Conversation Intelligence Hero Spotlight: Melissa Reilly

min read
Conversation Intelligence Hero Spotlight: Melissa Reilly

Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? A plane? No, it’s a Conversation Intelligence Hero! 

Invoca’s Conversation Intelligence Heroes program gives our customers a platform to highlight the successes they’ve achieved with conversation intelligence technology. It also has perks like personal branding opportunities, VIP invites to regional events, access to private beta programs, and more. 

As part of the program, we’re shining a spotlight on our inspiring heroes. Today’s featured hero is Melissa Reilly, Assistant Vice President of Digital Marketing Technologies at U.S. Bank, Elavon. Elavon, a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bank, has been a global leader in payment processing for more than 30 years.

Check out our Q&A with Melissa below, where she shares how she got started in marketing, the future trends she sees on the horizon, and how his partnership with Invoca helped him grow.

How did you get started in marketing?

In 1997, I graduated from The Art Institute of Atlanta as part of its inaugural Multimedia Development class. During my studies, I immersed myself in interactive CD creation, mastering computer programming, audio production, video editing, imagery, and user interface design. As technology evolved, I began to create interactive web applications and design websites.

I later shifted my skillset to digital marketing, where I learned how to create and integrate new tools to enhance online sales strategies for my company. This journey propelled me from the Internet Services division to a pivotal role in Digital Marketing Technologies, where I oversee the technology responsible for lead tracking, generation, and optimizing sales funnel efficiency.

What are some of your career highlights?

Early in my career, in the year 2000, I worked at Lynk Systems. There, I was part of the pioneering team that developed one of the earliest virtual terminals, capable of processing both card-swiped and card-not-present transactions directly in a web browser. Years later, similar concepts emerged with apps like Stripe for smartphones. 

Another memorable experience was my involvement in launching the initial digital marketing team for WorldPay in the United States. This was part of the integration with the London-based WorldPay card processor owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland. In 2010, I was entrusted with leading the U.S. Digital Marketing division. We were given a substantial $1.6 million budget and a San Francisco agency partner to collaborate with. Despite having only two internal team members, we successfully implemented lead flows into Salesforce, trained the sales team, configured Salesforce for comprehensive data insights, developed key metrics reporting, created internal marketing materials, set up analytics accounts with Google, and achieved our targeted CPA within the specified timeframe. This success secured additional budget allocations and firmly established our digital marketing division within the company. 

After 14 years with Lynk Systems, Royal Bank of Scotland, and WorldPay, I ventured into a new realm by joining Ocwen Financial to establish their digital marketing division for a real estate startup, Altisource Rental Homes. Within a year, I had the division operational, with smooth lead generation and tracking systems. I also oversaw the creation of the CRM and the initial website content. 

In 2014, I was recruited by U.S. Bank, Elavon to contribute to their digital marketing team. We developed bidding strategies, established analytics frameworks, and crafted websites for Elavon, U.S. Bank Payment Processing, Costco, and our partner referral program. We also helped with Salesforce implementations and eventually migrated all CRM and analytics functions to the Adobe suite. This journey culminated in adopting Invoca for lead-generated call attribution, which now constitutes the majority of my responsibilities at Elavon and U.S. Bank. For the first time ever, our company now has closed-loop attribution on phone calls.

What are you passionate about outside of work? 

Beyond my professional endeavors, my greatest passion lies with my family. With three kids in our blended family, our weekdays are a whirlwind of hockey and football games. As they’ve grown and started driving, we cherish every moment we can steal away on weekends for family activities, navigating the busy schedules of teenagers to carve out precious parent-child time.

Additionally, I find immense joy in exploring genealogy, paddling along serene waters in my kayak, and capturing moments through photography. I also love caring for our three wonderful dogs, as well as tending to our lively flock of 14 chickens, 4 ducks, and one magnificent goose.

How has your passion for sharing your voice and expertise about Invoca affected your professional or personal life?

My passion for sharing my voice and expertise about Invoca has had a tremendously positive impact on both my professional and personal life. Professionally, it has allowed me to become a recognized authority in the field, opening up opportunities for career advancement, networking, and collaboration with like-minded individuals. 

Personally, it has brought me a sense of fulfillment and purpose, knowing that I am making a meaningful contribution to my industry and community. Overall, embracing my passion for Invoca has enriched my life in countless ways, driving me to continually strive for excellence and growth.

Has Invoca’s content helped you gain support for conversation intelligence in your organization? 

Yes, there have been several instances where I’ve used content created with the Invoca team and insights from user group conversations to demonstrate our ROI and gain support for further investments in conversation intelligence. For example, after collaborating with the Invoca team to develop a case study showcasing the impact of conversation intelligence on our lead generation and conversion rates, I presented it to senior leadership to illustrate the tangible benefits of our investment. 

Additionally, insights gleaned from user group discussions have helped me articulate the value of conversation intelligence to key stakeholders and secure additional resources. Overall, these experiences have been instrumental in driving buy-in and support for our continued investment in conversation intelligence within the organization.

