How Google could one day control every machine we use in our lives

Google car - will it change the world? Driverless cars have always captured the public’s imagination. Hollywood, in particular, has given us some memorable self-driving cars such as David Hasselhoff’s crime fighting vehicle KITT in the 80’s Knight Rider TV series and the lovable Herbie in Disney’s The Love Bug to name a few. However, if Google has its way, driverless cars may evolve from a cool concept used in Hollywood movies to our actual driveways in reality.

At the inaugural Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Google unveiled the latest version of its driverless cars. The two seater vehicle would have no steering wheel or other driver controls. Instead, using an array of sensors and advanced tracking software, it will be able to determine its surroundings, its locations and “see” several hundred metres.

Google’s commitment to developing driverless cars shows us just how the Internet Of Things looks set to transform the way we travel. Where we were once reliant on directions and maps, SatNav has already made our journeys so much easier using mapping data to guide us on our way. What’s to come is the advent of smart cars – a movement that will see data actually driving us in the most literal sense. But very few of the Fortune 500 brands have the guts to tell their shareholders that they will spend Billions of dollars on investing in self driving cars, as the payback time is a total guess work. But happily enough we have Fortune 500 brands like Google, arguably the biggest handler of data that invests for the future, not next quarterly report.

The Internet Of Things is essentially about everyday objects connected by a network which enables them to send and receive data. In Google’s case, by combining their road-filled logic maps that know when you’re approaching traffic lights and stops, together with data collected on every drive from laser sensors and on the top of the car that detect pedestrians, animals and unexpected objects its driverless cars the driving accuracy the benefits that their Google Car will offer are really quite impressive.

Imagine a world where you all you need to worry about is where you need to get to and your car does the rest. You won’t need to see where you’re going, worry about getting caught up the traffic ahead, panic if you have a lapse in concentration and someone steps out in front of you, or even struggle to find a parking space. Why? Because your car will be smart enough to do all that for you.

Already, Google is using its Social GPS Maps & Traffic app, Waze, to gather data from drivers to contribute real-time traffic updates to users, direct them to petrol stations with the lowest fuel prices for instance and benefit from live insights on the road. Using this technology, driverless cars would get passengers to their desired destination in the most time efficient way. And the more self driving cars we have on the roads, the less irrational traffic jams we will see, as the most common traffic jam is caused by something referred to as “stop waves”. If someone irrationally breaks on the highway, the car behind have to panic break, and the next, and so on until you quickly create a long unexpected traffic jam. Wouldn’t it be great to avoid these traffic jams on the bank holidays and spend some more time on our destinations instead?

What fascinates me the most about the possibilities of the Google Car is that the whole application of using fast data to be smarter with the way we work and live day to day. Acting fast, learning all the time and giving people a better user experience, just as we use data in business to make smarter decisions for ourselves and our customers. I’m really excited about the possibilities and the ways in which companies like Google are using data to give back to society.

2014-07-21 at 12:30
Categories: Customer journey, Digital Marketing, Freespee

Don’t just count your inbound calls – Qualify them!

When starting to work with inbound call tracking and analytics for your online advertising for the first time, it’s easy to only mind the amount of inbound calls and the source/medium that’s linked to them. This is most probably the main reason why most of us do call tracking as we know it adds new data that we can just plug in to our RTB-platforms and/or Analytics tools, and better optimise our online advertising campaigns.

But the question is – are all inbound calls worth the same regardless of the duration of the calls? If the same person calls you twice in the same day, would you really like to evaluate both of these callsthe same way? We bet you won’t…

Adding call tracking and analytics to your online advertising isn’t just about adding a tool for measuring the performance of different online advertising channels where you spend your time, money and efforts. It’s also about adding depth to these calls, a new dimension where call duration is the new currency and finally qualify them!

For instance, we know for a fact that almost no business can be made if the call duration of a call is below 10 seconds. But a call that lasts longer than 1 minute does most definitely have a certain value and if it would have been 5 minutes, the value would probably be higher. We know also that if the same person calls you twice the same day, it’s probably because he or she has some more questions to ask before making a final buying decision.

Is there a best practice for qualification of inbound calls?

We believe that every business is unique and depending on which industry you’re in and what your business model looks like, the qualification of your inbound calls will certainly differ from business to business. However, there are a few basic best practices that you can always apply.

Here’s a short list with the basic ‘must-haves’ when creating a model for qualification of your inbound calls:

1. Define minimum call duration

What is the minimum call duration for a call to add any value to your business and be counted as a qualified call? For instance, try to define the minimum time it would take to schedule a meeting, close a sale or respond to an on-demand request and then define the call’s value in terms of estimated revenue (€/£).

