Invoca is a call tracking and analytics technology that enables marketers to connect offline phone call data to the online customer journey. Last year, over 17 million calls went through the Invoca platform. We analyzed where these calls were coming from, and what was driving them.
Here are the top 5 takeaways for marketers:
1. The Majority of Inbound Calls are From Mobile, But Don’t Discount Landline Just Yet
It may not be shocking that most shoppers use their mobile devices, but what is a bit surprising is that 20 percent of calls to businesses are still driven by landlines. This comes down to demographics. According to the National Center For Health Statistics, people ages 18-44 are living wireless lives, with only 35 percent having access to a landline. But, as soon as you cross the 44 years of age threshold, that number rises well above 50 percent, with 76 percent of people 65+ years old using a landline.
What does this mean for marketers? Depending on your target demographics, you will want to continue incorporating both online and offline tactics in your campaign strategies. For example, say you want to reach senior-aged shoppers looking for health plans—less than thirty percent of that target demographic is on mobile, so you will want to use direct mail, print advertising, print publications, and TV ads to capture their attention. And of course, you can still use Invoca to attribute calls from these offline sources.
If your goal is to reach mobile-driven callers, you can incorporate the newest digital strategies. Video, social media influencers, programmatic advertising (automated ad buying), and data-driven personalization are just a few of the leading digital trends in 2019. Investing in these strategies can help you reach the 79 percent of callers driven from mobile.
2. When Researching Big Purchases, Customers Prefer Desktop
This does vary by industry. Insurance sees about a fifty-fifty split between desktop and mobile search-driven phone calls. But, healthcare, travel, and home services see 60-80 percent of phone calls driven by desktop search.
Strategies for mobile and desktop can, and should be, different. Shoppers searching on desktop are less distracted by app notifications, texts, and other mobile attention-grabbers. Desktop is an opportunity for marketers to build engaging landing pages, promote long-form content pieces and blogs, and use multiple CTAs.
Your success in driving both mobile and desktop search traffic is heavily dependent on SEO. You can improve your organic search results by keeping your URLs short, creating relevant meta tags, placing search phrases on pages, and developing sitemaps for Bing and Google.
3. The Time Shoppers Spend on the Phone Varies Significantly by Industry
The length of a call varies dramatically by industry. Financial services and insurance have call time averages above 11 minutes. In contrast, auto and healthcare inbound phone calls are around three minutes on average. Call length is tied to a variety of factors—the level of product complication, the amount of time spent on hold, and the purpose of the phone call.
In financial services and insurance, the purchases discussed on the phone are complex and often sensitive. Callers want to ask clarifying questions and want to make sure that they feel comfortable with their final decision. Because of this, financial service and insurance providers are focusing on improving the caller experience by empowering agents with the right data. Improving customer experience can also result in significant revenue increases. Financial service provider Progrexion achieved a 40 percent lift in sales by improving the caller experience through personalization. Customers expect to be more than just heard on a phone call, they expect to be known, understood, and provided helpful information.
In healthcare, marketers are focused on the patient experience, and making sure a patient gets connected with the right person as quickly as possible. Calls also tend to be shorter in healthcare because patients often call to set or change an appointment. Many healthcare marketers are using call tracking and analytics to improve call hold times and personalize the patient call path.
4. When it Comes to Call Volume, Big Cities Win—But the Top 4 Might Surprise You
Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, and Phoenix were the top four cities for call volume across the United States. But, the population of these four cities combined is less than the population of New York City alone—so why isn’t NYC number one? Our customers are in industries with complex purchases that encourage phone calls, like insurance, healthcare, financial services, automotive, and travel.
The simple explanation is that New Yorkers are not buying into these industries as much as Mid-Westerners and Southerners. Less than 33 percent of New York residents are homeowners, and less than half of NYC households own a car. Where, in a city like Atlanta, the average household owns two cars and the homeownership rate is over 43 percent. This kind of geographical information is helpful for marketers building location-based campaigns.
5. Search Drives the Most Phone Calls
This year represents a huge shift in the world of advertising, with digital ad spending to surpass traditional ads for the first time. And it’s predicted that by 2023, digital will account for more than two-thirds of total media spending.
Our analysis aligns with this shift in focus to digital ad spending. We found that desktop and mobile search marketing channels dominate call volume, and the next largest bucket is display ads. Marketers wanting to drive more calls through digital channels can implement tactics like optimizing websites for organic search results, increasing pay-per-click spend, and investing in more display ads.
But how can marketers know what’s working to drive quality calls? Sure, basic metrics like call volume may tell you something, but it’s not enough data to make strategic decisions. Marketers driving phone calls with campaigns need deeper insight into what is happening on each call. By using a call tracking and analytics software, marketers can make a 1-to-1 connection between callers and their digital journeys. For example, if a shopper clicks on a display ad and then picks up the phone to call, marketers using call analytics can track the customer through that entire journey and then optimize the display ads to drive more high-intent calls.
What Marketers Driving Calls Should do Next
If you are a marketer driving phone calls, there is valuable customer data hidden within those offline interactions. Start by investigating how much of that data you have access to. Is it trapped in the call center? Are you using a basic tracking tool that is just counting calls? After you figure out where your call data lives, you are ready to decide what to do with it. If you want to use offline customer data to increase revenue and reduce costs, it’s time to start shopping for a robust tool that can help you do just that.
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