How to Stretch Your Search Marketing Budget with Conversation Intelligence

min read
How to Stretch Your Search Marketing Budget with Conversation Intelligence

If you haven’t been asked to “do more with less” when it comes to your paid search budget, you know that request is coming soon. Like every other marketer, you’re looking for ways to get more revenue out of every dollar you spend, reduce wasted ad spend, and prove the value of the work you and your marketing team do. To pull this off, you need to use all of the data at your disposal to make the best decisions possible, and that includes being able to track leads, conversions, and revenue that result from sales your marketing efforts drive over the phone. 

To make sure you’re not selling yourself and your team short, here’s how you can use call tracking and conversation intelligence to get credit for every conversion you drive and make optimization decisions that can help you preserve the budget you have over the next year. Keep on reading or watch the webinar below to learn how to do it. 

Budgets Will Get Cut, But Your Expectations Won’t Dip

There are probably already hatchets swinging around your search marketing budget and most marketers expect flat or lower budgets in 2023. The seemingly insatiable consumer demand of the last two years is slowing down, so you’ll have to work harder to attract and retain customers in 2023 — with the same or less budget you have now. 

*Integrate Marketing Budget Report, 2022

Funny enough, nobody has said, “Hey buddy, we know you have less money, so how about you ratchet down those goals for next quarter?” It’s not gonna happen, not even in your dreams. Half of marketers in this survey said that they are expected to achieve more in 2023, despite definitely not getting any more money in the ad budget coffers. 

*Integrate Marketing Budget Report, 2022

Of course, we haven’t nosedived into a recession yet, and consumer demand is still there. In our 2022 Invoca Buyer Experience Report, 38% of survey respondents reported making a high-stakes purchase in 2022, compared to 35% in 2021.

This means that there is still an opportunity for you to put the accelerator down on customer acquisition and prove your team has what it takes to get the company through tough times. To do that, though, you’ll have to step up your optimization strategy.

Guessing About Phone Call Conversions Puts Your Budget at Risk

For many of you, that means utilizing data from customer conversations. In high-stakes purchase industries like automotive, home services, healthcare, and financial services, calls are a huge part of the omnichannel experience — and potentially a big chunk of the data that you’re missing. 

In the Invoca Buyer Experience Report, we found that almost 70% of consumers will call before making a purchase. It’s the first human touch that customers get with your brand, and it could well be the only human interaction that they have when making a purchase — and it’s the only time that your customers are literally telling you what they want.

However, if you can’t track what drove them to call and the resulting conversions, you can’t get full credit for your work, defend your budget, or your job. If you’re making assumptions about phone conversions—which many marketers do—it makes all your reporting and optimization decisions wrong and wastes budget that you can’t afford to throw away.

What Data Can Marketers Get Using Conversation Intelligence?

You’re a data-driven marketer and you know guessing about anything, including calls, is bad. But what data can marketers get from calls by using a conversation intelligence platform like Invoca? Play the video below to see what data Invoca gathers during a typical buying journey. 

This illustrates the data that you can get from Invoca conversation intelligence during a typical consumer internet service buying journey. On the left of the animation above you see the consumer move through the path to purchase. On the right, you’ll see all the data Invoca is collecting. 

The buyer journey begins the way most do: with a Google search. The consumer enters their search terms for “high-speed internet”, and the results return an ad for iTelecom. The consumer clicks on the ad and lands on iTelecom’s site. From there they validate that service is available in their area and put a bundle in the cart — but something gives them pause and they drop out of the online purchase flow and call instead. 

If you weren’t using Invoca, you would just see this as a cart abandonment. But with Invoca, you can see that they actually continued to make a purchase on the phone. Using this data, you can automate things like campaign optimization, keyword bidding, analytics reporting, call routing, and more. You could also use it to figure out why customers are dropping out of the online purchase flow and optimize that experience to get more customers to convert online. 

The best part is, you get full attribution for the campaign that drove them to make a purchase.

How You Can Make Better Marketing Optimization Decisions and Reduce Spend with 1st-Party Call Data

With all of this new data in hand from customer phone calls, you can make the best marketing optimization decisions possible. You can get full credit for your work, report every conversion that you drive, and prove all of the revenue that you drive with hard data — before the budget cuts come. Here’s how it works.