2. Have 2-3 qualification levels

At Freespee, we don’t believe that giving all qualified calls the same value is the best way to go. Longer calls tend to have greater value than short calls as the the more time you spend speaking to the customerallows you to make a better business proposition.. This will naturally differ from one business to another, but it is the case more often than not.. Try to define 2-3 qualification levels including the one for minimum call duration, one mid-level and then one for high quality calls. Remember to assign a value (€/£) to these levels as well to put a face on the numbers!

3. Always mind the length of your sales cycle

As mentioned earlier in this post, you don’t want to count two calls from the same person in a single day as two qualified calls. A person calling several times is probably looking for additional answers to their questions and is therefore already in your sales cycle. Define how long your sales cycle is, apply it for your call tracking and analytics and you will see the exact number of qualified calls you REALLY have each month and how you have spent your online advertising budget.

How do I apply this using Freespee?

Freespee provides a feature called ‘Pricing model’ which is customisable and in which you can specify the conditions you want to set for your inbound call qualifications.
A pricing model is something you add to a campaign and it applies to all of the numbers in it.

Default ROI Models for Freespee

Freespee allows you to set specific conditions to a pricing model that you create. The preset conditions are: weekdays when the conditions should apply,, qualification levels based on call duration, value (€/£) per qualification level and finally condition for when a caller is counted as unique, depending on the length of your sales cycle.

If there are any other conditions you have in mind or think would be of value to your business, please let us know. We are always looking for ways to to makeFreespee better!

Happy Freespeeing!

2014-07-15 at 10:00
Categories: Digital Marketing, Freespee

Carl speaking at Fjord Kitchen’s Living Service event

Carl talks at the Fjord Kitchen eventThe sun is shining brightly at the Freespee corner and we’re enjoying a great summer. As you know, there has been a lot going on both in terms of product and company updates in the past few weeks and, honestly, we enjoy that so much!
We’re delighted to let you know that last night our CEO Carl had the privilege of speaking at the Fjord Kitchen event, themed Living Services. Speakers included Will Sansom of Contagious and Dan Hill of Future Cities Catapult.

Carl spoke about the topic of inattentional data blindness, and how inaccurate data can lead to fundamentally flawed services, design and business decisions. He referred to Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman’s theory of system one and system two thinking, and how it creates a habit of making business decisions on bad data. That’s of course our mission here at Freespee – to capture and provide data on interactions that other marketing automation tools cannot see.

As you can imagine, the event also had amazing food – like all Fjord Kitchen’s global events do. You can see tweets from the crowd online here.

2014-07-10 at 11:49
Categories: Big data, Events, Freespee, Freespeeans

What can the travel industry learn from World Cup customer data?

The smart travel brands and businesses during the World Cup will be those that choose to collect data on their journeys their customers take to come to them and make bookings, and turn it into insights that will ultimately help them to make better marketing decisions going forward.

Whether it’s hotel bookings or flights the travel industry is booming at the moment with the World Cup. Smart brands and businesses will be using this time as a huge opportunity to learn about their customers. By following their customers’ journeys across different media, not only will businesses be able to target their advertising more effectively going forward but also improve their customer experience by making sure they receive the right information at the right touch points along the way. What can the travel industry learn from World Cup customer data?

Customer behaviour: Planners vs. Doers

There will be a large number of people who will have made their travel plans a long time before the tournament began, having carefully researched via Google, stumbling upon various brand websites and booking sites before making their reservations online or over the phone with an agent.

By comparison there are lots of people, even now, who are planning spontaneous trips, as a result of their countries success as we move into the final stages of the World Cup, looking for flights and places to stay at very short notice.

The interesting thing we find at Freespee, is that depending on the time a customer has available their customer journey will really differ from person to person. Those who have more time on their hands may spend days or even weeks researching and monitoring prices to find the best deals and may exchange emails to ask questions with agents to learn more about the location in which they might staying and the hotel amenities for instance.

By comparison, those booking at the last minute have no time to waste and the fastest way to make arrangements is often by picking up the phone and getting the agent to do the work for you, cutting out the time wasted on waiting for replies and browsing around frantically to see what might be free.

Business Insights: Data and Strategy

What’s important to recognise and understand here is that just knowing which bookings were made online or over the phone is not enough any more.  The questions brands and business should be asking themselves are:


‘How did they find us?’

‘What were they looking for?’

‘Was it a good user experience for them?’

‘How many times did they interact with us before deciding to book or not?’


