Contact.io 2017 is the premier call marketing conference. It brings together top marketers, entrepreneurs, and technology leaders who all know the value of a phone call in today’s customer journey. The two-day event is February 6th and 7th in San Francisco and is the only conference specifically geared for brands and agencies that do a lot of business over the phone. The content is a mix of new mobile strategies and ideas, plus hands-on, tactical case studies to help marketers drive more revenue from inbound calls.
We sat down with Jay Weintraub, CEO and Founder of Contact.io to learn more about the role of phone calls in today’s marketing landscape, the conference itself, what’s different this year, and why you should attend!
Q: Why are phone calls so important that you created a conference entirely dedicated to calls?
Calls have always played a fundamental role in revenue generation and growth. During my time running LeadsCon, it became very clear that the number one reason companies were generating leads was to get a customer on the phone.
As mobile phones have become the primary device for interacting with businesses across search, web, social, display and email, there has been an unexpected resurgence in people using their mobile phones… as phones. Marketers saw this trend as a golden opportunity — inbound phone calls at scale. The more we looked into calls, the more we discovered a vibrant and nuanced ecosystem, one that said, “We do calls. We don’t do leads.” We realized call marketing is not just an evolving marketing channel but a distinct community that deserves its own gathering.
Q: Contact.io received rave reviews last year. How will this year’s event differ from 2016?
We were fortunate to have had an amazing group of industry leaders join us for our inaugural event, and we are equally excited for the exceptional group expected this year. Last year, the landscape was one where calls were still coming into their own. People asked, “should we track calls?” and wondered if making the investment was worthwhile.
This year, it’s is a different type of “should we?” Now, people are asking “how should we leverage this valuable channel?” and “how should we be thinking of voice in relation to the entire customer journey?” Now, we’re not only seeing marketers express intent to leveraging phone calls, but we are starting to see them express commitment, and that is exciting.
Q: Who needs to be at Contact.io and what makes this conference particularly valuable?
Contact.io is an opportunity to bring sales, tech, and marketing together. These groups are vital in making calls and the broader voice ecosystem work for a business.
People are often heads down in day-to-day execution, but conferences like ours can help align interests and create shared priorities, as each group will begin to better understand how the other departments think and what they are other up against.
Also, our number one priority at the the end of the day is serving brands. Brand marketers and their customers are the fuel of the call economy, and that is who we look to serve first and foremost. They are the ones who have a big opportunity to drive growth for their business if they start prioritizing phone calls.
Q: What do you think is the largest problem facing the industry today?
I would argue complexity. As much as technology has created never-before-seen opportunities, some companies may still view connecting voice to the rest of the organization as complex and a nice-to-have versus a must-have. For those companies, if it isn’t broken, they aren’t going to spend the time to improve it. Instead, we must help companies see calls as one of the biggest untapped areas for growth. Once they start to see the potential gains, calls will become a top priority.
Q: Why do you think most marketers aren’t thinking about offline conversions like phone calls?
Despite all the talk, most marketers haven’t really prioritized the customer journey. A lot of marketers are still prioritizing channels. As a result, many companies have yet to really think about the power of voice. And while voice is powerful in isolation, it is most powerful when viewed as part of the broader omnichannel customer journey.
Those of us championing voice are still very much on the leading edge of what can be done. The good news is more marketers are being educated about the power of voice. It’s now more a question of when, not if. An ever-increasing subset of companies will look to voice to help them not just close the loop with marketing but increase overall organizational efficiency.
Q: How do you see the emergence of AI and other voice technology impacting the call marketing space?
You said it best — voice technology. That is the potential game changer for the call industry, as it will most likely impact everything – before, during, and after the call. Even now, with the rise of voice interfaces, such as Amazon’s Echo, we could be witnessing the creation of a new type of home phone.
If you are attending Contact.io, Invoca will be at booth #11. And, our CEO, Gregg Johnson, will be giving the presentation “Think Beyond the Campaign: Bringing Voice into the Customer Journey” at 1:35 pm on February 6th. Hope to see you there!