Calling All Search Marketers

Kyle Christensen believes marketers need to be re-introduced to what is probably the most lethal of killer apps to ever inhabit a cell phone. “It’s called the call button,” says Christensen, who, as VP marketing of call intelligence company Invoca, certainly has a vested interest in the subject. But consider some facts:

Last June local media consulting company BIA/Kelsey released a report indicating that calls driven to businesses as a result of searches have grown in lock-step with the proliferation of smartphones—from 10 billion in 2011 to more than 30 billion last year. BIA/Kelsey projects the number to top 70 billion in 2018.

Now consider some common sense: When an iPhone 6 owner sitting in the back seat of a moving automobile finds a pair of shoes she wants to buy, is she more likely to fill out a form with her thumbs or to just call the company and order it?

“The problem with that,” Christensen says, “is that a person converts, but the search marketers don’t know that it was their keyword that triggered the sale. So maybe they bid less on that keyword in the future and end up losing sales they don’t even know about. It’s a black hole in their arsenal, and it’s only getting bigger thanks to mobile.”

That was the reasoning behind his company’s introduction this week of Invoca for Search, which allows search marketers to sync call information directly with the AdWords API. A single dashboard in the new application allows marketers to move between AdWords, AdCampaigns, AdGroups, and Keywords, quickly accessing summary reports of total clicks, calls, and cost for each. Invoca for Search also sports a bid management integration feature to alert marketers which keywords are driving calls.

When people place calls to Invoca clients via smartphones, an Invoca code reads other tags or javascript—such as retargeting or marketing automation cookies—and shares information about the caller with its clients’ platforms.

“Essentially, it tells a marketer, ‘Hey, this guy is making a phone call, and we know about him because he is in your database, and you should show him this page next,’” Christensen says.

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