At first, there was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. And it was not good. In 2017, it was barely a phone. Virtually zero coverage, a price that translates to nearly $ 10,000 dollars today, and completely devoid of applications. It also had a 10 hour charge time which resulted in about half an hour of use. Really a pinnacle of technology.
Public criers to SMS
While the big breakthrough of 1983 was away from the iPhone X, it was a harbinger of things to come – a personal telecommunication device that could be transported to the outside from the cable house. It took another 10 years to make cell phones that you could comfortably – well, a little comfortably – carry in your hand. And it would take a few more years before the advent of the flip phone. In the end, nearly 25 years have passed since the appearance of Motorola's original mobile phone before the advent of smartphones, and mobile marketing, as we know it now, has truly begun.
Certainly, forms of "mobile" marketing existed before the sale of the iPhone in 2007. Centuries ago, young boys called public criers – the millennials of the Middle Ages – shouted news running in the streets of Europe. In the 1800s, door-to-door peddlers were a mobile sales force with which to count. But, of course, these were not phones. And it was not until the early 2000s that SMS (short message service, aka SMS) – as well as access to the Web via mobile browsers – took off. With these factors now at stake, connecting with consumers via handheld devices has begun to really impose itself as a viable mass marketing tool.
Bracing for entering
But we are not talking just about phone technology today, nor mobility, anywhere. The idea of using phones – smart or not – as a way to reach prospects and customers has existed since the early 1900s. It was not until the 1970s before the centers of Calls and what was quickly dubbed "telemarketing" emerged. The industry exploded as technology made it less expensive to create outbound call centers; in 2000, the top 10 telemarketing agencies were making one million or more calls per hour. It is also at the turn of the millennium that all businesses essentially have toll-free numbers and have been gearing up for inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing, in simpler terms, is pending for consumers to call – or text, or visit, or click for – your business. But pending does not do it justice – the incoming is not passive. This is active pending ; or, more accurately, encouraging consumers to contact you. And it is important to note that incoming traffic is not a battle for the attention of prospects. It is not a hard sell or aggressive as much as it is a strategy to present your business. Through social media, blogs, search engines, etc., you encourage consumers who find your offer relevant to their needs to contact you.
Inbound traffic is often divided into a customer journey: to be totally foreign to your business knowledge, then go through familiarity steps with you to review your products or services, and finally the decision, or conversion, converts them into customers. A good incoming buyer will present the content in the appropriate channels to suit the interests of the prospects throughout this journey, with each piece intended to propel the buyer towards conversion.
The trick is to know if and how content and channels actually make the customer advance in his journey. It's done with data.
But before we get into the data discussion, keep this in mind: Only two decades ago, you read this in print. You had to either subscribe to the publication in which it was printed, or you had to be somewhere – a library, a school, an office or a waiting room – that kept a collection of magazines and other periodicals. To make a purchase, you will probably go to a store after consulting the directory address and somehow get there without a GPS. Some transactions were handled by telephone, others by mail. Now, you can simply ask Alexa – at the same time, she is moving through your favorite playlist – to order virtually everything Amazon carries (which is virtually anything). Our culture is quickly adapted to this new standard, and it's good for marketers.
Why is this good? Because, by bringing us back to the data, this digital landscape anytime and anywhere creates huge amounts of data. What town criers, door-to-door salespeople and switchboarders have never known, is what the customer has done before or after his call, crying or hitting. The beauty of the advanced mobile phone and the Internet to which it connects is the way it collects, manages and contributes to consumer data. And the data tells advertisers what channels and what content works.
Having data is one thing, but doing something useful with it is another. And that depends on your interpretation of the data. A single click can be meaningless without context – without marking it and extrapolating what it means on the path of that specific customer. One way to make sense of your data is the allocation of channels, based on clicks or clicks from customers. Essentially, you assign a credit for conversions based on the contact's position in a customer's journey.
There are a number of models for this. Here are some of the most common ones:
- First Click assigns the first click to your customer's conversion path. This model assumes that the first piece of content that the client saw was so convincing or so well placed that it sealed the transaction.
- The last click assigns a credit to the finishing touch before the conversion. This assumes that the location or the final content of your ad has been very attractive, a kind of finalization. Although, in reality, it is simply the drop of water that broke the camel's back.
- Position-based does not assume that a single piece of content has made the sale, but instead assigns credit to several positions. Typically, the first and last touches receive 30 or 40% of the credit, while the remaining credit is split evenly between all other keys.
- Linear does not play any favorites, spreading the credit equally between all clicks. In this model, comparing the overlap characteristics of many linear paths can give a fairly accurate idea of which content and channels work best.
- The temporal disintegration gives more credit to the reconciliations of conversion. This tends to push marketers to focus more on the consideration stage rather than the travel awareness phase of their buyers.
Each of these models has advantages and disadvantages, but none is fully effective with incomplete data. The problem is, most marketing data is incomplete. The reason? Although we have opted for the all-digital snapshot, some very important parts of a buyer's trips still occur offline, and offline actions are rarely credited in an attribution model.
Tracking of several canals
Missing data gaps may widen due to very tangible differences between different marketing channels. Some channels are simply more widely used by specific demographic data during certain stages of their journey. Facebook, for example, is a great place to raise awareness and create a community, but it's usually not there that consumers will make purchases or gain in-depth knowledge of your products or services. At the other end of the journey, calls are rarely addressed. A customer who phones your business may want information that he / she has not found on your website – and there is a good chance that the customer is ready, or that he / she is almost ready , to buy.
If you do not measure phone calls, you are probably missing a lot of your data. This is especially true if you are using a last-click model that would give calls a huge amount of credit, if only you followed them. The technology to integrate call data to other platforms for marketing, advertising and sales however exists. The CallTrackingMetrics call intelligence platform turns PCs, tablets and smartphones into tools for taking incoming and outgoing calls, while collecting data, recording, transcribing and more. Plus, our app integrates call data with Salesforce, Google AdWords and other marketing platforms, giving marketers a complete picture of all their marketing data.
Why is call tracking important?
It's a digital world, but the calls are far from dead. Even though the integration of the Web and smartphones into everyday life has made phones go away, stay attached to walls and / or weigh more than a cup of coffee, phone calls are still alive in the process of marketing. In fact, the evolution of telephone technology has created a mobile world first where mobile searches involve immediate calls and conversions – from the same device. Measuring the search queries, advertisements, and content that make these calls happen is therefore the key to building and refining a winning overall strategy.
Predicting what new technology or device might become the next big marketing tool is a difficult undertaking. But there is no need to take out the dusty crystal ball. By keeping a close eye on all marketing data at all stages of the customer journey, you'll be ready to quickly take advantage of this next very useful tool, regardless of its final form.