Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Mobile Future Demands Marketers Get Back to Basics

Remember the days when phones were mainly used to make calls? Me neither. Now that mobile phones have texting, the web, and Candy Crush, it’s easy to overlook that they can actually be used to communicate directly with other human beings.

As marketers, we’ve seen the smartphone become a staple in everyday life, so we’re constantly looking for the latest and greatest way to grab our audience’s attention on those tiny screens. But the latest and greatest tactics tend to overlook fundamental truths about human behavior and needs. Inevitably, many marketers have been sucked into focusing solely on mobile as a digital device and therefore leveraging paid search, banner and in-app ads to capture mobile audiences. When you’re a digital hammer, everything looks like a digital nail.

But mobile is a unique hybrid with online and offline capabilities. Stop missing the essence of the phone: the call. Why are so many marketers forgetting this powerful marketing method? The call channel is still a major source of revenue even in today’s digitally-driven purchasing path.

The Skinny on the Call Channel

Google reports that 48 percent of all local, mobile searches result in a phone call. That’s nearly half of all mobile searches. That’s huge. And according to BIA/Kelsey, in 2016, mobile search will drive nearly 70 billion inbound calls to businesses. This creates a massive opportunity for businesses in the mobile space.

Despite the potential growth and revenue from the inbound call channel, marketers don’t want to deal with it because it’s difficult to measure and seemingly impossible to integrate into digital campaigns. That may have been true in the advent of digital marketing, but it’s not the case anymore. With inbound call marketing solutions, marketers can seamlessly incorporate call tracking into their digital strategies and track analytics just like they track online campaigns. There are no more excuses to ignore the call channel.

How Mobile Call Marketing Works

To tie inbound phone calls to marketing efforts, a unique phone number is generated and placed on digital content for each online user. When a potential customer taps the “click-to-call” link, marketers can track their full path to purchase: keyword, to ad, to landing page, to call, to sale. With this information, marketers can optimize their marketing approach to more effectively reach customers where they live and generate more revenue faster.

But more importantly, marketers have given customers control over how they interact with businesses – a basic tenet of sound marketing. If search engine marketers only focus on CTR and online conversions, they’re missing out on their most valuable leads.

The Power to Convert

When it comes to big-ticket items like insurance or financial services, web and mobile clicks aren’t the most effective means of driving conversions. Consumers need to be able to talk with a human about rates, policies, and discounts before they make a purchase decision. And more than that, these types of purchasing decisions require a certain level of credibility that only interaction with a human can provide. Who knew that two people talking still had the power to sell?

In a report titled, Digitalization is No Longer an Option for P&C Life Insurers, Gartner asserts that while insurance shoppers research online, 80 percent of purchases occur offline. This proves that phone calls not only drive conversions, but they also close at higher rates than digital methods.

Generating Quality Leads

Now that data from mobile call marketing technology has shown marketers what digital efforts drive online and offline leads, marketers can optimize their marketing strategies and tactics to generate the highest quality leads. The best part: they know exactly how to allocate marketing dollars to get the highest return.

Let’s get back to basics. The call channel no longer needs to be left out of the digital marketing mix. Bring a human element to digital marketing for the benefit of both customers and businesses.

Source: B2C_Business

The Mobile Future Demands Marketers Get Back to Basics

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