If you’ve ever seen an ad online, on television or on a local metro bus, there’s usually a phone number to call for more information. Organizations can purchase phone numbers – including toll-free and vanity/custom numbers –from a service provider and assign them to each campaign, delivery channel or geographic region to better measure ad effectiveness.
Phone number attribution might not be a brand new category in marketing or advertising, but a recent wave of innovation in IP-based telecom signaling presents a significant— and relatively untapped—opportunity for marketers. IP-based telephony services offer a new level of control, integration, and capabilities for brands and marketers; they give greater levels of transparency, management access, and the ability to deliver unique user experiences.
Utilizing the IP communications network to aid in attribution efforts allows marketers to easily and affordably track both where calls are coming from, and control where they’re going to. This allows them to obtain deeper insights into their campaign, by providing a more accurate and holistic look at campaign success.
Being able to accurately and insightfully measure campaign success across numerous platforms is critical, as is the ability to assign conversions from one touchpoint to other across multi-channel campaigns. However, regarding attribution, television, radio and direct mail remain metaphorical “black boxes” for many organizations. Brands and agencies face an uphill battle when it comes to campaign attribution – despite the troves of data that digital marketing efforts produce.
By buying and assigning different phone numbers for each of their television, radio, and direct mail ads or campaigns, marketers can measure concrete results from each medium and better understand the customer’s path to purchase.
Better track lead gen and improve customer interactions
Direct mail campaigns with a unique phone number assigned based on zip codes, for example, can be forwarded to sales or customer service personnel covering that territory. This can allow the rep to customize their talk track to a specific market that makes the customer feel special and that they are receiving more personalized, attentive service.
Phone numbers also offer the opportunity to better track lead generation. For example, businesses can direct inbound calls to different departments or extensions, and track where sales leads are being derived. VoIP and IP signaling technologies can route calls more contextually and track which numbers are being called most, based on location and time. Teams can learn from this data and adjust selling strategies, giving them a competitive edge.
Learn what’s working, what’s not in campaigns
Real estate is a common use case for unique phone numbers, where agents frequently assign a number for each listing, allowing interested buyers to connect directly with the assigned agent, as opposed to going through slower, common practices such as web forms or email. Phone numbers can then be re-provisioned for each listing as they move on and off the market, giving agents can a more comprehensive understanding of which listings are driving inbound leads.
Unique phone numbers can also be assigned to specific promotions and offers – for example, using one number for a “BOGO” (buy one/get one) offer and another for a free shipping promotion. Hyper-localized campaign collateral can be created and managed, including a unique contact phone number for each piece so that marketers can know precisely which ones are proving most effective.
This visibility allows companies to evaluate campaigns accurately and determine what worked—and what didn’t—for future efforts.
The “Be Your Own Carrier” model
IP-based phone attribution offers troves of actionable data for marketers—making future campaigns better informed and targeted, and ultimately resulting in greater ROI.
Further, the process of re-routing and re-provisioning numbers via an IP-based system can now be done in seconds, versus having to re-program numbers at the switch level, as would be in the case with a traditional wireline carrier.
IP telephony has the potential to create a new model for marketers, empowering organizations with control and transparency to essentially “be their own carrier,” enabling them to purchase, assign and provision telecom resources like phone numbers without continuing the historical dependency on traditional telecom providers.