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9 call analytics platforms for marketing teams to consider

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9 call analytics platforms for marketing teams to consider

The global pandemic has confirmed what many marketers already knew: the telephone is an integral part of the consumer purchase journey. Consumers crisscross multiple online and offline channels, often from the comfort of their own homes, to research products and services and make informed purchase decisions. The high-tech/high-touch telephone provides them with convenience, speed and personal contact that inspires brand trust.

More and more enterprise marketers are using call analytics platforms to collect, analyze and act upon the growing volume of caller data now being captured from the billions of inbound calls to businesses.

Below you will find a list of 19 call analytics vendors that we profiled in the latest MarTech Intelligence Report on enterprise call analytics platforms.

These platforms provide a core set of competencies that automate and scale call tracking, recording, scoring, routing and fraud prevention.

Every enterprise is unique and at a different level of maturity in its web, social, mobile and multichannel marketing efforts. Marketers must carefully weigh current analytics needs against future goals when evaluating the return on call analytics investments. The market is continually developing, and many vendors are investing heavily in AI and machine learning to expand the range of marketing and sales use cases for their solutions. A careful and comprehensive internal evaluation of business goals and resources is the first step in the decision-making process. The result can be a long-term, productive call analytics partnership that boosts both revenue and profit for your marketing organization.

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Here is our list, which is organized alphabetically and not in any order of importance. For information on pricing and a deeper feature breakdown, download the MarTech Intelligence Report.

CallRail

CallRail’s platform (via Callrail)

Atlanta-based CallRail was founded in 2011. It has 300 employees and has raised more than $132 million in venture funding.

Target customers

CallRail serves SMBs or marketing agencies with clients that rely on communications with customers — phone calls, texts, form submissions, and/or chats — to generate leads, close deals, and grow their businesses in the home services, real estate, legal services, financial services, healthcare and automotive industries. Key customers include Cardinal Web Solutions, Einstein Industries, Molina Healthcare, Slamdot, West Dermatology and Workshop Digital.

Product overview

CallRail offers four solutions: Call Tracking, Form Tracking, Conversation Intelligence, and Lead Center.

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  • Call Tracking is a real-time solution that lets users track and analyze inbound calls to optimize marketing campaigns and maximize lead generation, conversion rates, and each campaign’s ROI.
  • Form Tracking captures and tracks form submissions, connecting online and offline marketing efforts to provide a more complete view of the customer’s
    journey.
  • Conversation Intelligence automatically records and transcribes inbound phone calls in real time and pairs with Call Tracking to classify, qualify, and quantify conversations using keywords that the user defines.
  • Lead Center, an intuitive business communications solution, lets users take, make, and manage calls, texts, and chats from one unified inbox, within the CallRail platform. Provides a real-time view of the customer journey to have smarter customer conversations.

CallRail says its platform provides seamless, real-time, native integration to 45 different marketing solutions and platforms, including CRMs, social media and search engine ad platforms, marketing management solutions and more.

It also supports custom integration via Zapier, webhooks, custom cookie capture, and API and its Lead Center mobile app lets users run a business efficiently from anywhere.

CallSource

EveryLead: Online & Offline Digitial Attribution in One Dashboard
A CallSource dashboard (via CallSource)

Westlake Village, California-based CallSource was founded in 1991. It has more than 100 employees.

Target customers

CallSource serves SMBs, enterprise brands, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and multilocation marketers in the automotive, professional services, home services, healthcare and franchise industries. Key customers include Champion Services, Dealer.com, Sonic Automotive Group and Trane.

Product overview

CallSource offers a call tracking for offline attribution solution that has evolved to include advanced digital marketing, and call coaching and performance.

It also offers a variety of services to maximize advertising ROI and call handler performance. Solutions include call tracking, lead categorization/parsing and alerts for missed opportunites and review responses.

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Its solutions are designed to maximize call-to-appointment rates by helping employees improve phone-handling skills. Key metrics include cost-per-lead by ad source, as well as lead conversion rate by employee.

CallTrack captures and identifies call numbers, locations and sources; records calls for review.

  • Local, toll-free and vanity numbers available.
  • Dynamic number insertion (DNI) available and can track up to 5 dynamic phone numbers on a single webpage.

Its Deal Saver feature delivers alerts to owners if an appointment opportunity was missed. It provides the caller’s essential contact data, call handler information, an audio file of the call and notes what department the alert came from.

Telephone Performance Analysis (TPA) is an employee evaluation tool that analyzes agent sales/customer service skills by reviewing and grading sales calls based on specific criteria.

