Yesterday, Google announced the launch of its latest AdWords tool, Website Call Conversion. This latest addition joins a number of new products that allows advertisers to link ads and phone calls that has launched over the last year including click-to-call ads, call metrics, and calls as conversion. The way Website Call Conversion works is that every time a user clicks on the ads and is directed to a merchant’s website, they will see a dynamically generated phone number that is linked to those ads. When potential customers click on or call the number, the call itself will be automatically linked to the ad the customer had seen. This allows brands to more easily track which ads has led to phone calls. The important thing to remember here is that Google AdWords only measures approximately 25% of traffic on most brand websites. The remainder of the traffic comes from other channels which is why tracking phone calls to individual ads and users are of utmost importance in order to generate high data accuracy. By providing our clients with Freespee software we are able to allow them to track conversions based on the whole customer journey, not just those that are the result of Google AdWords. Nonetheless, this marks an exciting time for us, as it shows that people are becoming increasingly aware of the need to connect their data in order to see the bigger picture.
At the peak of summer, our Co-founder and CEO Carl got invited to take part of a very cool event. In a totally disruptive manner, Fjord’s Kitchen, an event by Accenture‘s design and innovation consultancy Fjord, gathered food lovers (especially those keen on tasting something a little more eccentric), tech enthusiasts, data geeks and visionaries.
The theme of the event was Living Services – the way digital impacts our everyday routines, connecting every service we use so we connect with and make sense of the world around us. During the three-course dinner, speakers and audience engaged in dynamic conversation around context, inattentional blindness in data and the future of cities.
The unusual atmosphere (and food!) make Fjord’s Kitchen one of those gatherings one would love to attend over and over again, and we’re thrilled Carl was invited.
We know you’re curious to see the video, so here it is.
P.S. Have you read our article about Inattentional blindness? I think you will find it very interesting, take a look !
In order to understand the motivators behind making a purchase online and the hurdles customers might be faced with, data capture of calls made to call centres and visits to the merchant’s website need to be addressed and aligned with data before conclusions are drawn as to the effectiveness of a marketing campaign and the reality of the customer journey.
Learn more about the blind spots in the online path to purchase in Carl’s latest article in Digital Marketing Magazine here.
As you may know if you’ve read our product updates over the past few months, we’ve focused on making Freespee your favourite solution by integrating with all of your favourite marketing tools. This week, we’re making another addition to our expanding portfolio by adding the Adobe SiteCatalyst plugin.
The Adobe SiteCatalyst plugin enables the Freespee platform to report data into SiteCatalyst. Freespee’s data can be handled just like any other eCommerce variables and events that you currently track on your web site.
Interested in more of our plugins? Do you use DoubleClick, AppNexus or Facebook? On Freespee.com we have now added an extensive section that includes all of your favourite media tools in one place (And, we’re expanding this section every day!) Make sure you browse around the Plugin Gallery to discover further possibilities in making the most out of your online marketing strategy.
One more thing – you should also check the new Features page on our website.
It’s very sexy!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.