Role of Calls in Cross-Media Lead Attribution

By Bill DinanMarch 9, 2015

Marketers are increasingly tasked with generating and proving the value of leads across multiple ad platforms—whether digital, mobile or traditional—but proper attribution remains a challenge for many. Capturing offline leads driven by digital and mobile ad campaigns can be elusive as multiple consumer touchpoints often lead up to the final transaction, with different types of metrics being applied at each stage. To get a clear attribution picture for lead generation across direct response ad platforms, marketers need reliable cross media metrics. Calls can play a key cross-channel attribution role for companies looking to uncover lead sources as well as maximize purchase indicators and conversions.

Why Call Analytics?

Calls have long served as a trusted ad performance metric, as tying call tracking numbers to specific ad distribution channels, campaigns and keywords enables companies across many categories to accurately trace the source of a lead, determine whether a call happened, and learn other key information such as call durations, call times and caller demographics. With these elements in mind, marketers can learn a great deal about call-driven leads and optimally use that data to refine channel-specific ad programs for better results. For example, a tires company with multiple retail store locations may buy a variety of ads on different networks and run keyword campaigns to drive leads. By measuring call response, the business can better understand which ad programs are driving quality leads and which locations are receiving those leads. The company can then use this actionable feedback to improve various components of their ad strategy, thereby driving more quality leads to all locations.

Maximizing Call Attribution Success

Many companies successfully use call attribution to bridge the online-offline ad measurement gap as consumers frequently call a business after finding them through a tablet or smartphone search. Marketers can maximize this opportunity to gain visibility into how digital marketing truly impacts offline sales by ensuring that business contact information is clearly highlighted across digital ad programs. They should also measure beyond the first and last clicks to prove that calls actually connected and to learn more about what happened during the calls. This rich data is essential for evaluating the types of customers who are calling a business, what is prompting the calls and how the business can improve their ad placements to drive more target customers.

Test Campaigns and Close the Purchase Loop

Call analytics also offer marketers the opportunity to test the performance of campaigns by using different numbers for various distribution channels and ad creatives. Results can be used to identify high or low performing areas and can also be mapped back to CRM systems to effectively close the purchase loop.

Integrate Reporting Capabilities

Using automated marketing and paid search bid management platforms is a best practice among many companies looking to streamline and better target their ad and paid search campaigns across multiple channels. Calls can be integrated into these powerful tools to deliver proof of performance and to clearly demonstrate ROI for specific ad spend. Especially helpful for national brands with a local presence, these success metrics can also be applied to improve lead generation results for both direct and channel partner programs.

The value of a lead is top priority among marketers, but they need proper attribution to get an accurate picture of lead quality. Call analytics present a real opportunity to gain visibility into lead attribution as consumer purchase intent and conversions can be effectively tracked based on digital and in-person engagement. Marketers who integrate calls into their overall marketing programs—including proper results tracking—will be well positioned to improve overall lead quality.

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