Call Coaching uses recorded calls scored against CallSource’s proprietary principles to build call handlers’ skills and increase call-to-appointment rates.

EveryLead combines offline and online attribution in a real-time dashboard.

CS Reviews & RespondNow uses real people to aggregate and respond to online reviews for business owners to protect brand reputation using customized criteria.

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CallShield is a cloud-based fraud detection and prevention service that blocks telephone hacking and computer-generated robocalls.


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CallTrackingMetrics

Reporting | CallTrackingMetrics
A screenshot showing several CallTrackingMetrics dashboards (via CallTrackingMetrics)

Severna Park, Maryland-based CallTrackingMetrics was founded in 2008. It has 65 employees and is privately funded.

Target customers

CallTrackingMetrics serves bid-market B2B and B2C brands, plus agencies, consultancies and performance marketers (lead resellers) serving industries relying on critical communication channels such as addiction treatment, law, healthcare, home services, multi-location franchises and enterprise-level call centers. Key customers include Crystal Cruises, Pulte Homes, SearchKings, ServiceMaster and The Goddard School.

Product overview

The CallTrackingMetrics call tracking platform combines conversation intelligence with contact center functionality to drive more informed marketing decisions and facilitate smarter customer acquisition and communication across sales, marketing and customer service teams.

The platform conditionally directs calls, texts, chats and online forms based on actions visitors have taken on a brand website, conversation history, location, custom criteria and more.

The platform defines rules and milestones with an autodialer to strategically manage calls in line with team availability and caller behavior.

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Call tracking features include:

  • Reliable dynamic number insertion (DNI) for session-level attribution.
  • Local, toll-free and vanity tracking numbers for online and offline tracking.
  • Omni-channel attribution across calls, texts, form fills and chats.
  • Conversation intelligence tools like live listen, transcriptions, call recording and keyword spotting.
  • Real-time activity stream to view all conversations as they happen.
  • Standard and custom reporting dashboards to track activity volume.

Contact center features include:

  • Browser-based softphone to facilitate the communication of in-office or remote workforces.
  • Bulk SMS messaging and auto dialer features.
  • Advanced call routing options and smart routing from customizable IVRs to georouting.
  • Intuitive team and role structures to power agent queues, schedules and real-time agent reporting.
  • Customer service tools to meet users where they are, while remaining in one platform to answer calls, texts and chats.
  • Whisper messages, automated tagging, wrap-up panels and call scoring for efficient communication and follow-up.

Infinity

Travel solutions | Infinity
A screenshot of Infinity’s platform (via Infinity)

London-based Infinity was founded in 2010 and has 135 employees. Its global services available in 85-plus countries worldwide. In September 2021, Infinity acquired call tracking and analytics provider ResponseTap. It has additional U.S. offices in San Francisco; international offices in Madrid and Reigate, and Surrey and Manchester offices in the U.K.

Target customers

Infinity serves brands in the automotive, financial services, leisure, healthcare, education, professional services, technology, communications, utilities and real estate markets, as well as agencies that serve them. Key customers include Allianz, Laureate, Mazda, Meliá Hotels International, Samsung and TruGreen.

Product overview

Infinity offers full visitor journey attribution, call recording and visitor-level call tracking for granular visibility on channel performance when a phone call is a touchpoint.

It provides call handlers with real-time caller insights, including digital journey tracking and PPC keywords and pinpoints which marketing campaigns lead to highest value calls to inform future activity.

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Infinity uses the online journey and customer conversations to tailor the customer experience, including routing with no need for an interactive voice response (IVR), call prioritization, and agent pairing.

Other features include:

  • Call transcription for data analysis for better customer interaction and benefits around call handler development, marketing insight and revenue tracking.
  • Fully encrypted session initiation protocol (SIP) calls for inbound and outbound calls across multiple major markets.

What is call analytics and what does it do for

Explore platform capabilities from vendors like CallRail, Invoca, CallSource, DialogueTech and more in the full MarTech Intelligence Report on enterprise call analytics platforms.

Click here to download!


Invoca

Invoca | Award Winning Active Conversation Intelligence Software
Example of call transcript analysis by Invoca (via Invoca)

Santa Barbara, California-based Invoca was founded in 2008. It has more than 320 employees and more than 2,300 customers. Invoca acquired call tracking and analytics provider DialogTech in May 2021. It has raised $116 million in six rounds of venture funding.

Target customers

Invoca serves marketing, e-commerce, sales, and customer experience teams at enterprise and mid-market B2C brands, as well as agencies and pay-per-call marketers serving high-value purchase industries, including automotive, healthcare, financial services, insurance, telecommunications, home services, and travel. Key customers include BBQ Guys, DISH Network, University Hospitals and 1-800-GOT-JUNK?.

