The Underestimated Value Of Conversational Data

Taking a buyer from browsing to highly engaged is the goal of most marketers out there. Increased customer engagement represents a revenue increase of 23% for a brand, but in the age of tech-savvy prospects utilising multiple channels, how do you keep them coming back?

Of course staying ahead of the technological curve is a priority, according to Marketing Tech, “a survey of Fortune 500 marketing professionals carried out by LiveWorld, 52% of respondents thought that advances in technology would allow them to engage in meaningful two-way conversations with their customers.”

However piquing the interest of a buyer is something that requires a strategy of both personalisation and modern tech, which is where the often undervalued power of conversational data comes in. Conversational data is an indicator of how a brand’s customers are engaging with a conversational interface, be it chat, text or call.

Its value lies in the fact that it analyses real-time interactions – “with conversational analytics, for example, you can single out a target demographic or user to see whether they’re talking to a bot or application, then view every step of the conversation as it’s happening,” says Chatbots Magazine. It’s a key segmentation tool, enabling a brand or marketer to understand their buyer base on an intimate level. Thanks to data pioneers like Google, any business from large enterprises to small startups can access this bounty of information, evening the commerce playing field.

The Google Analytics Shift 

By far, a leader in the data game. The platform is now integrated into more than half of the websites on earth. It’s also altered how many marketers perceive their purpose — taking them from brand developers to keen data analysts and innovators. Google has done more for the planet than just bring us the Google Doodle. It has also brought the buyer to the forefront.
Where Google Analytics particularly stands out is in its endeavours to create an omniscient view of the customer journey, providing concrete evidence of their digital path, using Analytics 360 which includes features like enterprise analytics, tagging, site optimisation, data visualisation, market research, attribution, and audience management. Google claims to consider the current multi-screen environment that both marketers and their pool face.

Check out more about Freespee’s Google Analytics integration here. 
Despite this reputation, It has been accused in the past of disregarding offline channels and providing inaccurate information that, none-the-less, marketers have come to rely upon.

“Rightly or wrongly, the startup world cares mainly about direct-response metrics — and that is reflected in the “Goals,” and “Events” triggers in Google Analytics,” wrote TechCrunch contributor Samuel Scott.

Thanks to its recent collaboration with CRM platform Salesforce, that critique is now somewhat silenced. Whether naysayers like it or not, by the end of last year, “tablets and smartphones comprised 87 percent of the globally connected device market,” meaning that to keep ahead of the pace requires an understanding of the online sphere and a greater focus on the customer’s say so, especially concerning their interactions with the brand both online and offline. Google seems to be onboard with this by coveting the data gleaned from those buyer encounters and with this partnership, there is no doubt that ‘offline’ conversational data, namely call data, is aimed to become a hot commodity.


The advent of web analytics tools like GA has arguably done more to help than hinder the ecosystem, though some would disagree with its intention. Still, the way in which we communicate continues to elevate and technology seeps into our every day. Hopefully with Google’s help, the monetary power of conversation will continue to rise in value.
Via: TechCrunch, Chatbots Magazine, Marketing Tech, City Segment

The Google/Salesforce Collab Brings Omnichannel To Life

Creating a singular data pool containing the entire online to offline customer journey is something big brands struggle to achieve (a topic we touched on in a previous blog). However, the multinational tech giant that is Google seems to have discovered the last piece of the omnichannel puzzle and is intent on closing the loop in attributing offline sales — taking CRM platform Salesforce along for the ride.
After announcing their official partnership in November, Google and Salesforce released the first of many integrations to come this week. “Sales pipeline data from Sales Cloud (e.g., leads, opportunities) can now be imported directly into Analytics 360. So any marketer in a business that manages leads can see a more complete view of the customer’s path to conversion and quickly take action to engage them at the right moment,” wrote Google in a press release.
This collaboration is a way to gain a foothold in an arena previously ventured by Google competitor Microsoft, “This partnership offering gives customers another choice in the market and is targeted towards the traditional Adobe – Microsoft buyer,” Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research told TechCrunch.

