Inbound Phone Calls are the Digital Marketer’s New Playground

Every day software eats a bit more of the world, and it never ceases to amaze me how profoundly transformed and re-invented are the things that software eats.
I recently became aware that phone calls are being eaten by software in a rather spectacular way. Without going too deeply into the long explanation, suffice it to say that what we think of as a “phone call” (a live, synchronous dialogue between two or more parties) is going to evolve very dramatically, and very quickly in the next few years.

There has been an underlying shift in technological enablement, which was driven by the continuing acceleration of phone calls happening in the context of software applications (like calling your Uber driver from the mobile app). And this is but one familiar example. Companies of all sizes are “building phone calls” into new areas of customer engagement. They are also doing very inventive new things where phone calls are already an important touchpoint.

The specific customer touchpoint I want to focus on here is the inbound call, typically to a sales line. The number you put at the bottom of your company’s website. A number you might put in an ad, on a billboard, in print, or in an Adwords campaign. A number from which you expect new business and revenue.

This advent of full programmatic control over the phone call is creating a new playground of data-driven possibility for agile marketers. We have only very recently gained the ability to design a custom experience for our inbound business callers, and to iterate, measure and compare results, as we already enjoy in other digital marketing areas.
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