SANTA BARBARA, Calif., May 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Mobile marketing is driving high-intent buyers to call businesses at a rapid rate, according to the Call Intelligence Index published today by Invoca, the call intelligence company. For its first annual index, Invoca analyzed more than 32 million phone calls placed to businesses across 40 industries in 2014.
The index uncovers the factors that influence customers along their path to purchase as the lines continue to blur between online and offline interactions. The findings validate the rise in mobile calls to businesses and underscore their value to marketers. As cited in the index, industry commentary indicates voice conversations are the most influential yet overlooked interactions in a buyer's journey. For instance, 75 percent of consumers say a phone call is the quickest way to get a response from a company, but many businesses still rely on online form fills for inbound leads.
"We know that phone conversations are important, but we wanted to really dig in to our data to determine what actions motivate inbound calls to businesses, and how those conversations impact businesses on the other end of the line," said Eric Holmen, president at Invoca. "Our data shows that industries emphasizing the call channel and making it easy for their customers to move seamlessly from digital to voice interactions will come out substantially ahead."
Mobile use initiates billions of consumer phone calls to businesses each year, and findings show that mobile marketing efforts spur more than half (54 percent) of all calls to businesses. Industries that use mobile advertising to drive call volume, not just clicks, drive more conversions. The education industry, for example, brings in 66 percent of calls from mobile search and display ads, while the automotive industry - one that has historically relied on offline marketing like TV and newspaper ads - receives only 16 percent of calls from mobile marketing - suggesting an opportunity for automotive companies.
Key findings from Invoca's 2015 Call Intelligence Index include:
The Digital Relationship with Calls
With the rise in mobile device usage, and particularly mobile search, digital marketing is driving phone calls. Marketers need to optimize their mobile strategies to take advantage of the inbound calls.
- More than half of all calls (54 percent) stem from engagement on a mobile device; mobile search marketing is the top driver, responsible for 45 percent of inbound calls.
- Online channels such as desktop search, online display and online review sites drive 30 percent of inbound calls.
- Offline channels drive just 16 percent of calls. The classic tool created for calls, the phone book, drives just two percent of inbound calls to businesses.
Key Caller Trends
As call volume increases, so do the opportunities for marketers and ultimately, salespeople. Calls are high intent interactions, so it's important that marketers understand who is calling, and how and when they are dialing, to make the most of those conversations.
- The average call duration is 16 times longer than a website interaction, at 4 minutes, 7 seconds (compared to 15 seconds, as reported by data analytics company Chartbeat in 2014).
- Businesses receive the highest total volume of calls on Tuesdays, more than any other weekday and an average of 48 percent higher volume than on Sundays. Tuesdays are also the peak time for mobile call volume, in particular. As businesses monitor these trends, they can target customers with call-based ads during days and time with peak mobile call volume.
- 75 percent of all calls to business originate on a mobile phone. As marketers increase mobile usability of digital content and websites, this will continue to increase.
Calls by Industry
Because call trends vary by industry, marketers must pay attention to those that specifically impact their industry and adjust their strategy to ensure they increase the volume of quality calls.
- Education is one of the industries most ahead of the curve when it comes to mobile marketing, with 56 percent of all calls coming from mobile search ads, 24 percent higher than average.
- Automotive relies on offline advertising and faces a significant opportunity to expand into digital media. As a result of offline advertising, 57 percent of automotive calls come from landlines.
- Financial Services relies on mobile search as the largest single source of phone calls, but customers tend to rely on research from various sources before committing. For instance, seven percent of calls to financial services providers are driven from online review sites — 15 percent more than average.
Call Intelligence Drives Sales
Call intelligence helps marketers turn phone calls into marketing and sales opportunities by providing information about the source of the call, as well as deep insight into the caller and the conversation, so they can trigger optimal interactions across any channel. As consumers switch channels, devices and screens multiple times during the buying cycle, marketers and sales professionals must be armed with intelligence about these interactions to facilitate a more effective customer path to purchase.
Invoca found that customers increased the number of calls to their businesses by an average of 205 percent and increased the length of those calls by seven percent from Q1 to Q4 2014. With call intelligence from Invoca, businesses across industries are driving more high quality calls and more sales: in 2014, businesses converted more than $2.2 billion in sales over the phone through Invoca's platform.
"Inbound phone inquiries for our higher education clients have an 11 percent conversion rate to application — almost double the conversion rate for all sources combined — so increasing call volume is always a focus," said Akeel Haider, director of cross-channel marketing at Sparkroom. "With Invoca, we can generate an unlimited number of call interactions from multiple marketing sources, ensure call quality, and integrate data into Sparkroom Marketing Software to get a complete picture of our marketing performance."
The full 2015 Call Intelligence Index is available for free download here: http://www.invoca.com/data/
Invoca helps the modern marketer drive inbound calls and turn them into sales. By bringing call intelligence to marketers and their existing marketing technology systems, Invoca's platform delivers the visibility required to engage mobile customers beyond the click. Invoca has powered more than $2.5 billion in sales for its customers and is backed by Salesforce Ventures, Accel Partners, Upfront Ventures and Rincon Venture Partners. For more information, please visit www.invoca.com.