Brands and businesses need to put measures in place to monitor the customer journey from first discovery, right through to the way the choice is made to book, and then join up the dots between the data collected via the web and the phone by analysing the insights. Those insights can then be used to inform the future marketing strategy, the staffing needed at the contact centre, even things as simple as adding a phone number to your ad online to give your customers the information they need to pick up the phone and talk to you directly rather than having to trawl through your website to find the right number to reach you on.

The World Cup: A key time to travel and learn

While there is always seasonality in travel, there are only ever a few occasions each year that capture the attention of people globally to come to one single destination: the World Cup and the Olympics to name a few.

Gathering insights from different nations around their purchasing behaviour, their intentions to buy and their preferred ways of communicating along the customer journey will make brands and businesses much smarter in both the short and long term.

A huge advantage that hotels and airlines will gain from doing this is the ability to compete with third party booking agents and concentrating on building stronger and more long-term relationships with their customers. The smarter and more in tune with a customer staff appear, the more trust the customer will have in the business and the more likely they would be to recommend it their friends and family or use them again themselves.

Getting smarter, faster: How to kick things off

The task of gathering data on this scale may sound daunting at first but with the right tools in place it’s actually a really easy to activate and the bigger and better the data you have the more accurate your insights will be. At Freespee, we have a wealth of experience and expertise in this field and we’ve learnt that with the right data, advertising is just math.


Advertising and the customer journey: Three important considerations

Advertising and the customer journey: Three important considerationsOur customers are getting smarter by the day but it has become increasingly difficult for marketers in recent years to keep up with their needs. However, all is not lost. Using the right approach to reach potential customers with your marketing and advertising, as well as thinking about the journey they take both on and offline before they decide to buy, will serve you very well.

In my latest article on I share the three things I think businesses should consider when planning their online marketing and advertising strategy that will make the customer experience more efficient for both the marketer and the customer.

Our experience working for hundreds of clients in various verticals has helped us draw some conclusions based on the  data we have gathered. These conclusions helped us make recommendations to each business, which were essential to their growth.

You can read more about the three considerations I recommend for businesses here

2014-07-08 at 13:35
Categories: Freespee

Latest from the Freespee kitchen

Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been on full throttle: from performance improvements, to adding new features, extending the Freespee team and integrating with more and more partners to provide marketers with the tool they need to get the best out of their online marketing campaigns.
Over the last couple of months, we participated in a couple of great events – we celebrated the first London Tech Week by holding our first #Freespeechat on Twitter, where we discussed path-to-purchase, big data and customer journey with customers, partners and friends. We also got down to Uppsala to take part of the Founders Panelfor Uppstart, where we joined Tictail and Vint to discuss growing a successful business from the ground up. It was great fun!

Guest posts by our brilliant customers

We can’t keep to ourselves how happy we are we got two of our brilliant customers guest blog for us: Eoghan Henn from RankingCHECK did a 180degree overview ofUniversal Analytics in B2B Online Marketing and our friend Bob Moree from Propeller Internet Marketing looked into Mastering path-to-purchase. Both of these reads are super exciting, so if you haven’t read them still, do it now and let us know your thoughts!
New customers 

We’re also really proud to welcome amazing new clients to our portfolio of happy customers. We’re excited to announce that Dustin, Rentify, Teletext Holidays and Superdrug Travel Clinics have become members of the Freespee family. 

Dustin  is the leading Nordic e-commerce store for IT and electronics, serving both the private and public sector.

is UK’s best online lettings service, a property management platform that provides landlords with tools to manage their properties on their own so that they can bypass traditional letting agents.

Teletext Holidays
 is one of the UK’s largest travel agents, offering great value holidays in various destinations.

Superdrug Travel Clinics
 offers holiday protection by convenient and affordable supply of antibiotics, vaccinations and free-to-book travel health appointments for customers’ travel. 

We’d love to get your feedback on all of these exciting things that happened in our kitchen over the last few months and we’re looking forward to Freespee-ing with you!

2014-07-07 at 13:00
Categories: Customers, Events, Freespee, Freespeeans, Jobs/Team

Why businesses need to re-evaluate consumers’ online path to purchase

We all want to know the secret to running a successful business but not everyone understands that in any marketing activity, human interaction plays a critical role in consumer behaviour. Path to purchase with Freespee

Designing your online and offline communications to allow for opportunities to speak with your customers and learn more about their path-to-purchase will give your incredible insight into how you can improve their user experience and ultimately, increase sales.

Discover more about the best-kept secret in online marketing in the latest article from Carl, our Founder and CEO for

Freespee Tips and Tricks: How can I customise Freespee number formatting on my website?

