How Marketers Can Use Call Tracking To Link Ad Spend To Revenue

Call tracking gives marketers the missing links between paid ads, inbound calls and revenue they need to truly quantify ad spend.

The past year’s economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has posed new challenges for marketers across industries. As businesses looked to protect cash flow, marketing teams were often the first to feel the impacts of tightening budgets and resource constraints, with 44% of CMOs reporting budget cuts in 2020. But, while their resources were constrained, businesses leaned even harder on their marketing teams to drive leads — and ultimately revenue — for business growth.

This pressure is forcing marketers to find better ways to get more juice from their proverbial squeeze — executing on strategies that maximize output and quickly drive revenue. One of these strategies is the drive toward paid advertising as a replacement for top-of-funnel activities like events and trade shows that have evaporated with the onset of the pandemic. Unfortunately, many marketers face a fatal flaw with paid advertising: they simply can’t track inbound phone calls triggered by paid advertisements. Marketers’ inability to track and attribute these leads to paid advertising campaigns hinders their ability to prove the true success of their efforts and make a case for more resources.

What’s the answer to quantifying the impact of calls sparked by ad spend?

Enter: call tracking. Call tracking gives marketers the missing links between paid ads, inbound calls and revenue they need to truly quantify ad spend. Here’s how it works:

Automating attribution

Whether a business is handling customer service internally or through an external call center, they must be equipped to handle and attribute a high volume of customer calls. Unfortunately, hundreds of calls each day mean those customer service representatives simply don’t have time to ask each caller how they heard about the brand, making it hard to attribute those calls to specific marketing efforts.

Call tracking can help automate this attribution by assigning a single tracking number to a specific ad campaign. As callers dial in, this tracking number allows marketers to automatically know what campaign drove them there without eating up valuable conversation time that could be used to close a sale or fix a problem.

Determining top-performing campaigns

It’s common sense to replicate top-performing campaigns — but if marketers don’t know what campaigns performed best, they won’t know what to repeat. Call tracking, though, gives marketers a more realistic view of which tactics are working and which aren’t.

From top-of-funnel campaigns to bottom-of-funnel pushes, call tracking helps measure awareness, engagement and conversions to strategize future marketing plans and allocate advertising dollars. Additionally, as calls come in, marketers can also measure KPIs such as the number of calls and length of those calls for each campaign based on the individual tracking numbers to drill down on successful campaigns even further.

Qualifying hot leads for sales

In addition to identifying top-performing campaigns for marketers, call tracking can also help identify sales qualified leads (SQLs). By tracking each call conversation, businesses can gather the necessary information to determine purchase-ready leads and reduce the need for cold-calling. This means fewer subjective qualifications and more data-driven determinations of SQLs.

Inbound calls used to be a pain point for advertising attribution, but call tracking now gives marketers the missing link they need to quantify all ad spend, determine top-performing campaigns and identify hot leads for their sales team. As marketers optimize their data-driven strategies to align with new budgets and needs in 2021, call tracking must be a top priority to qualify ad spend and continue to drive revenue in the year ahead.