With third-party cookies all but dead and most other third-party customer data regulated out of existence, many marketers are turning to first-party and zero-party data to inform targeting and ad campaign optimization. The third-party data was never that accurate — it was just easier and cheaper to get a lot of it. It’s kind of like deciding between a pint of local organic ice cream or a gallon of the store-brand stuff. The organic stuff is way tastier and makes you feel better than hogging out on a tub of cheap, tasteless dreck, but it can be harder to find.
Fortunately for marketers, and thanks to AI, the good zero-party and first-party stuff is getting easier to find. Customers provide the data to you organically through their interactions with your brand, and with technology like AI-powered conversation intelligence you can scoop it all into your marketing bowl and feed it to your optimization machine. Yum!
Here are the challenges that you may face gathering the data and how conversation intelligence helps put it into action.
Phone calls are the last untapped source of rich 1st-party and zero-party customer data that you can use to optimize your marketing and make the most of your budget. If your customers often call before they convert and you don’t use that data, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage.
Many marketers find themselves guessing about what keywords and ads are driving conversions over the phone, and many times they’re wrong. You may have access to proxy metrics like call volume driven by ads, but that often leads you astray.
Making assumptions based on call volume results in putting money behind ads and keywords that are driving low-value calls like existing customers calling for service. On the flipside, you’re probably not putting enough money behind the ones that are driving conversions. If you’re guessing about the outcome of calls that your marketing drives, you’re wasting money on ineffective marketing and selling yourself short.
“Our biggest problem was that our phone calls were going into a data black hole. We couldn’t tie a sale back to the campaign that drove it and that made it difficult for us to optimize our media spend.” - Anand Rao, SVP of Digital Business, AutoNation
You might know that 1,000 people call your business every day and 150 of those are conversions. But you don’t know what actually made them call. It could be your paid search ads. It could also be a bad online shopping experience that’s causing people to call who would rather convert online. If you don’t know why people are calling and converting on the phone, you don’t have the data you need to optimize your campaigns or to meet your customers’ experience expectations. And if you’re not using AI to gather insights from phone calls, you have no way of doing it at scale or putting the data into action.
“Before using Invoca, we were missing attribution from an important piece of the customer journey: phone calls. This blind spot was making it hard to optimize our marketing campaigns and improve customer experiences.” - Kellyanne Perez-Vera, Marketing Activations Manager, Verizon
Some marketers rely on ad platforms like Google Ads to track conversions from calls. Google’s call conversion tracking provides some useful insights, but it’s only part of the picture. You can only track calls from ads, ad clicks that result in a website visit, and mobile click-to-call ads. Calls driven by desktop search, organic website visits, social media, email, and other channels cannot be tracked, so you may not get visibility into the revenue all of your campaigns are driving.
While Google’s stand-alone call conversion tracking can tell you if a call was placed from an ad, “conversions” are determined by call duration, which may not accurately reflect what happened on the call. You don’t really know if the money you’re spending is driving conversions or people calling for driving directions. Without the ability to send accurate call conversion data from every channel to your martech stack, you can’t properly optimize all your campaigns.
Additionally, Google has no way of analyzing the conversation that happens between the customer and the contact center agent or business location that picked up the phone. In those conversations, customers are telling you exactly what they want and how they talk about your products and services. If you don’t analyze these conversations, you’re leaving a lot of valuable first-party and zero-party data on the table.
With Invoca’s AI-powered conversation intelligence, you know exactly what works so you can improve performance and stop wasting ad spend on ineffective campaigns. Invoca Signal AI automatically detects and tracks conversion events like purchases, service activations, and appointments to enable true and transparent attribution for all your marketing efforts. Watch this video to learn how it works.
With Signal AI, you can automatically detect call outcomes, conversion events, and caller intent and get granular attribution data down to the keyword level. You can also stream call conversion data to virtually any ad platform to optimize for sales calls. For example, you can inform Google Ads Smart Bidding with call conversion actions to automatically adjust your keyword bids to drive more conversions.
Here’s an example of optimizing on call volume vs. conversions. If you saw that “Corp Bank Mortgage” was driving the most calls, that’s where you’d put your money and pull back on the others. Makes sense. But once you see the conversion data, you’ll see that “First-time mortgage” was driving way more conversions—and that you were putting your budget in the wrong place.
With Invoca, you can see exactly how a customer interacts with your campaigns and website before making a call. You’ll get data including keyword, landing page, campaign, and Google click ID to accurately optimize your campaigns to drive more high-value sales calls.
When you know exactly why people call, you can optimize your campaigns and online experiences to improve conversion rates online and on the phone. With Invoca, you can see where your customers drop out of the online purchase flow and call to get help or complete their transaction. With this data, you can identify friction points in your online experience to allow more customers to convert online, which reduces acquisition costs and allows your customers to buy the way they want to.
With machine learning-powered tools like Invoca Signal Discovery, you can also nail down customer intent at scale, even when you don’t know what to look for. Signal Discovery shows you real conversation topics with your customers in a full-color map, eliminating guesswork and assumptions about caller behavior by providing you with hard data. “Signal Discovery shines a whole new light on conversations happening in our contact center, giving us the data we need to enact changes across the organization”, said Noah Brooks, Manager of Digital Engagement and Analytics, University Hospitals.
Read University Hospitals’ full case study here.
The beauty of Signal Discovery is that it not only validates what you may think you know about caller behavior, but it also uncovers caller behaviors that you may not know exist. Watch this video to learn how it works.
With Invoca AI-powered conversation intelligence, you can get credit for every conversion that you drive, including the ones that happen on the phone. Whether the call comes from a search or display ad, social media, website, or even direct mail, you can get credit for the conversions and prove that your marketing spend is driving revenue.
By integrating Invoca with your CRM, you can also perform revenue match-back so you can report on exactly how much revenue your campaigns are generating. Which can help shield your budget — and your team — from cuts.
Get the Ultimate Guide to Reduce Wasted Marketing Spend to learn more about how you can use AI to do more with every marketing dollar you spend.