The Burner Phone's Contribution to Online-Offline Attribution

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Red Reddington uses disposable phone numbers so he can't be tracked, but not SourceTrak 3.0.

Programmatic ad spend on mobile devices jumped 243% in 2014 and more than 100% last year, according to eMarketer, which reports that more than 60% of programmatic dollars are dispatched to devices. But there's irony in the fact that marketers' biggest online ad investment often produces an untrackable offline reaction: a phone call to transact with the advertiser.

Enter DialogTech, which today rolls out its SourceTrak 3.0 technology that promises to provide complete call attribution data related to websites and that syncs with Google AdWords to provide call center agents with a detailed digital dossier on the caller.

“Marketers are optimizing all their touchpoints, but they miss a bucket of them when people call the business,” says DialogTech director of marketing Brendan Jackson. “All this data falls into a black hole when somebody makes a call.”

Here's where the idea of the burner phone makes an invaluable contribution to online-offline tracking. The trick to DialogTech's system, some two years in the making, is assigning unique, disposable phone numbers to each stop on the customer journey. Whether it's a visit to a website or mobile push ad, each viewer receives a discreet number that identifies her as a unique individual.

“We gauge what number of phone numbers we'll need for a specific campaign. It really depends on the needs of the customer and how long they want to track whether a user is still engaging,” Jackson says. “A price solution for renting the numbers is part of the platform.”

SourceTrak 3.0 capabilities also include:

  • furnishing search keywords, digital ads, referring websites, and web pages that drove the call for every call from every phone number displayed on a website;
  • import of call attribution data, as well as revenue generated from a call, into Google AdWords alongside online data; and
  • call tracking on any website through a few clicks and minus involvement from the IT department.
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