Mobile revolution prompts evolution of marketing analytics
A screenshot of Jet Interactive's data as viewed through Google Analytics.
Marketing analytics companies are linking call data to web and mobile traffic to give a clearer picture than ever before of what your marketing dollar is actually doing.
New research by Google shows that 65 per cent of smartphone users access the internet from their mobile devices on a daily basis.
The mobile revolution isn't 'coming' - it's already happened.
This is significant because 52 per cent of the Australian population now own a smartphone, compared with just 37 per cent last year.
Ninety-four per cent of those surveyed have used their smartphone to research a product or service, but only 28 per cent had made the purchase on that device.
This research indicates that while the rapid growth of online and mobile web traffic over the last few years has been crucial to the development of businesses, it is not the be-all and end-all.
Separate research, also commissioned by Google, shows that up to 80 per cent of customers that visit a website - whether on a computer, smartphone or tablet - will still end up making a telephone call rather than send an email or fill in an online form.
Enter call-tracking, which allows companies to measure the phone calls generated to their business as a directed result of information found online.
Call-tracking companies take search engine marketing and Google AdWords campaigns and connect it up to phone call data, which when combined creates a wealth of demographical information about who customers are and how they came to find a business.
Australian startup Jet Interactive has been developing its own technology to do this since 2006.
"It's really about the evolution of marketing analytics," says Daniel Russell, general manager of client services at Jet.
More recently, Jet has partnered with Google to develop bespoke software for Australian tyre retailers Beaurepaires that goes far beyond measuring the standard metrics of click traffic to a website.
"We've got a huge amount of data that was previously inaccessible," says Russell.
Call-tracking companies are able to determine if a customer after viewing a paid digital ad, an organic search engine listing or an ad on Facebook.
They can also tell what specific keyword someone typed into a search engine, what time somebody viewed a website or ad and whether the call was made from a mobile or landline.
"Keyword level insight goes right down to the granular level of detail," says Ayden Mich, analytics manager at Jet.
Companies can then use this data to determine exactly how successful individual ads and listings on specific sites are, and can adjust their marketing budget accordingly.
Jet's Session Sync technology uses a complex scoring system to match up the session of a user on a particular company's website with incoming call data.
It is also possible to determine the location of a phone call's origin down to the level of a telephone exchange. Jet then determines the postcode of the caller and overlays this with data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to determine lucrative demographical information about customers.
"There's less wastage and more targeted marketing," says Russell.
Daniel Lloyd, online marketing manager for Beaurepaires, agrees. "By implementing the call-tracking trial we were able to specifically pinpoint the digital channel that our customers had taken to contact our stores."
Google's findings are reflected in Jet's own research, which shows that 94 per cent of mobile browsers that go on to contact a certain company will do so with a phone call, compared with 73 per cent of desktop browsers using a phone call as their point of contact.
"With that increasing penetration of the mobile platform, with an even higher phone call conversion, it makes trackable phone numbers even more relevant," says Russell.
What this translates to for the end user is a better customer experience. Essentially, a company will have information about who is calling and for what reason before they even answer the phone, creating a more tailored service for the customer.
Jet has experienced rapid growth in the enterprise market over the last year, providing its services to corporations such as Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, Holden and Canon.
But many businesses are yet to fully exploit the capabilities of mobile. Despite continued growth in the mobile market, Google's research found that 79 per cent of Australian businesses do not offer a mobile-optimised website.
In light of this, Google has warned that Australian companies must catch up to the mobile trend or risk being left behind and even going out of business.
"The mobile revolution isn't 'coming' - it's already happened," says Jason Pellegrino, Google Australia's head of mobile advertising.
"Mobile is no longer optional, businesses need to develop a mobile strategy now, or risk getting left behind."