5 Ways Automotive OEMs Improve Digital Marketing With Phone Lead Data

min read
5 Ways Automotive OEMs Improve Digital Marketing With Phone Lead Data

Digital marketing is the new battleground for automakers. To compete for car buyers, automotive OEMs and their agency partners use a sophisticated mix of strategies that includes search and digital advertising, direct marketing, social media, video and content marketing, and digital retailing. 

Data drives everything. Using tools like Adobe Analytics, OEMs track how each marketing source drives visits and engagement with Tier 1 websites. When visitors fill out web forms, those conversions are connected to engagement data, enabling marketers to measure the impact of their work and make smarter optimizations to improve results. Those web leads are also captured in CRMs, sent to dealers for follow-up, and added to OEM direct marketing campaigns.

Everything works seamlessly — as long as everyone converts online. But when visitors to Tier 1 websites convert by calling a dealer, the process breaks down without the right data on phone calls. It’s a big problem for OEMs that are blind to calls, but it’s also a big opportunity. 

Using a conversation intelligence solution like Invoca, OEMs and their agency partners gain a competitive advantage by leveraging insights from phone calls across their marketing strategies. This blog explains why calls are so important to automotive marketers and highlights ways to use data from calls to measure performance, improve results, and win more customers from digital marketing.

Importance of Phone Calls in the Automotive Customer Journey

Almost everyone researches vehicles, parts, and repair services online, but when it comes time to engage with a dealer, many call. Tier 1 websites alone drive millions of phone calls each month to U.S. dealers. 

Even as OEMs roll out more digital retailing options, phone calls to dealers continue to rise. That’s because a phone call is the fastest and easiest way for online shoppers to get the help they need to progress through the customer journey. Calls are one of the biggest drivers of showroom visits, test drives, and service appointments for automotive brands. 

5 Ways to Use Phone Call Data to Improve OEM Marketing

OEM marketing initiatives drive more phone leads to dealers than web form leads. If you aren’t tracking phone calls from your Tier 1 sites or getting the right analytics on the conversations, Invoca can help. 

Invoca attributes the marketing source and website interaction that drove every call, records and transcribes the conversation, and uses AI to analyze what’s said to measure lead intent, vehicle interest, call outcome, and more. That data is passed in real time to Adobe Analytics, Google Ads, your CRM, and other marketing platforms to drive the best insights and actions.

These 5 strategies highlight some of the ways you can use phone call data from Invoca to measure and optimize your marketing results

1. Measure the True Impact of Your Digital Marketing 

OEMs use a wide mix of digital marketing strategies to attract, engage, and convert website visitors. Responsibilities are often siloed – one person, team, or agency might run search and digital advertising, while another is in charge of digital retailing and website experience, and a third runs email and direct marketing. 

Everyone wants to measure the impact of their work, not just to make better decisions, but to prove their value. So if you aren’t measuring phone call conversions, you are not only missing important insights to guide your optimizations, you are severely under-reporting the impact of your work.

To help, Invoca tracks not only how your marketing and website strategies drive phone calls to dealers, but also if those calls are sales leads that booked showroom appointments and test drives. That call data can be connected to sales revenue from CRMs and included in Adobe Analytics and other marketing tools with your form data. It enables you to do things like: 

  • Get credit for the full impact of your work on KPIs like sales leads, test drives, and vehicle sales 
  • Understand what advertising channels drive the best results, down to the ad variation and search keyword
  • Compare paid media results to those of organic channels like SEO and social 
  • Measure the complete value driven by website content experiments and email A/B tests 
Sample Invoca reports for OEMs from calls to dealers

2. Use Phone Call Conversion Data to Improve Google Ads Smart Bidding

Google Ads Smart Bidding is a set of automated bidding strategies that use machine learning to optimize for conversions and conversion value. Google’s algorithm is only as effective as the data you feed it, so it’s important to make sure your conversion data is both accurate and complete. It needs to include your phone call conversions.

With Invoca, you can feed Google’s Smart Bidding algorithm exact data on the volume and value of the phone calls you drive from Google Ads. For vehicle sales campaigns, for example, Google will know exactly how your campaigns, ads, and keywords drive calls from car buying leads, if the call resulted in a test drive, and any revenue generated from the caller (if it’s captured in your CRM).

