What is a Phone Call Worth to an Advertiser?

What is a Phone Call Worth to an Advertiser?
Thursday, May 03, 2012
Lynn Duffy

Let’s wax poetic on the value of a phone call for a moment.  I often speak with advertisers on what a call is worth to them.  Is a six second call valid?  Some may say ‘yes’, some would argue ‘no’.

Is it really in the eye of the beholder?

Let’s take a glimpse into my life for a moment.  In the past three weeks, in my free time (i.e. weekends), I’ve driven over 2100 miles throughout the Northeast and New England.

In those 2100 miles, there have been numerous purchase decisions made and many involved a phone call from my mobile device which took less than 10-12 seconds to convey the information I needed.  What were some of these purchases you ask…?

  • Multiple gas station fill-ups
  • Pizza parlor in NYC
  • French bistro in Boston
  • Designer hand-bags in NYC
  • Spa treatments in the Finger Lakes
  • Brunch with the family in the Hudson Valley
  • Stoneware purchases in New England
  • Theatre trip in NYC

That’s a pretty mixed bag of purchasing in a three-week period.  In nearly 80% of the cases listed above, I made phone calls from a listings page that resulted from a mobile search.  In none of those cases was the phone call more than 15 seconds, but yet…look at what resulted.  Gas alone cost $40-50 per fill-up, let alone what we spent in sundries at the mini-marts attached.

So, what is a phone call worth to an advertiser?  In evaluating this, it’s important to think about the business.

Is a 20 second phone call worthwhile to a childcare advertiser?  The answer is likely yes, as a busy parent could be calling to check on hours for a possible tour.  Auto repair?  Another yes.  I’ve listened to hundreds of calls to auto repair shops researching the purchase process, and many times that purchase process is as simple as asking about hours of operation.

Call tracking, regardless of media, is something that DAC Group specializes in for our clientele.  Call tracking across media can offer insight on proper media allocation as the media landscape continues to shift.  Call tracking can also help in other ways.  One advertiser changed their hours of operation as call tracking revealed that their customers were calling after their business hours.  By shifting the business hours to when potential consumers were calling, return on media investment and profits significantly improved.

Call tracking, when used in conjunction with call recording can also help inform/enhance the sales process.  Is there an issue with the scripting?  Is part of the call transfer process broken at your call center?  DAC Group can help you ferret out these issues with our research and measurement expertise.  At the end of the day, DAC Group is about delivering quality leads to your bottom line—allocated properly across all the directional media that your potential customers touch.  Let us help you maximize your investment.

Interested? Contact us today!

Lynn Duffy, Senior Research Manager