongest possible analytics, to enable you to report back internally. Marketers need to understand which calls are generating sales, and where those calls are originating.

Google now makes it possible to track calls made directly from results pages, via call extensions, for example, in real time - by sending data directly to your call tracking and analytics provider.

Make sure the agency you select can give you that level of insight.

Automate and integrate

It’s crucial that marketers measure their teams and their agencies on the overall performance of campaigns. Don’t be blindsided by one set of metrics. Recognising the value of phone calls can help digital marketers improve how they reach and engage with different customers. It also makes the whole process much more efficient. Pushing call data directly into Google Analytics gives you a much more complete view of performance and enables businesses to make better decisions in the moment and in the future.

A truly holistic and sophisticated approach to reporting can now include offline conversion – allowing for analysis to reach the same standard that marketers have to come to expect with digital channels. Removing the blindspot that so many teams have faced around offline conversions will reap rewards when the time comes for pulling together those slides for your monthly board report.