When I was a kid there was a startling PSA on TV.
It showed a family in a 1989 GMC Safari minivan driving happily down the Interstate. This family pulled up alongside a semi-truck. The driver changed lanes anyway and smashed this minivan.
It was a troubling site for young eyes to behold.
He simply couldn’t see the minivan. Even though he was using his mirrors and following traffic laws he still couldn’t see the minivan.
Because the minivan was in the truck driver’s blind spot. The PSA named this blind spot the ‘no-zone.’ The message of the PSA was simple: get out of this blind spot (the ‘no-zone’) as quickly as possible.
So here’s my question for marketers: what blind spots do you have? Are you hanging out in the ‘no-zone?’
Marketers know their online analytics by heart. They know email open rates, landing page conversion rates, and referring traffic sources. They check their analytics portals several times a day.
But when the phone rings, often, marketers are blind. Call analytics are a blind spot in their marketing data set.
This is stunning.
It is even more stunning when you consider recent data from BIA/Kelsey. They say that marketers spend about $65B each year to generate phone calls in the U.S. This spend comes from local businesses and large enterprises alike.
And yet, even with this massive investment to drive phone calls, marketers still don’t track phone calls as frequently or with as much vigor as they track web analytics.
The truck driver changed lanes because he simply couldn’t see. He was making decisions based on imperfect information. His data was not complete. No matter how much he tried, he simply couldn’t see the minivan filled with babies and elderly people just 6 inches away from him. So, he made a poor decision because, as I said, he didn’t have all the information he needed.
Marketers that fail to use call tracking are doing something similar. They’re making decisions based on data that is incomplete. Marketers need to eliminate this ‘no-zone’ with some sort of call analytics and call tracking solution. Marketers need to get all the data possible to make good decisions.
Don’t hang out in the ‘no zone.’
We recently added a medium-sized retail client. This client tracked online analytics fastidiously. They knew how many people visited their website everyday. They knew how many people filled-out forms every day. They even knew landing page conversion rates and demographic information about site visitors.
For years this business (in the tire industry) had advertised in local newspapers and local yellow pages. They paid A LOT of money to advertise in these local channels. In one year, this business paid nearly $12,000 for advertising in local print and online directories.
That’s a lot of money.
But here’s the problem, this client didn’t track the effectiveness of those advertising channels. They never stopped to measure how many calls these channels were producing.
Then they starting working with us.
They put unique local phone numbers in their yellowpages listings. They put unique local phone numbers on their websites, in their radio ads and in their Google PPC campaigns.
And after about 2 weeks here’s what they started to see: 1) Google PPC ads generated a lot of phone calls for their business. 2) Their website was being found organically a lot. And those organic visitors were very likely to call. 3) Local radio and print ads–and even online yellow pages listings–didn’t produce very many calls at all.
In fact over a period of 12 months we learned that local yellowpages listings produced only 12 calls. The ads cost $12K. That’s exactly $1K/call. That’s not a good ROI.
What is stunningly sad is that this business had purchases this level of advertising for several years. It was money down the drain. But it wasn’t until they eliminated their blind spot and got out of the ‘no-zone’ that they were able to truly determine how effective their marketing was.
They eliminated the blind spot and they were making decisions based on actual data.
Get actual data and eliminate blind spots.