Last month, I had the honor of speaking at Invoca’s event at the Emily Hotel in Chicago. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m the Head of Paid Media at Rentokil Terminix. I shared the stage with Derek Tucker, our Measurement Lead at Google. Together, we had an illuminating conversation about how to improve lead quality with fewer leads. We were joined by a passionate audience of enterprise marketers who were eager to voice their thoughts and opinions.
Our session spanned a wide range of topics including: marketing attribution, artificial intelligence, and the omnichannel customer journey. After the talk, it was a pleasure to mingle with the audience and continue the conversation over an open bar and hors d'oeuvres.
If you missed the event, don’t worry — I’ve compiled my top 5 takeaways for you in this post.
This was the main thesis of our talk: revenue is a better metric for marketers to track than lead volume. It seems like common sense, right? Your marketing efforts are being judged based on how much revenue you ultimately generate for your organization. So, why are so many companies focusing on lead volume? Measuring the revenue your campaigns drive is far easier said than done, especially when you have consumers converting both online and over the phone. It can be easier to use lead volume as a proxy for revenue, rather than creating a complex, full-funnel attribution model.
The main issue with tracking lead volume, of course, is that not all of the leads you generate will convert. In fact, some may not be qualified to make a purchase. In addition, you have no way of differentiating leads who want to buy low-end products or services, versus leads who want to buy your most expensive, highest-margin offerings. Therefore, it isn’t particularly helpful to treat every lead as if it’s equally valuable — it’s far more effective to focus on lead quality.
With technologies like Google Ads and Invoca, marketing teams can solve this all-too-common problem and tie revenue back to their campaigns — even when customers convert over the phone. More on this in the next section.
Today’s buying journey isn’t linear — consumers engage with businesses via several different touchpoints before they convert. In the pest control industry, for example, our customers will often do online research as the first phase of their journey — this often includes a Google search. However, once they’ve decided on a provider, they don’t always continue their journey online. Infestations are an urgent issue that require immediate attention, and consumers prefer to call a pest control company right away, rather than fill out a form and wait for a response.
As I touched on above, modern omnichannel journeys can make attribution difficult. Many marketers just track revenue from online conversions, and as a result they don’t know the revenue they’re generating over the phone. This can lead them to miscalculate their ROI when they invest in Google Ads and other marketing channels. Invoca solves this problem by tracking call conversions and tying them back to the online interactions that drove them. This allows teams to get credit for all the leads they’re driving and make smarter optimization decisions.
Connecting Google Ads to Invoca has been a game changer for us at Rentokil. We buy media across five master brands and 60 local ancillary brands, and we now have visibility into the complete path to purchase. We now know exactly how much revenue each campaign brings in, both online and over the phone — and can bid accordingly. Integrating Invoca with Google helped us drive a 33% increase in revenue from nonbranded search terms.
There is often friction between corporate marketers and franchise locations. Corporate marketers may say that franchises aren’t converting the hot leads they send them, whereas franchises may retort that those leads weren’t so hot to begin with. Without data transparency, there can be a lot of finger-pointing, especially when franchises are contributing their hard-earned funds to the corporate marketing budget.
What’s the solution to this age-old problem? Data transparency. When you integrate Invoca with Google, you improve data transparency by connecting the full online-to-offline journey. Invoca also helps us identify inefficiencies in our funnel — for example, we have someone on our team who listens to Invoca’s call recordings to make sure leads are being handled correctly at each location. If they notice something is amiss, they can notify the location so they can address the problem and increase conversion rates.
This level of data transparency has allowed us to work more collaboratively to fix issues harming revenue generation.
Buzz for artificial intelligence is everywhere — you can’t scroll through your newsfeed without seeing at least one mention of how it’s transforming industries. Sometimes, it can be hard to separate the hype from reality. But one of the most concrete ways AI is changing the game for marketers is by automating ad bidding.
With Google Ads Smart Bidding, you can use AI to scale your efforts. Its algorithms can identify patterns far faster and more effectively than humans, and can make smarter bids to maximize your ROAS. To enhance your Smart Bidding strategy, you can also add first-party data into the equation. When you integrate Invoca with Google Ads, you can use call tracking data to inform the Smart Bidding algorithm — this allows it to drive more high-quality phone calls for you at a lower cost. Since phone calls usually convert at a higher rate than form fills, this can be a really impactful strategy to increase lead quality — and it requires no additional lift from your team.
Pro tip: make sure you use the right bidding model for your business. Google says companies that switch from its target CPA bidding to its value-based bidding can anticipate at least a 17% increase in revenue.
Our Invoca and Google Ads integration wasn’t something that came together overnight. During my session, Derek and I shared some of the steps we took to get it in place. The first step was creating a culture shift at Rentokil — we had to orient ourselves toward new goals and metrics. Rather than focusing on lead volume, we had to shift our mindset to improving lead quality. This would incentivize us to optimize for phone calls, which are often our best leads.
Once we’d cultivated the right culture, we began the implementation process. We collaborated with the Google team, our agency, the Invoca team, and members from across our marketing and technology teams to get the solution in place. It was a big undertaking since we had so many different brands under our umbrella and such a complex technology stack. After getting critical executive sponsorship from the Chief Customer Officer, we designated a project manager, used a project tracker, created a recurring “welcome to the week” email listing objectives, and held weekly status meetings. The Google and Invoca teams were great partners, and they helped guide us through any roadblocks that came up.
One of the most important lessons we learned was to set benchmarks. Without proper baseline metrics in place to measure our efforts, it would have been difficult to prove the effectiveness of the project to leadership. Derek and his team worked with us to create effective criteria to prove the additional revenue we were generating with Invoca, and it was instrumental in helping us get buy-in from across our organization.
Through our open dialogue and shared best practices, the session was a great way to interact with industry peers who are faced with similar challenges. And with partners like Google and Invoca, I feel confident they can help make smarter marketing decisions that drive measurable impacts for any organization.
Want to learn more about how Rentokil Terminix uses Invoca to drive higher-quality leads and prove it to their franchise locations? Check out their full case study here.