Forging A New Digital Path

In this day and age, understanding the motives of a customer as they move from touchpoint to touchpoint is a brand’s ultimate goal. However, most brands see significant disconnects between their online properties and local stores, so when the data doesn’t quite add up they see wasted marketing budget.
In fact, “eConsultancy reports that 66% of all companies believe that the siloed data within their organisations prevents them from making the most effective use of their marketing,” according to The Drum.
Connecting the dots in the digital path usually involve deterministic or probabilistic matching using data onboarding platforms like LiveRamp. The omnichannel identity resolution provider generally uses people-based data to help brands reach consumers.
What could set Google and Salesforce’s partnership apart in this instance is the use of Analytics 360 which will provide a more complete picture of the conversion path through the integration of Big Query, Google Cloud’s enterprise data warehouse.
The emergence of this trend means brands will have to lean closer to implementing their omnichannel strategy to keep up with the competition. Something Google definitely seems in favour of but with a different strategy to LiveRamp.

The Omnichannel Debate

Some say it’s too open-ended, others think its development isn’t happening fast enough, and that legacy tech-reliant brands are holding back the pace. The debate over “omni-channel” is ongoing, but with Google’s backing, it should start finding its way into the mainstream tout suite.

What is omnichannel? The term “is what’s used to define how retailers are using technology to become customer-centric and creating a seamless… experience for consumers between the mobile, the web and brick-and-mortar channels,” says PYMNTS.com
Buyers of the future are changing how they shop, that fact remains. More than half of shoppers use multiple channels when placing orders over £100. Therefore, It’s safe to assume that a cohesive experience is expected across all touchpoints.
With an array of Google and Salesforce integrations coming our way aimed at just that, 2018 could be the year we bring it all together. Stay tuned.
Via: TechCrunch, Google, The DrumPYMNTS.

This Is An Online Marketplace’s Biggest Challenge

Digital marketplaces, both big and small, face a common problem – the chicken and egg quandary that comes with high demand from both buyers and sellers. Behemoths like eBay, Facebook and Fiverr each tackle their own challenges when it came to both inciting and maintaining activity on their forums. In fact, a few well-known brands even faked it till they made it.

“Services marketplaces put up fake projects to show activity. Steve Sammartino talks of how he seeded Rentoid.com by essentially buying the initial items himself and renting them out (though he refers to it as “Inventing Demand”, when actually he was seeding supply,” writes Pipes to Platforms.

However, once the deception springs a significant audience of both buyers and sellers, segmenting and maintaining a smooth purchase process to meet revenue targets takes a certain level of finesse.

The problem with having too much of a good thing is that it is very easy to tip the scales, especially on the buyer side of the agreement. “Buyers who are unhappy with the product or service one of the sellers provides will typically direct their ire toward the marketplace, instead of the respective seller,” claims Entrepreneur.

Sometimes its the seller who causes the ripple, if a once-faithful seller leaves a marketplace, the vast buyer base they accumulated is then left aimless without a place to land.

No marketplace wants to leave their brand at the mercy of their seller’s reputation.

A Few Solutions

The common denominator in every instance usually involves balancing the ecosystem by taking a closer look at CX for both buyers and sellers. Automotive marketplace TrueCar saw a share price “nosedive from $24 in August 2014 to $4 in 2015,” due to an alienation of their sellers according to Yapstone. “Losing dealerships meant fewer choices for the consumer and higher prices for car buyers in the TrueCar network. Ultimately everyone in TrueCar’s marketplace ecosystem – buyer and seller – felt the burn.”

Fortunately, TrueCar learned from this slip-up and introduced changes to their seller relationships, including dealerships in their advertising. Their share price rose back to $21USD in 2017. 

Buyer-wise, CX is more multifaceted and involves building both trust and expectation. Both of these facets can be improved through reliable communication. If a buyer knows that their queries will be received and dealt with in a personal manner, it reflects their overall ethos which can lead to iron-clad loyalty.

Giant marketplace eBay found a way to fix this issue by igniting a 7-day call service for top buyers and sellers in 2009. According to AdAge, the brand saw an increased net promoter score and more activity from top buyers than ever.

