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The DNA Of A Call Through Clicks

Conversations used as quality signals to better optimize paid-search advertising have become more popular, especially through click data from mobile devices.

Mobile searches generated 30 billion calls to businesses in 2013, and will drive about 73 billion more by 2018, according to BIA/Kelsey.

Recorded calls not only tell the brand what drove the consumer to click on the link that connected the consumer through the smartphone, but the call data can evaluate the performance of employees at each individual location and their ability to answer questions and serve consumers.

Denver-based digital agency Location3 Media focuses on supporting larger companies with local strategies such as Advantage Rent A Car. Some of that support goes through Marchex and its integration with Google DoubleClick. In fact for Location3, the integration with Marchex has been key to focus on local stores' franchises, online advertising, and understanding the digital programs that drive consumers to call.

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Fifty-nine percent of U.S. online adults admit they have been satisfied with their phone conversations with customer service agents in the past 12 months, according to Forrester Research, but more brands have begun to ask their agency partners to use call data to boost returns on investments for advertising.

Such the case with Advantage. The car rental brand asked Location3 to manage and optimize listings for 75 locations to increase online visibility, along with running paid search campaigns and search engine optimization. The strategy would build the brand, boost reservation volume, and increase overall Web site use.

Marchex in early February announced an integration with Google DoubleClick Search to support inbound phone calls. The integration provides 100% keyword attribution for calls placed directly from paid-search ads for an unlimited number of keywords.

Marchex's call technology, which creates what Jim Halligan, head of paid search at Location3, calls the "DNA of a call", provides Location3 marketers insights from conversations between consumers and the customer service reps answering calls. The conversation analysis, along with the amount of time the two spend on the phone, gets turned into data that is eventually fed through Google DoubleClick to optimize online advertising.  

"We wanted to understand if we increased the conversion pool beyond electronic leads, how we could better optimize to manage campaigns," Halligan said. "It gave us data to inform the dayparting and the geo-segmentation strategies at the keyword level to better understand performance."

Halligan said when Location3 took on Advantage as a client, the agency ran call tracking through Google, but it wasn't able to understand all the keyword-level data. The partnership deal recently signed with Marchex allows the agency to optimize on the data better. Having the data, the ability to record these calls and pick out the keywords best used to connect brands with consumers, increased the return on investment.

John Busby, SVP of marketing and consumer insights at Marchex, said during a conversation earlier in February that the company wants to connect call data to every impression, from search to display. The company's display analytics product measures the influence display impressions have on inbound calls. The product roadmap will deliver more information about the interaction from the entire consumer path to purchase, from display to video to social to search to a phone call.

The integration lets the agency monitor the length of the call from a consumer to a brand and use the data as a filter to apply what Halogen called a "quality thresholds." The call data, especially those more than three minutes in length, provides a means to better optimize paid search advertisements for everything from day parting to keywords. The technology even weeds out spam calls, only pushing useful data through DoubleClick. It also monitors keywords that suggests complaints.

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