Columnist Andrew Osmak points out that every inbound call to a business is data — and that data provides real-time insights on customers that businesses can put to use in their marketing and advertising.
Rich data is about to do for call analytics what it has done for customer behavior online: build a rich profile of each caller and predict purchase intent in real time. In short, a call becomes more than just a call — it becomes data.
Caller data is the kind of business intelligence that has been missing from call analytics and will change how businesses interact with consumers.
As call tracking evolved, it went from providing a straightforward call count to including basic information about the caller, such as their phone number, name and location. While this information is helpful, it doesn’t help marketers segment the callers or handle inbound leads better. It also doesn’t help call center agents be more relevant and helpful. But a rich caller profile can do all that and more.
Technology helps build rich caller profiles
Recent innovations in call analytics allow collecting and aggregating up-to-date information based on the available data from multiple data sources. The resulting rich caller profiles can include all the critical demographic information, along with purchasing power and intent indicators. Income, credit score, home ownership status, education level and social media profiles are just a few of the many attributes that have become available to marketing and sales.
Of course, with all this great data power comes great responsibility for the ethical and legal collection and use of information. So before you delve into this world, ensure your company and its partners are strictly adhering to data privacy laws. And, as practitioners of online remarketing have discovered, it’s possible to come across as a stalker — rather than a solution provider — and that’s no way to win customers.
Customers call and they call to buy
As commerce is becoming digital, it may seem that calls are on the way out and there’s no need to invest data that is based on a vanishing means of communication. But that’s simply not the case. Two billion people are using a mobile phone to access the internet in 2016, and 61 percent find it important to be able to call a business when they want to make a purchase. And the number of callers is only expected to grow, as over five billion people will be relying on mobile phones by 2019.
Businesses become smarter with rich caller profiles
All revenue-driving teams within the advertiser’s business benefit from knowing everything about the caller when an inbound call comes in. Marketers can confirm whether they’ve targeted the right demographic, identify where the customer is on their path to purchase and optimize advertising in near-real time. Sales can develop strategies to personalize their response and offers to callers and, in the long run, can stay ahead of the coming push to personalize all interactions with customers.
Marketers: Enable precision targeting
With just the basic data about the caller, marketers do not have enough information to optimize their advertising to better reach the ideal target customer. They can find out how many calls an ad has generated and how many of those are leads, but they can only guess if they’re targeting their ads to the right audience that will have the highest probability to convert and buy.
Rich caller profiles give a comprehensive picture that reveals how likely callers are to buy a product. A high number of ideal target customers among your callers indicates a successful advertising campaign. A lower number of callers with intent and buying power indicates an opportunity to target the campaign with a new level of precision, adjust in near-real time and improve ROI.
Sales: Personalize call handling and offers
Rich caller profiles give sales the critical information to immediately increase their productivity and accuracy on the phone and in person. With information like credit score, income and the probability of making a purchase, sales can focus their efforts on the best leads, rather than callers with little chance of buying. They will also be better equipped to increase the likelihood of purchase by offering relevant products to their leads. Rich caller profiles help sales optimize each contact with customers, increasing their lead-to-customer conversion rate.
While working with our customers on their new initiatives, we discussed numerous use cases of how rich caller data helps marketers optimize their marketing strategy and sales, i.e., increase their productivity. While each industry, and even each business, may have a different profile of their ideal buyer persona, the opportunities to use rich data are available to every team that is looking for ways to improve the bottom line.
Following are some examples of how businesses could potentially use rich caller data.
Real estate: Target your ads to optimize marketing
Imagine that as a real estate marketer, you know, in real time, not just the source of the call and the basic caller details, but also the caller’s income level, whether they have pets, their occupation and employment status, and if they already own property or rent.
Armed with such rich data about each caller, you are able to determine if your ad for condos in a gated luxury community is reaching your target segment. The outcome of this analysis will help fine-tune your marketing strategy and tactics beyond shifting the budget to ads that generate more calls.
Home services SMB: Focus resources on your best leads
Customizing your response to the caller’s needs is critical for small business owners who may not have the resources and time to optimize marketing tactics. In the home services industry, where owners are often busy serving the customer, access to rich caller profiles at the moment of the call can mean the difference between securing a job and losing a hot lead.
As soon as the contractor picked up the phone, they would know how likely it is that the caller can afford their services, whether he or she owns a home and how far away they live. Based on that information, the contractor may choose to subtly adjust the bid for the job and offer options that match the caller’s income status and likely purchasing power. And finally, the contractor can identify if the job will be lucrative or pay little in return for the time spent. For small business owners, rich caller profiles can save precious time and optimize their responses.
Automotive: Cater sales response to customer needs
At a dealership, knowing the profile of the caller could help sales personnel improve their accuracy and productivity. When picking up the phone, the agent may see immediately that the caller is a 43-year-old man with an annual income of $40,000 and a probability of 60 percent that he will purchase a car within the next six months.
When the caller makes an appointment to see the latest 4-series Mercedes, the agent can see it as an opportunity to offer him a car that he is more likely to afford rather than a waste of time. That dream car may be out of caller’s reach, but the agent can cater the offer, serve the customer better and improve the sales closing rate.
Marketers and sales get creative. Strategic. Visionary.
Call analytics used to be just about a call. Now every inbound call to a business is data. Marketers and sales know more than the source of a call — they receive all possible information about the caller, collected and aggregated from multiple sources. The data provides real-time insights on customers that can inspire immediate actions to optimize productivity, accuracy and advertising ROI.
Soon data about callers will extend beyond optimization; it will influence business decisions on what the market needs and how it responds to everything that a company does, from product development to finance to operations.
Using rich data to inform all decisions will become the norm rather than the exception reserved for large companies. Whether your company uses data insights or not, the competition inevitably will. Using rich data to predict the actions of customers and matching decisions to these predictions will put wise marketing and sales teams ahead of the game.
As customer behavior, competitive landscape and available data become more complex every year, a change in mindset has started among marketers looking to continue driving results. If today you’re not sure how to use all the rich data that is becoming available about your callers, it’s time to collaborate on strategies with teams who have done it before for successful businesses.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.