This week is Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference where Apple will unveil the next generation of software. They’re halfway through the event, and they’ve already revealed updates that will rock the marketing world.
The theme of Apple’s updated operating system for Mac, named OSX Yosemite, is “continuity,” a ripe concept in a time when our daily routines are scattered across devices and mediums. The new continuity features, known as “Handoff,” create a single experience that moves with you as you move between your desktop, laptop, iPhone or iPad. Whether you’re sending an email, thumbing a text, or shopping online, you can instantly switch devices and pick up right where you left off.
The Continuity of Phone Calls
You can even make and receive phone calls right from your Mac. When your iPhone is in range you can choose to accept or decline phone calls from your computer as it syncs with your iPhone contacts. And you can dial directly from webpages on your computer. Apple clearly recognizes the central importance that phone calls and voice interactions have in our daily lives, and they’re making it as easy as possible to connect however we want. The implications for marketers are vast.
The Gap in the Marketing Toolkit
With the explosion of smartphones, consumers can connect anytime and anywhere like never before. The notion of unplugging has died. Marketers can engage their audience through email, SMS, apps, search, and social. Phone calls to businesses have also increased as mobile consumers easily hop from online to offline interactions with the tap of a click-to-call button.
With Apple extending call capabilities to their desktop devices, the writing is on the wall – consumers will be jumping online to offline even more, and marketers who are not prepared are in trouble. There’s an increasing number of consumers that prefer human-to-human voice conversations over online-only interactions. In fact:
- By 2018, BIA/Kelsey expects 73 billion calls to be generated from mobile search alone.
- 70% of all mobile searchers have used the call button to connect directly with a business from the search results page according to Google.
- Conversions from local, mobile search happen over the phone 39% more often than they do online according to a study by comScore, Neustar Localeze and agency 15 Miles.
Consumers will increasingly transcend digital channels within a single purchase. Therefore, the challenge before marketers is to not only create seamless, omni-channel customer experiences, but to have the tools to track that customer journey, no matter where it leads.
But too often, marketers are blind to offline interactions. They have website visits, click-through-rates, conversion rates, social shares, and content downloads tracked, but as soon as a consumer picks up the phone, all visibility is lost. Apple is empowering consumers to make more calls than ever before, and the flood of calls from emails, search, social, and website visits will continue to pour in. Get ready, or lose customers.
Big thanks to Apple for making phone calls even cooler. We owe you one.