Accurately measure and reduce your CPA

In high-stakes, considered purchase industries, 50% or more of your conversions might be happening on the phone. With Invoca, you can track and account for every conversion that your marketing team drives. With this data, you can accurately calculate and report your CPA. We’ve found that most marketers who aren’t using call tracking overestimate their CPA by 40% on average, and you cannot afford to do that in this economic environment. Here’s how that looks. 

This is simplified a bit, but you got your online conversions, divide that by your ad spend, and you have your CPA. Wipe your hands on your pants and call it a day, right?

But once you are able to add your call conversions in there, you’ll see that you were seriously overestimating your CPA because you were missing out on half of your conversions. 

Make smarter, automated keyword bidding decisions

One of the best examples of using conversation intelligence for marketing optimization is keyword bidding optimization. Invoca connects all of the conversions your marketing drives to the online customer journey that drove them, right down to the keyword level. This means that you know what keywords are driving the most conversions. 

Better yet, you can automatically stream this conversion data to Google Ads Smart Bidding as offline conversions to optimize your keyword bidding in real time. Our customers often see nearly unbelievable results just from this one tactic. Rogers Communications dropped their Google Ads CPA by 82% and doubled their volume of qualified leads by using Invoca data to optimize ads. 

Check out our Google Ads Success Stories here to learn more about how Invoca customers reduce their CPA and increase revenue by integrating phone conversion data with Google Ads. 

Increase online conversion rates with call data

One assumption that marketers often make about call tracking is that it’s only used to optimize marketing to drive more conversions over the phone. While that’s nice, converting customers on the phone is more expensive than converting them online. With Invoca, you can see exactly where customers are dropping out of the online shopping experience and calling. 

With this data in hand, you can pinpoint problems in the digital experience and make precise changes that will drive more customers to buy online if that’s what they want to do. 

By integrating Invoca data with digital experience platforms like Adobe Experience Cloud, Fullstory, Auryc, Decibel, and others, you can dig even deeper to see exactly what customers are up to on the website before they call, identify digital leakage points, and quickly diagnose and fix problems that are preventing people from converting online. 

This will increase your online conversion rates, enable you to provide great experiences that attract and retain more customers, and keep calls for low-value routine purchases out of the contact center to further reduce your acquisition costs. 

Automate suppression and retargeting to reduce wasted ad spend

Using call tracking data to improve marketing efficiency doesn't end at optimization for the first purchase. You can orchestrate the ongoing customer journey with conversation data, too. You know when, what, and why your customers bought, so you can get them in the right nurture to upgrade them or make sure they renew or return. You can also retarget folks with high intent to buy who didn’t convert to keep your brand top of mind. 

Better yet, you can use conversion data from conversations to suppress ads to people who already made a purchase, so you’re not wasting ad spend annoying customers with ads for things they already bought. 

What it comes down to is this conversation data allows you to get attribution for revenue from call conversion you drive so you can spend smarter — on driving customer acquisition.

Increase conversion rates with improved call experiences

Most marketers don’t think about how the call experience can impact their conversion rates, and rightfully so. The contact center is siloed far and away from marketing, and you don’t usually have much control over what happens once a customer decides to pick up the phone. 

With Invoca, you can collaborate better with the contact center or business locations through shared data to make sure callers have a better experience. The calls from your ads and web pages can be routed to the contact center or individual business locations based on digital intent signals. By determining things like product interest, where the customer was on the website, promos they clicked on, what they have in their cart, and more, you can make sure calls are getting routed to the right place the first time. 

By reducing transfers and hold times, your customers are going to be more likely to convert and less likely to hang up before they can complete a purchase. This means a better conversion rate for you and happier, more loyal customers. It’s a win-win. 

Schedule a personalized consultation to learn more about how Invoca can help you drive bigger results without a bigger ad budget.

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about how Invoca conversation intelligence can help you drive more revenue? Check out these resources:

Download our Ultimate Guide to Reducing Wasted Marketing Spend to learn how you can lower your CPA while improving marketing campaign performance.

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