Product overview

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Invoca’s Active Conversation Intelligence platform enables marketing, sales, customer experience and e-commerce teams to understand and act on the information consumers share via conversations to accelerate revenue by improving marketing and sales results.

The platform integrates with leading marketing technology, adtech, CRM, and call center platforms to turn conversation data into automated action to create better experiences, more conversions and higher revenue.

Platform features include:

  • Inbound call tracking on a 1:1 consumer and session-level basis with dynamic number insertion (DNI) for toll-free and local numbers.
  • Call recording and conversation transcriptions that automatically redact sensitive information like credit card and social security numbers.
  • Granular customer journey data capture (e.g. campaign, search keyword, product viewed, data entered into online shopping carts, etc.) with Invoca’s first-party JavaScript website tag.
  • Real-time call classification, conversion topic and outcome detection, and call segmentation with artificial intelligence-based conversational analytics, spoken keyword detection, and pre-call marketing data (IVR keypress, caller attributes, referring marketing source, activity on websites, etc.).
  • Automated quality assurance (QA) and call scoring to quantify agent performance and track script compliance.
  • Automatically identify coaching moments and improve agent performance through data-driven coaching.
  • Lost Sales Recovery automatically detects missed sales opportunities when callers either fail to reach a live agent (because they hung up or reached voicemail) or high-intent callers that did not convert.
  • Offline conversion and revenue data import via file upload or CRM to measure the intent, outcome and exact revenue generated from each call.
  • Bi-directional integrations with an array of adtech, marketing technology, analytics, CRM, CDP, DX, and CCaaS platforms, including Google Ads, Facebook, Salesforce, Five9, Tealium, and Medallia.
  • In-platform reporting suite with customizable dashboards and reports to visualize high-level trends, access detailed marketing and sales insights and drill down into each call to review all data, signals, recordings and transcriptions.
  • Cloud IVR (interactive voice response) and dynamic call routing using data captured before the call (e.g. campaign, calling page, e-commerce data, caller location, language, day/time, sales vs. support call, etc.) to prioritize routing of high-value calls and connect callers to the right agents or locations right away.

Iovox

Communication, Analytics, Call Tracking - iovox
Iovox platform on different devices (via iovox)

London-based Iovox was founded in 2007. It has 50 employees. The company is privately held and Octopus Ventures and Columbia Lake Partners are the primary institutional investors. Iovox also acquired French-based WannaSpeak in 2019. It has offices in London, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney.

Target customers

Iovox serves enterprise and mid-size businesses looking to incorporate call tracking or speech analytics into an automated marketing process to drive or enhance lead flow. Typical industries served include marketplaces, classifieds, directory services, hospitality and digital agencies. The iovox mobile and web apps are aimed at small businesses and individuals that rely heavily on the phone. Key customers include AutoTrader U.K., British Telecom, Immobiliare.it, LaCentrale Group, REA Group and Zoopla.

Product overview

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Iovox offers a combination of inbound call tracking and value-added services to SMB and enterprise accounts. It is available on a standalone basis via mobile or web app or integrated with a REST API.

API modules include: Voice, Email, Live Chat, Call Data and SMS.

Other features include:

  • Mobile and web-based dialer software, enabling outbound calls and customizable Caller ID when used in conjunction with iovox numbers.
  • Iovox WebConnect, which adds a call button to any website enabling site visitors to place a call directly from a mobile device, tablet or PC, and includes site attribution features in its analytics. The solution allows for full call tracking functionality without requiring the use of unique telephone numbers.
  • Iovox WebCallBack enables web visitors to request a call back at a time convenient for them.
  • Inbound options include both dedicated and dynamic call tracking (source and session based) for conventional marketing automation and conversion tracking.
  • Two-way mobile call tracking solution allows individuals and SMBs to track and organize calls made from mobile phones. Companion web app enables additional number purchasing with enhanced features such as transcriptions, call whispers and keyword spotting.
  • Mobile call center functionality to allow small teams to form virtual call centers to handle calls when working from home or remotely.
  • Iovox Insights uses natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI) to help marketers, sales teams or call centers to identify the reasons for a call and evaluate outcomes and sentiments of every conversation.
  • Supplies unique local numbers in hundreds of countries and offers enhanced features such as call whispers, customizable interactive voice response (IVR), call recording and transcription, keyword spotting, web call back, spam filters and blocking, SMS tracking and CRM integration.

Marchex

Conversation Edition - