The question is more important than ever: How can communications drive sales? New research from call analytics firm Marchex sheds light on the final call-to-action in a buyer’s journey—the one that ultimately yields the positive outcome sought, such as converting a sale. The firm’s new study helps communicators invest their marketing spend—and increase their return on investment.
Based on a survey of marketing decision makers, the report from Forrester Consulting shows that customers who call a business are actually more valuable prospects for that business than those who don’t. The report also finds that phone customers convert faster, spend more, and have a higher retention rate than customers who contact brands via other channels such as in-store or online.
“Phone calls to businesses, especially from smartphones, are expected to exceed 100 billion this year alone,” said Guy Weismantel, executive vice president of marketing at Marchex, in a news release. “This is a vibrant and growing channel, providing a huge opportunity for marketers as consumers continue to use their mobile devices in the path to purchase. Being able to track and maximize those interactions is the missing link for many marketers in their omnichannel strategy.”
Specifically, the study concluded that 60 percent of marketers said that customers who call a brand convert an average of 30 percent faster than other respondents, and they spend an average of 28 percent more and 54 percent of marketers said they churn 28 percent less than customers closed in other channels.
Not only are inbound phone calls key for driving revenue and retention, the survey found that marketers who employ ads that drive inbound phone calls report seeing higher customer engagement in their other channels—both online and offline—than brands who do not have these ads. Further, data from phone calls, including customer references to specific campaigns or keywords, can provide valuable insights into how omnichannel campaigns are working, and how they can be optimized to better drive phone calls to boost engagement and sales. This results in better visibility for communicators and enables brands to display content that aligns with the interests of customers and prospects.
“We live in a connected world. App stores have literally millions of options for our smartphones, but the one application that everyone has on their device is simple—the phone itself. That should be a powerful takeaway for marketers,” continued Weismantel. “Marketers have more channels than ever to target prospects, but the results of this survey are clear: your best customers aren’t walking into your store to buy something, and they’re not driving onto your lot to schedule an appointment—your best customers are calling.”