Number formatting on websites can be displayed in lots of different ways depending on mulitple factors. As each unique Freespee script recognises which country the account is registered in, it’s by default replacing the numbers on your website displaying only area code + subscriber number. This is based on the most common way companies usually display their phone numbers! There might be cases where you might want to display the country code as well.

Here’s how to do it:

Freespee Number formatting - 1

To be able to add country code to the replacing Freespee numbers you’ll have to add a few lines of code to your script, including the e.164 recommendation. The e.164 recommendation defines the general number plan for international numbers (country codes) in almost all countries in the world. Here’s how the script would look like:

Freespee Number Formatting - 2

If you want even further customisation to your number formatting, you’ll have to elaborate with the following parameters and them to your Freespee script:

Freespee Number Formatting - 3

To understand the different parameters so that you understand what happens when you change them, here’s a quick explanation:
Freespee Number Formatting 5

A Freespee script including the parameters above would look like the one presented below and also provide a Freespee number with the following formatting:
Freespee Number Update 4

Hope this clarifies how you can customise the Freespee number formatting for your website and if you’d like to dig deeper into more customisation options, feel free to visit our developers section

Freespee Product Update: AppNexus, Bing Ads and Facebook Ads plugins

It’s the week of engineering excellence here at Freespee.  On Wednesday, we introduced the new Inbox – the powerful new feature at the Freespee Dashboard which helps marketers get the full picture of their customers’ user journey. We are very excited about it and can’t wait to get your feedback!

Over the last couple of weeks our engineers have worked on expanding our portfolio of plugins. Today I’d like to inform you of the latest additions to our ever expanding plugin section:


The AppNexus technology powers trading solutions and marketplaces for Internet advertising. It’s used by many advertising and media companies to deliver their ads. The 100% automated data feed from Freespee makes your inbound phone calls part of the bidding optimisation.

Bing Ads

Bing Ads is available in many markets around the globe and advertisers can take advantage of their tools, resources and ad solutions to help grow their business. With the Freespee plugin feed you can extend your campaign optimisation to also include call conversions.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads enables you to advertise on one of the worlds largest social network. Freespee’s data enables you to get the full picture by taking your call conversions into account when optimising your campaigns.

Freespee is now integrated with AppNexus

Freespee is now integrated with Bing Ads

Freespee is now integrated with Facebook Ads

With the addition of these plugins, Freespee customers can now feed data into more of their favourite tools.

Turning these plugins on is super easy – read the activation instructions when logged in the Freespee platform and get in touch with our support team if you need any asistance and they will get you started immediately!

2014-06-20 at 15:48
Categories: B2B Online Marketing, Big data, Digital Marketing, Freespee, Plugins
Comments Off

Freespee product update: Discover the full user journey in your new Inbox

In the world of marketing optimisation, our goal to make it easier for people to talk to brands has made us work really hard and make loads of improvements to the Freespee platform. We’ve polished the UX and added powerful new features. Many of the customer’s user journeys involve a second media channel (e.g. Google Adwords traffic, Direct traffic, Referral traffic), and sometimes even more than two channels. In a world of endless possibilities to advertise to your customers, it’s now become fundamental for marketers to be aware of the full customer path-to-purchase.

Today we are making a breakthrough step into the understanding of the complex customer journey by transforming the way incoming call leads are presented in the Freespee Dashboard. With this, we put powerful information into marketers’ hands that they never had access to before.

Welcome to your Inbox

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 15.47.32

The new Inbox tab is a marketer’s most powerful weapon – you won’t need a crystal ball anymore to guess where on the web your users came from, and what journey they took before they eventually picked up the phone to close the deal.

With our engineers’ excellence, we were able to build the new Inbox tab around the customer journey in all its complexity. Navigating through the Inbox tab, you get detailed information about the events corresponding to users phone calls that have originated from paid traffic if you have the corresponding plugin turned on in the Freespee platform (for example the Google Analytics plugin for Google AdWords traffic). For example, a customer might have found you through your ad on Google AdWords, clicked on the ad, looked through the offering and abandoned the process. However, the same customer would, a few hours later, come back to the website, this time directly. After browsing around, they would pick up the phone and make a call to your business.

With the new Inbox, you are able to follow the customer journey in its entirety, and attribute conversions to the correct media channels, and – most importantly – know what it takes for your customers to call you.

Here’s an example of a user journey in the Inbox tab at the Freespee Dashboard:

Freespee Inbox: User journey 1 Freespee Inbox: User journey 1

We can’t wait to hear your feedback on this great new development – so go on, try it and let us know your thoughts!

« Older posts