I was lucky enough to be one of the nearly 300 guests at Invoca’s 4th Annual Summit last week in sunny Santa Barbara. This was my first Invoca Summit—and my first day at Invoca—so I wasn’t sure what to expect. As someone only a few years into their marketing career and completely new to call tracking, I was pretty nervous about how much I could understand and process the content. Here’s a recap video so you can get a taste of what I was introduced to:
I knew I would be learning about Invoca’s technology, how our customers are using it, and who we partner with—but that was about all I knew going in.
You can imagine my relief when day one kicked off and I realized that Summit is not your average boring business conference. The keynotes and breakouts were lively, straightforward (I didn’t find myself drowning in marketing jargon) and had very helpful information for a green marketer and call tracking industry person.
Over three days, I was introduced to the challenges and strategies of the call tracking and analytics space. One thing I found surprising was that phone calls have huge revenue clout, and their importance continues to grow despite the ever-increasing focus on digital. As one of the youngest millennials in the room, I’m used to hearing that you only need to worry about what happens online. It turns out that’s absolutely not the case.
In fact, I found that the digital revolution is actually helping drive more customers to call and that sales that happen on the phone are a huge piece of the revenue pie for many companies. However, marketers encounter a challenge when they need to prove that their efforts are driving revenue through calls, they have to track and analyze all of the calls they drive. And of course, this can’t be done manually, it’s just not scalable—that’s where Invoca steps in.
From my just-got-to-the-party perspective, there are three big ideas that stood out to me:
1. Marketing Content Should Build a Human Connection
In a world that’s so focused on technology, marketers need to keep things human. At Summit, I learned this can be accomplished through using a unique voice in content creation. As branding expert Luvvie Ajayi shared, “the most important part of your brand is your [authentic] voice.” But as a content creator, I know just how hard this can be. If “authentic” sounds like a buzzword, what does it really mean to be authentic? Ajayi had four “be’s” to answer this question:
- Be human—always remember there are people behind it.
- Be thoughtful—does this content make sense for me?
- Be interesting—if it’s not interesting to you, it won’t be interesting to anyone else.
- Be useful—what are you giving to people?
These statements sound simple, but when sitting down to create content, they can lose their simplicity. But Ajayi didn’t just leave me with these big ideas. She provided a strategy that I can use in my day-to-day.
To build a human connection as a marketer, Ajayi pointed out that we should be telling stories. But not just the good stuff—share stories of both successes and failures. My take on this is that to be a great marketer, perfection is not required. If I try to be too polished, or use too much industry jargon I don’t really understand, I will lose out on having a real connection with my customers.
I know my audience is consuming a lot of content, because I consume a lot of content! I am very guilty of clicking out of an article or skimming past a LinkedIn post because it had no unique voice (a.k.a. “boring”). Losing audience interest could be the consequence of not passing content through the Ajayi “Be” test when it was written.
This is what I will be reminding myself as I continue creating marketing content. And I will be bringing “be human, be thoughtful, be interesting, and be useful” statements to everything I do on the Invoca marketing team.
2. The Right Data Makes a Seamless Customer Experience Possible
Marketers have every intention of creating seamless customer experiences, we just need all the right data and a way to take action on it. Adobe compared this problem to an orchestra that has many great musicians, but they are each playing a different tune. Even if every musician is top notch, if they are all on different pages, it will sound like a big loud mess. But—if all those skilled musicians are given the same song to play and a conductor to bring them together—we get a beautiful performance. In the same way, we can only deliver a seamless and personalized customer experience if every part of the customer journey is on the same page.
So, what if there is a part of the customer journey we don’t control? At Summit, many marketers shared that they were losing sight of their customers as soon as they got on the phone. As Dignity Health shared, “phone calls are a huge part of our consumer journey [and] until Invoca, half of our calls were a black hole.” It was difficult for companies like Dignity Health to create seamless customer experiences, because they could not take action on data from phone calls.
These companies needed a solution, because they knew that customers don’t care what data they did or didn’t have—they just want a great experience. “Customers do not think of your brand in silos, they expect a seamless interaction,” stated Google Global Product Lead Megan Messer. Customers want you to understand and know them, across every channel they contact you on.
— CallEngine Inc. (@callengineinc) November 8, 2018
DISH Network got my attention for the way that they connect phone calls to the customer journey and create a great experience. They use Invoca to create a new pathway for customers in their online shopping cart. If a customer is adding things to their DISH shopping cart, and places a call hoping to ask questions before purchase, they are routed directly to an agent ready to help them. This saves both the customer and DISH’s call center time, and creates a seamless experience. This pathway is only possible because they have access to their phone call data through Invoca.
DISH’s story stood out to me as a great example of thinking from your customer’s perspective. As a marketer, I want to be asking “what experience am I giving our audience?” Happy customers are heard customers.
3. AI isn’t Replacing Marketers, it Helps Prove What We Do Works
Marketers have access to massive amounts of data and that can be intimidating. What do I do with it? That’s where AI-powered technology comes in. Marketers can use the power of AI to access, analyze, and take action on their data. Possibly the most important result of this process is getting accurate marketing attribution. As US Bank stated “our biggest problem now is proving that we’re making money.” Not only do we need to be able to prove the ROI of our campaigns, but we also want to know where we should be putting our dollars to increase ROI.
Marketers must be able to prove their work is contributing to their company’s success. An engineer can point to a product they built and say “hey, customers are buying what I made, it’s going to bring in revenue!” But marketers need access to the right data to be able to say the same thing. An AI-powered technology like Invoca makes this possible.
Data is the oxygen for marketers. If you don’t know where you are, you have no way of getting to where you need to be, now also available on voice calls. Great insights from @gregg_johnson @invoca at #InvocaSummit #data #DigitalMarketing pic.twitter.com/Qrp7FeK6V1
— Bart Ons (@bart_ons) November 7, 2018
Companies like US Bank are also able to prove the effectiveness of their marketing initiatives, because they use AI to analyze their phone call data.
More than ever before, marketing has the tools we need to prove what we do works. With AI technology helping connect the dots, we can spend our dollars smarter and bring in even more revenue.
I will be taking what I learned at Summit with me as I ramp up here on the Invoca marketing team. Would I recommend this conference to a call tracking newbie? Absolutely. From learning new trends and strategies to getting the chance to talk to others like you face-to-face, Summit is a great opportunity for any marketer. I can’t wait for next year!