This call data, paired with your web form data, enables the algorithm to make the best decisions to drive the most conversions at the best value for your spend. 

3. Use Phone Call Data to Improve Direct Marketing Campaigns 

OEMs use direct marketing campaigns to drive brand awareness, vehicle sales, owner retention, and aftersales revenue. These campaigns are multi-channel – using a mix of digital, email, and direct mail – and highly targeted – relying on lead and behavioral data from CRMs and other systems to deliver the right message to the right contact at the right time. 

The more accurate your data, the more effective your campaigns. Phone call data from Invoca helps fill in the gaps in your direct marketing data, so you can:  

  • Measure the true performance of digital, email, and direct mail campaigns and A/B tests 
  • Capture caller contact, demographic, and customer journey data in your CRM and other systems
  • Target callers with the right messaging at the right time based on the intent and outcome of their conversations

With Invoca Signal AI Autocapture, you can also extract valuable data to improve campaign reporting, audience retargeting, and sales call follow-up. Signal AI Autocapture uses AI-powered named entity recognition (NER) to extract meaningful first-party data from conversations to enrich the customer profile. For example, when a lead calls your dealership while shopping for a new car, Signal AI Autocapture extracts from that conversation a structured set of data about the year, make, and model of the vehicle in which the caller expresses interest. This data can be used to improve campaign reporting, audience retargeting, and lead follow-up. 

4. Use Insights From Phone Calls to Improve Your Messaging 

When people call a dealer, those conversations are one of the richest sources of consumer insights for OEMs. Automakers can use Invoca to tap into conversation data to understand your audiences, measure how your messaging is resonating, and learn ways to improve it.  

Invoca records and transcribes phone calls you send to dealers, storing them in a searchable database. You can see a list of every call discussing any topic you care about, access the conversations to learn what was said, and take action. 

For example, if you want to improve your marketing for electric vehicles, you can use Invoca to see: 

  • What questions callers ask about your EVs
  • What EV features they are most interested in
  • What their barriers are to buying EVs
  • What they say about your offers and campaigns
  • What they say about your competitors

Using those insights, you can make your website content, ad messaging, social posts, and other content more effective by answering consumer questions, addressing concerns, highlighting the best features, and positioning your EVs optimally against competitors.

5. Fix Digital Retailing Issues Causing Website Visitors to Call

The ultimate goal of digital retailing is to have consumers complete the entire car buying process online. Call data from Invoca can help you optimize and streamline your digital retailing experience to increase online conversions and sales. 

Invoca connects every caller to their individual web sessions to identify exact points where consumers exit digital flows and call for human assistance. By analyzing those conversations, you can learn why shoppers call and use those insights to correct issues and improve your digital retailing experience, reducing unnecessary calls and increasing online conversions. 

Invoca Helps OEM Boost Phone Leads and Return on Ad Spend

A leading auto OEM didn’t know how their search and digital advertising drove phone leads to their network of 1,000 US dealers. This lack of call data made it difficult to optimize marketing for what drives the best results.

So the OEM turned to Invoca to get attribution for how their channels, ads, search keywords, and Tier 1 or Tier 2 sites drive phone calls. Invoca’s AI analyzes phone conversations to measure if the call was answered, if the caller was a sales or fixed ops lead, and if the call resulted in an appointment or test drive. By integrating Invoca with Adobe Analytics and their CRM, the OEM has full insight into how their marketing drives sales and service revenue. 

Using Invoca’s call data to measure ROI and improve decision-making has enabled the marketing team to drive amazing results:

  • 24% increase in vehicle sales calls
  • 26% increase in fixed ops calls
  • 10% decrease in digital advertising CPL
  • 59% more revenue attributed to OEM marketing

Next Steps to Optimizing Your Digital Marketing With Phone Call Data

Want to learn more about how phone call data from Invoca can improve your digital marketing results? Start by reviewing Invoca’s solution for automotive brands. Then request a personal demo of Invoca’s conversation intelligence solution. We will meet with you to answer your questions and show you how OEMs are using Invoca to increase conversions, vehicle sales, and aftersales revenue.  

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