Lead Generation in 2023: 4 Predictions from Google

min read
Lead Generation in 2023: 4 Predictions from Google

In late 2022, Google invited us to its Think Lead Gen conference in beautiful Mountain View, California. The event was for Google Ads customers who initiate consumer interest online and finalize the purchase cycle offline, and we were honored to host a table during the trade show portion. It was a real joy to connect with some of the top minds of marketing in three dimensions, after all the Zooming we’ve been doing over the past few years! 

Some of the topics discussed at the conference included: the increasing complexity of customer journeys, how to level-up offline marketing measurement in a privacy-focused landscape, and the latest tips for improving lead quality. There was also plenty of talk about the current macroeconomic climate — with fears of a recession in 2023, marketing budgets are tightening. Many of the marketers in attendance were looking for ways to make ad dollars more accountable to business results at a time when budgets are under more scrutiny than ever.

Whether you missed the event or just want a refresher, we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, we’ll share our top takeaways from the event — and what they mean for marketers in 2023.

1. Marketers Need to Balance Lead Quantity and Lead Quality in 2023

Today’s marketers are no longer trying to drive the MOST leads — they’re optimizing their strategies to drive the BEST leads. According to a recent Google survey, 85% of marketers say they want to increase the quality of their leads. 

It makes sense — as a marketer, you’ve no doubt gotten your fair share of form fills with phony names like “Frank Enstein,” “Jay Walker,” and “Al Kaholic.” And, when you do get legitimate information in the form, the person might not even bother to pick up the phone when you call them. These kinds of leads can take effort to chase down and they don’t always pan out.

As ad bidding is increasingly powered by AI, feeding high-quality data about lead outcomes back into ad platforms (like Google Ads) is key to improving lead quality. This first-party data pass-back is now possible for leads submitted online or over the phone.

It’s often far more effective to prioritize phone leads, rather than form fills. When someone reaches out via phone, they’re highly engaged and they want to get answers to their questions as soon as possible. According to recent research, phone calls convert to revenue 10-15x more than web leads and caller retention rate is 28% higher than web lead retention rate. 

2. Customer Journeys Will Get More Complex

Gone are the days of a customer throwing on their jacket and strolling to a new business on a whim. Today’s buyers are sleuths, and many perform in-depth online research before they ever make contact with you — for example, they visit your website, read online reviews, and price shop nearby competitors to ensure they’re getting the best value. 

The amount of research consumers do varies by industry. When purchasing insurance, consumers do about 5 hours of research, while for automotive purchases, consumers do an average of 11 hours of research! See the full breakdown here:

Throughout the research process, consumers are constantly jumping between devices. For example, they may visit your website on a desktop over their morning coffee, check out your online reviews that afternoon on a tablet, call you on their smartphone to set up an appointment that evening, and finally visit your business in person the next day. According to Google, every 30 minutes consumers create a staggering 230 million unique paths to purchase!

As third-party cookies continue to degrade as a measurement tool, capturing these online and offline interactions as first-party data when possible will be critical. Marketers will also need to pass this data to their ad platforms in a secure, privacy-safe manner. 

3. Offline Conversions Will Continue to Be Make-or-Break Moments

Offline conversions are make-or-break moments for your business. In these interactions, you have an opportunity to forge a human connection with your buyers, which can lead to long-term brand loyalty. However, if you don’t deliver great experiences, you’ll have a hard time earning their business — especially since 76% of consumers will stop doing business with a brand after just one bad experience.

In Google’s presentation, they shared some of the most influential touchpoints for businesses. Many of these occur offline, including: “visiting a company in person,” “receiving a recommendation from friends or family,” and “calling the company.”

As a marketer, the challenge becomes creating the best possible experience as consumers move between touchpoints. To do so, you need to capture the right first-party data to personalize experiences and tie together the entire end-to-end buying journey.

4. Measuring Offline Conversion Touchpoints Will Be Essential

Google’s Global Head of Lead Gen Solutions said it best: “If you can do only one thing in 2023, get your measurement in place.” As customer journeys get more complex, marketers need to tie all of the touchpoints together. Otherwise, they’ll have a hard time attributing each conversion to the marketing effort that drove it. 

Roughly half of Google’s advertisers have some type of lead gen objective, and they expect that number to grow as the customer journey continues to evolve. Marketers tracking offline conversions have a leg up on the competition, since they can make smarter optimization decisions to decrease their cost per acquisition.

Invoca’s Google Integration Gives Marketers Granular Attribution for Phone Call Conversions

As customer journeys get more complex, leading marketers are turning on Invoca. Our solution gives marketers granular attribution for the phone call conversions their traditional ads, digital marketing campaigns, paid search keywords, and webpages drive. This not only gives you the data you need to prove your impact on revenue generation, but it also allows you to make smarter marketing optimizations to reduce your cost per acquisition and increase ROAS. 

Invoca also allows marketers to build better audiences for ad targeting. The solution captures deep insights from phone conversations, such as the caller’s product or service interests, urgency, price sensitivity, and any barriers to purchase they’re facing. You can use these insights to retarget callers with ads that are relevant to their interests. This can, in turn, further decrease your CPA. In addition, you can use Invoca to detect which callers have already bought from you over the phone and suppress them from seeing future ads, reducing wasted ad spend.

Invoca seamlessly integrates with Google Ads, allowing you to feed your call tracking data directly into the platform. You can use phone call conversion data to inform Google’s Smart Bidding algorithm and automatically optimize your bidding strategy to improve cost per acquisition. 

You can also integrate Invoca with Google Analytics to track the phone call conversions your website pages are driving. This allows you to optimize your site to drive more high quality phone calls — and prove the results to your leadership team.

Additional Reading

Want to learn more about how marketers use Invoca and Google Ads to drive more conversions at a lower cost? Check out these resources:

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