Today, eBay has found a way to maintain expectations. “Companies like Alibaba and eBay are successful because they have been able to communicate to buyers that when a product or service defect exists, it is the factory or seller, not the platform, that is responsible,” writes Entrepreneur.

Overall, the chicken and egg problem will always be a bee in the bonnet of marketplace growth, but the evidence suggests there are innovative ways around it, sometimes all it requires is a bit of synergy.

Via: Yapstone, Pipes to PlatformsVentureBeat, AdAge, Entrepreneur.

A Monday evening…

…Can be quite fun. We are just preparing a spontaneous Monday evening party for our friends and families. Why?
One of the largest and most successful Classified media publishers, Blocket.se, went live with a Voice application driven by the Freespee Voice API the other day.
From now on, any Blocket customer can use the built in Voice application to set the rules for incoming calls for their Advert (press release). In addition, their privacy is protected.
Freespee makes Voice as simple and comfortable as email.

Freespee@EADP

I am happy to announce that Freespee will bring our next generation Call Analytics solution to European directory publishers at the EADP conference in Palma de Mallorca.
We have successfully expanded our reach in Europe and we are currently working with four of the leading directory groups, in eight!! different countries.
Being at Palma de Mallorca (lovely conditions for Swedes…) enables us to meet with our European customers and introduce our next generation Call Analytics solution. Freespee Analytics 1.5 is the result of our experience in running large scale traffic visualization solutions for some of the biggest directory publishers for two years, with 0 minutes downtime.
We plan to launch in at least two additional European countries over the next two months, offering Call Analytics solutions to directory publishers, B2C classifieds and media agencies that all work with phone savvy business.

Pay Per Lead (PPC) in the UK

After a 3 hours meeting with one of the most successful search engines for real estate in the UK, I realize that UK is the European answer to US in terms of performance based marketing.
The performance based business model is not just a word everyone is talking about, it is also implemented in daily business transactions. In addition, the UK market has already tried advertising setups with no phone numbers, hence 100% focus in driving traffic from the Advert to the advertiser web site or on online form for requesting a proposal. The reason behind this setup has been the inability to trace phone calls.
What happened?
Consumers didn’t appreciate it. Our statistics  show that up to 50% of the visitors of a vertical search engine service wants to contact the advertiser for a voice conversation. All efforts to make this complicated, drives down the value of the service.
Ironically, the average sales conversion rate for an inbound call is 60-70% in most industries. Average sales conversion rate for a click through is 1-2% in most industries. Hence, the value of the call is up to 30 times higher than the value of a click.
In UK, online business has understood this and are now looking for the best tech companies that can help them monetize on generated voice contact leads.
For this reason they contacted Freespee. With traditional display numbers, there is no business case in tracing traffic for an Advert with less than 5-10 calls per month. The Freespee number algorithms enable our customers to trace phone calls for all Adverts, even those with 1 call per year.

Local business wants calls, not clicks

What is an inbound call from a prospect worth in terms of money for a Mover? A first page listing in a local search engine for one keyword is priced in the area of €5 000 for a yearly subscription. How many new customers would you like to receive for that market spending? Moving all your stuff from one house to another normally costs you about €1500 inc VAT. If the gross margin is 50%, a new customer is worth €750. Is 20 new customers enough, generating gross revenue of €15 000? Three times the market spending.
A regular broadcast Ad in a local morning paper would cost you the same. What do you get for that? Branding?
Let’s say this Mover has a bad answering ratio, and he is not that service minded either. He closes 5 out of 10 inbound calls. Hence, he would need 40 (20*10/5) calls in total to be happy about the spending in local search advertising.
If I say that a first page listing in a small Swedish town for the keyword “Mover” generates 10 times as many calls during a year, would you believe me? Hence, for those who only believe in Adwords, you don’t know your figures!

EADP conference in Prague

Mattias is meeting with some of the largest directory services at the EADP conference in Prague. He is keeping us updated every once and then by posting voice blogs on Talky, the voice micro blog service we are soon about to release. It is a great experience to follow him that way.
And Tuesday was a great day for Freespee, I will tell your more about that in a couple of weeks.