A shift is happening in marketing—but only a fraction of businesses are taking advantage of it. This new capability does not rest solely on the Web but within a reliable technology once thought to be going the way of the dinosaur.
Now, voice communications are delivering analytics capabilities over what is already possible through online campaigns.
- Current data shows that tablet usage has increased by 60% year over year and the total number of smartphone owners has increased by 24% year over year, surpassing the 140 million mark.
- 93% of people who use mobile to research a purchase go on to complete that purchase, and over half of consumers want to make a purchase within an hour of conducting research on their smartphone.
- Sales calls to businesses from customers ready to buy immediately increased 24% just in the last year, according to CallRail, a call-tracking company.
How do these trends translate into more insight into your customer base? Let's take a look...
1. Mobile—and voice in particular—are preferred by customers
Three clear foundational elements demonstrate why customers are relying on mobile but moving back to voice when researching and purchasing products.
- Mobile enables users to search and find products wherever and whenever they're ready to buy. With mobile searches limiting spam, it provides a much more streamlined search experience.
- With the dangers of driving and texting readily apparent, hands-free calls to businesses are literally a lifesaver. With regulations increasing on when and where an individual can text, one-touch dialing and voice-activated dialing become a very attractive option for a market on the move.
- Customers originally shifted from phone to the Internet for the ease and instant gratification of ordering. But now, this desire is moving full circle, and customers realize that the easiest option is to "phone it in," especially for businesses that are not '"commodities," such as services, big purchases, and luxuries.
2. Businesses are moving to capitalize on the mobile market
Businesses are recognizing the importance of search in their mobile marketing efforts. A whopping 74% of mobile users rely on search during their shopping process.
As more people get comfortable with search on-the-go, marketers must understand that mobile search is distinct from desktop search, primarily in the area of local content.
- 69% of consumers expect businesses to be within five miles of their location.
- Tablet users conduct local searches 81% of the time; 79% of smartphone users also use local search.
With so many people in your local geographic vicinity searching for your business, ask yourself: Do I know the top three keywords that convert by phone?
If you're not tracking mobile as a separate category, most likely the answer is no. You must understand who is searching for your business, how customers are finding you, and what campaigns are resonating with them.
The key challenge is collecting the essential data you need when your audience is connecting with your business via phone.
3. New science of voice analytics drives new customer insight
Fortunately, there are many new analytics solutions focusing on mobile and voice—like CallRail, Invoka, Ifbyphone, and Mongoose Metrics.
Call-tracking services like those use source-level call tracking to create one phone number for each of a client's marketing campaigns (online or off). You then have the visibility to understand which sources are driving inbound calls, and you can record the calls to get to the heart of big orders.
With dynamic number insertion on a website, the correct tracking phone number will display to show how a prospect arrives on the website—including which key words or campaigns brought them in.
Keyword-level call tracking reveals which organic and PPC search keywords are driving visitors to a site and ultimately to call a business—which allows you to optimize your campaigns across your digital channels. Many companies outsource this "technical" work to their agencies, but the trend is toward companies that manage their own ad budgets bringing it in-house.
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If you don't have call tracking in your current marketing arsenal, you're probably cutting off your most eager customer prospects.
As you look to optimizing your marketing budgets and ad spend this coming year, take a look at the new analytics packages around voice-to-voice and find one with a feature and integration set that works for you.
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