Before call tracking and digital marketing tools were commonplace, businesses relied on customers to track ad effectiveness. When the phone rang, they’d ask, “How did you hear about us?” and hope the customer could remember.
Fast forward to today, digital ads now make up more than half of U.S. advertising expenditures for the first time in history. Digital transformation has not only shifted marketing and advertising more heavily to digital channels, but it has also allowed digital marketing agencies to:
- Better monitor and analyze complex customer journeys
- Demonstrate campaign results to clients using hard data
- More easily educate clients on the customer journey
- Help clients ensure they’re properly following up on leads
But having the right tools and technology are critical to these marketing activities, which is why CallRail brought to market a self-service call tracking solution a decade ago that was simple, powerful, and made in such a way that every business could use it. “Back in 2011, there was no one out there making call analytics available to everyone, and nothing existed that was tailored to the specific needs of small businesses,” says Andy Powell, CallRail’s co-founder, and CEO.
Now, most digital agencies can’t live without call tracking. In fact, 95% of surveyed marketing agency leaders say call tracking is “very important” or “important” to their business.
Agencies use call tracking to create strategic business partnerships
By tracking leads more accurately through technology like call tracking, agencies are better positioned to serve as strategic business partners than ever before. Call tracking improves the agency-client relationship by helping marketers:
- Worry less about pulling reports and focus more on improving the marketing mix. Automated reporting gives agencies time to look at which channels are reaching customers so they can make needed adjustments.
- Better educate clients on the customer journey’s complex nature by using web form tracking with call tracking. Call tracking will show the ad or keyword that triggered a call, and form tracking will show what triggered a form submission. This big-picture view helps agencies make more informed decisions.
- Use conversation intelligence to help clients improve their buyer personas and understanding of clients’ terminology and industry. Call recordings and transcriptions offer insights into what is really motivating customers, plus additional details into industry trends and news.
- Show clients where they can improve employee training. Customer insights will help inform clients about the relevance and effectiveness of employee interactions with prospects and customers.
- More easily prove their value to clients. Clear and detailed reporting lets clients see how marketing efforts are improving the business.
In a recent survey by CallRail, 67% of agencies said the primary reason clients chose their agency was because they established themselves as a strong strategic partner to clients. Agencies have the opportunity to build trust with clients through their knowledge of marketing principles and tactics and their ability to guide clients in the use of the latest tools that will help them grow more effectively and use their ad spend wisely.
Ryan Amen, director of client success at Nifty Marketing, explains how call tracking’s analytics capabilities have helped them better position their agency as a strategic partner. “Call tracking helps our clients understand where calls are coming from. Seeing how marketing efforts translate directly into phone calls lets them see the value of our efforts. There have been so many times when clients were skeptical, and call tracking gave us proof of attribution.”
Meeting the challenge of omnichannel marketing through integrated lead tracking
Customers want the consistent experiences delivered by omnichannel marketing, but companies face significant challenges with identity resolution, data consolidation, and multi-touch attribution. According to Salesforce research, more than three-fourths of customers said they choose different channels based on context, and 74% said they’ve used more than one channel to complete a transaction.
The increasing number of channels customers use makes the customer journey more complex, requiring agencies and their clients to embrace an omnichannel approach to understand the messaging and channels that influence customer purchasing decisions. However, managing an omnichannel customer journey can be particularly challenging for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) since they don’t have the resources, expertise, and budgets of large enterprises. Agencies can be valuable strategic partners for SMBs, helping them navigate the omnichannel landscape as well as the tools needed to do so.
Businesses can partner with agencies to improve their omnichannel marketing through integrated lead tracking. Agencies can help clients understand how customers are finding and choosing to interact with their business and recommend lead management and communications solutions like CallRail’s Lead Center to streamline and centralize lead communication data. Agencies can also help clients:
- Analyze and act on their data
- Simplify multi-touch attribution
- Shorten customer response times
- Follow up using customers’ preferred channels
Call tracking simplifies analytics for agencies
Despite the rise of digital marketing and ad options, 60% of consumers still prefer to pick up the phone — that’s almost four times more compared to those that would choose email. While the phone has remained essential to businesses for decades, what has changed is how sophisticated and accessible call tracking technology has become.
A decade ago, call tracking tools were expensive, cumbersome, and labor-intensive to implement, which meant only major enterprises could afford them. With the rise of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and Google My Business, industry leaders like CallRail saw a need for affordable and self-service options for tracking customer activity and leads. These options improve campaign visibility and transparency for both businesses and their agencies.
Now, small and medium-sized businesses can use these tools as well to better compete in their markets. Tools that integrate call and form tracking help simplify analytics while offering more precise performance measurements for clearer insights. This is especially helpful for agencies that juggle numerous clients and their channels too.
Stephanie Delk, Swash Labs director of media and planning, explains the need for a single platform to track all marketing leads. “When you’re dealing with medium-sized businesses, many of them work with lots of different solutions that do different things, but no one else has a solution that ties all the others together. CallRail is where you can go to see your forms, calls, and social platforms — all in a single place.”
How agencies can stand out in the age of analytics
Many businesses are so inundated with data that they don’t know how to process it in an actionable way. Agencies that can help businesses do this will be the future of marketing.
“In the next decade, call tracking will continue to expand beyond just calls, to incorporate a truly holistic view of the business and how it appears to its customers,” says Elliot Wood, chief technology officer at CallRail. “It’s going to become increasingly important to understand how to provide an omnichannel communications suite to agencies. But we’ll need to layer in intelligence so that it’s easy to figure out customer intent and identify whether a lead is really the type of lead they are looking for, even when they have a limited number of employees who devote time to marketing attribution.”
Call tracking has evolved into an advanced, data-driven technology that ensures businesses make marketing investment decisions based on logic. CallRail helps agencies provide a comprehensive solution that their clients love. Call tracking has become so essential to marketing and lead attribution that it’s only going to continue to improve and become more innovative. It’s also going to become more necessary for agency marketers who want to make data-driven decisions and demonstrate clear-cut ROI for their clients.
“We’re always looking to anticipate the next trend,” says Andy Powell. “The most important thing I work on is trying to figure out where this market is headed. We’re constantly learning from and partnering with our customers to expand on our products. That’s how we’re constantly able to push the status quo while helping agencies to improve their efficiency and productivity.”
The future of marketing is advanced analytics, and the agencies that stay competitive will be those that feature comprehensive tracking solutions in their toolkits. This will allow them to be strategic business partners with their clients. Ryan Amen adds, “It comes back to being able to connect all the dots. Anything that helps us better understand the whole customer journey – and see it in its entirety – is of great value.”
Want to learn more about what call tracking can do for your agency? Try CallRail for free.