Case Study: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Ad Spend & Its Impact

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Since the dreaded C-word began, significantly more business interactions have occurred online and over the phone.

As a call analytics company, one of our key barometers is the number of phone calls placed each day. We watch the volume and duration of calls closely. This practice is no different during the current pandemic.

Our indicators present several interesting findings.

Case Study Findings
  1. First, times of crisis create challenges for almost every business. We observe companies saving their ad spend, postponing their marketing campaigns, and stopping marketing altogether. Phone numbers were being disconnected and returned to providers
  2. Second, leaders are pushing their teams to save money and minimize expenses. Often advertising can turn on and off, so ad spend is an easy cost to cut.
  3. People wondered if it was still appropriate to market and advertise for many months. As products and services were advertised more, more people began “returning to baseline”.
  4. Even given the economic changes, most business still ended doing the same (or even better) than before.
Ad Spend Options

A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) company based in the Midwest committed to hold steady and proceed with their ad spend plans in April. Cautiously optimistic, the HVAC group maintained their ad placement and schedule.

Something amazing happened.

People continued to call for repairs and service. In fact, during April 2020, the HVAC company saw 13% more inbound phone call volume than they had in 2019. These phone calls directly tied to their ads—the ads they kept running.

What was most intriguing is that the number of phone calls and leads grew year over year.

Phone Calls Analytics


Pre-COVID Ad Spend

In April 2019, they had 1,414 phone calls. Of those calls, they tagged 929 people as leads. From the total callers last year, Conversation Analytics® noted the inbound callers that converted into customers. The conversion rate was 44% or 618 sales.

Leads and Conversion Ratio
April 2020 Ad Spend & Results

During the COVID-19 pandemic this year, 1,627 people still called their marketing tracking numbers. Each call was recorded and analyzed for lead score and conversion with Conversation Analytics®.

Three-quarters of the people responding to ads had high lead scores. In fact, analytics showed that 74% or 1,202 callers were genuinely interested in hiring the company. This was up from the 66% lead ratio last April.

Now more than ever, the conversion ratio is one of the most critical indicators. People must know that ads drive calls and calls produce revenue.

 CallsLeads% LeadsConversions
April 20191,41492966%618
April 20201,6271,20274%570

Of the 1,600 plus phone calls, 570 people booked services.

Leads and Conversion Ratio

HVAC customers have an average value (ACV) of $2,575. A basic service appointment has an average sales ticket of approximately $200. Beyond that cost, HVAC techs often discover necessary repairs. The price tag for a complete HVAC system replacement is about $5,500. It doesn’t take too many system replacements to cover the advertising costs.

Unlike the HVAC company we wrote about last week, this business ran the $10,000 direct mail piece.

Return on Advertising Spend

Let’s break down the results. In April 2020, they received 1,202 inbound calls from their ad. Three-quarters of all callers were leads, and 35% became customers.

Again, the average customer value for HVAC is $2,575. So, projections from marketing are $1,467,596 in new revenue. The Return On Advertising Spend (ROAS) is 146. For every ad spend dollar, the home services company saw $146 in revenue.

Amazing! This mini case study affirms that companies that continue to advertise during COVID-19 can see positive results.

Recently, we explored the approach of a different heating and air conditioning business that pulled a $10k marketing mailer during April. The immediate savings in ad spend injured company sales to $330,000.

When the cost to track your success is a fraction of the ad spend, it makes brilliant business sense.

Convirza proves marketing produces the results you need. We’d love to work together to ensure advertising is driving leads and calls are converting.

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