Marketers Turn to First-Party Data From Inbound Phone Calls to Improve Digital Campaign Results

by Blair Symes, Vice President of Product Marketing at DialogTech

First-party data was already a hot topic in digital marketing, but Google’s recent announcement to not support user identifiers but “continue to support first-party relationships on our ad platforms” has thrown gas on the first-party data fire.

First-party data is the information that a business collects directly from its consumers. It’s privacy-friendly, accurate, trustworthy, and both relevant and unique to the business capturing it. Insights from first-party data can be extremely valuable to marketers looking to better understand their consumers, build more efficient and effective audiences for digital advertising, increase sales conversions, and improve ROI across marketing efforts. 

Marketers everywhere are now taking stock of what first-party data they currently capture and the ways they leverage it to identify gaps and find new areas for improvement. If your marketing team is doing the same, you should take a closer look at what data and insights you capture from phone calls to your business. 

If you are in an industry that receives high volumes of phone calls such as automotive, healthcare, financial services, insurance, home services, retail, telecom, or travel — and you aren’t leveraging first-party data from those calls in your marketing campaigns — you could be losing ground to competitors. A recent commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of DialogTech found:

  • Phone calls to businesses are valuable conversions — and they are on the rise. 87% of marketers reported an increase in phone calls to their business in the past 12 months, and 84% said phone calls result in higher conversion rates with larger order values than other forms of engagement. 
  • Phone calls are often a blind spot for marketers. While 85% of marketers agreed that first-party data from consumer phone calls is even more necessary given the impact of COVID-19, 70% found the transition from digital to phone calls a major blind spot in their customer journey analytics. 
  • Marketers plan to invest more to capture first-party data from calls. 89% of marketers believe that leveraging intelligence from phone calls to their business is imperative to staying competitive, and 86% plan to increase their investment in conversation intelligence solutions over the next two to three years.  

The First-Party Data Opportunity With Inbound Phone Calls

Phone calls are one of the richest, most actionable sources of first-party data available to marketers. When consumers call your business, those phone conversations are literally the consumer — in their own words — telling you their buying intent, product/service interest, stage in the customer journey, concerns and preferences, and more. Instead of trying to stitch together disparate data sources to predict these insights, you get the actual answers directly from the caller. 

Marketers interested in capturing and actioning on first-party data from calls can use a call tracking and analytics solution. For each call to your business, these solutions can uncover:

  • The Identity of the Caller: Capture the caller’s phone number, name, mailing address, and other identifiers, turning anonymous browsers on your site into known consumers.
  • The Marketing Source That Drove the Call: Understand the channel, campaign, ad, listing, email, direct mail variation, referring website, or other marketing source the consumer engaged with before calling.
  • Their Search Inquiry: If the consumer called after engaging with your paid search ad, capture the search keyword that led to the call.
  • Their Activity on Your Website: If the caller visited your website, capture their entire journey on your site, including the entry page and the page they called from.
  • Their Intent and Other Insights From the Conversation: AI models trained to your industry and business unlock insights from conversations at scale, including caller intent, interest, lead value, price sensitivity, conversion outcome, and more.

6 Ways to Use First-Party Data From Phone Calls to Improve Digital Marketing

Using a call tracking and analytics solution to unify all this data, visualize insights from them in reports, and activate them in your digital ad platforms, martech and BI tools, and CRM, marketers can improve:

  1. Paid Media Measurement and Optimization: Understand the volume and value of calls from your paid media — including search and digital advertising — to measure ROI and make smarter optimizations to increase sales conversions and decrease customer acquisition costs. 
  2. Caller Retargeting and Suppression: Build audiences of callers who are good leads but didn’t convert on the call to retarget in walled gardens like Google and Facebook and suppress callers who converted or weren’t sales leads from seeing your ads. 
  3. Lookalike Audience Building: Find new high-value, high-intent audiences to target with ads in walled gardens by adding your most valuable callers to lookalike audience campaigns. 
  4. SEO and Content Marketing Optimizations: Analyze phone conversations to learn the questions, concerns, keywords, and topics callers voice and create content addressing them on your website to attract more visitors and conversions from SEO.
  5. Website Conversion Rate Optimizations: Understand and optimize for the journeys on your website that lead to the most profitable calls, detect and correct breakdowns in online shopping journeys that lead to calls, and improve the value of A/B testing by including data from call conversions in your decision-making.  
  6. Contextual Advertising Campaigns: As contextual advertising (displaying ads on publisher webpages based on the topic/content of those pages rather than the user viewing them) emerges as an alternative strategy to third-party cookie ad targeting, use the keywords callers voice on calls to discover the right terms to feed into your contextual advertising campaigns.

ATI Physical Therapy, a leading national rehabilitation provider, is seeing strong results using the DialogTech call tracking and analytics platform to attribute, analyze, and optimize phone calls to their 900-plus clinics. “Phone calls are a significant part of how we generate appointments, so ensuring our marketing is driving those calls and our clinics are converting them is critical to our success,” said Brett Groom, CMO of ATI. “With intelligence on our call channel from DialogTech, we are not only optimizing how our marketing channels and ad spend drive appointment calls, but we are also analyzing call handling performance at our locations to detect and correct issues before they impact conversion rates and revenue.” 

You can learn how marketers are leveraging first-party insights from calls to measure ROI, increase sales conversions, and deliver more personalized customer experiences by visiting the DialogTech website.  

About the Author

Blair Symes is the Vice President of Product Marketing at DialogTech, the leading AI-driven call tracking and analytics provider for marketers. He is an expert on online-to-offline marketing optimization and a frequent writer and speaker on the topic of leveraging insights from phone calls to measure and improve marketing and sales results. 

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