Can you give us a quick overview of your Invoca use case and your results?

To get closed-loop attribution for phone calls, our marketing team onboarded Invoca call tracking. This allows us to understand the quality of the phone leads we send to the sales team, and which campaigns drive the most high-intent callers. With these insights, we can allocate more spend to the search keywords driving high-quality phone leads — and less to the ones driving non-sales-related calls. This allows us to generate more phone leads at a lower cost.

In addition to helping the marketing team understand the quality of leads it drove, Invoca also helps us see how well our sales agents are converting those leads. In the past, the marketing and sales teams never had a full-funnel view, and Invoca data helps us identify inefficiencies harming conversion rates. 

Our sales team uses Invoca’s automated quality assurance to assess the performance of its remote sales agents. Invoca’s AI automatically scores calls according to our company’s unique criteria. Our sales team uses Invoca to ensure that, on every call, agents:

  • Use a proper greeting
  • Ask the right questions about caller needs 
  • Provide the correct information about rates and fees 
  • Offer next steps
  • Close the sale 

Invoca allows the sales team to score 100% of calls according to these criteria — not just a small sample. This gives them accurate and unbiased feedback about each agent’s performance.

Additionally, Invoca helps sales managers understand the tactics that separate their high-performing reps from the pack. They update their scripts and standardize these sales strategies across the team so that every agent can benefit. 

How do you see AI changing the way marketers work in the next year? 

AI is poised to revolutionize marketing and contact center operations in the coming year by enabling personalized customer interactions at scale, optimizing marketing campaigns through predictive analytics, automating routine tasks, and enhancing customer service with chatbots and virtual assistants. Marketers and contact center professionals will increasingly rely on AI-powered tools to gain deeper insights into customer behavior, streamline processes, and deliver more targeted and efficient experiences.

What disadvantages could businesses face if they don't increase their use of AI in the next year?

Businesses that fail to embrace AI in digital marketing and contact center operations risk falling behind their competitors in terms of efficiency, customer engagement, and innovation. Without leveraging AI technologies, they may struggle to keep up with evolving consumer expectations, miss out on opportunities for automation and optimization, and face challenges in delivering personalized and timely interactions. Additionally, they may find it difficult to scale their operations effectively and efficiently without the support of AI-driven solutions.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you see marketers/sales making?

A common mistake is failing to prioritize the customer experience and instead focusing solely on driving sales or lead generation. Another is overlooking the importance of data-driven decision-making and failing to leverage analytics tools effectively. Additionally, some leaders may underestimate the value of investing in employee training and development, leading to subpar performance and engagement. Also, relying too heavily on outdated or ineffective marketing strategies without adapting to changing consumer behaviors and preferences can hinder success. 

However, the biggest company mistake I consistently see is marketing and sales operating in silos, failing to collaborate and review each other’s analyses. It has severe repercussions for a company’s success that go wholly unnoticed until the team begins to work together and the improvement of leads to closed won activities becomes extremely evident. Marketing efforts may generate leads that sales teams are ill-equipped to convert due to misalignment in messaging or targeting. Conversely, sales teams may struggle to effectively communicate the value proposition to potential customers if they are unaware of the insights gleaned from marketing analyses. This lack of synergy leads to inefficiencies, missed opportunities, and ultimately, decreased revenue. 

By fostering a culture of collaboration and mutual respect, where marketing and sales teams regularly share and review data and insights, companies can ensure a more cohesive approach to customer acquisition and retention, driving sustainable growth and competitive advantage.

What advice do you have for younger marketers?

For professionals embarking on their careers, I advise cultivating a curious and adaptable mindset, staying abreast of emerging trends and technologies, and continuously seeking opportunities for learning and growth. It’s essential to build strong communication and interpersonal skills, as collaboration and relationship-building are critical in any industry. 

Additionally, don’t be afraid to take on new challenges and step out of your comfort zone, as this is where you’ll often find the most significant opportunities for personal and professional development. 

Finally, remember to prioritize work-life balance and self-care to sustain long-term success and fulfillment in your career journey.

Claim Your Cape and Become a Conversation Intelligence Hero

Are you interested in becoming a hero? Turns out you don’t need to get bit by a radioactive spider. You just need to be an active Invoca customer and participate with the community in some of the following ways:

  • Media articles/interviews
  • Internal or external speaking opportunities                                    
  • Case study interviews
  • Press release features
  • Supplying a quote
  • Sales reference calls
  • Social media competitions 
  • Sharing expertise and best practices in the Invoca community
  • Logo placement 

What do you get out of it? Below are some of the perks that Conversation Intelligence heroes enjoy:

  • Elevate your personal brand
  • Connect & learn from peers
  • Gain access to private beta programs
  • Win industry awards
  • VIP invites to Invoca regional events

You can register to become a Conversation Intelligence Hero here or scan the QR code below. Just remember: with great power comes great responsibility. 

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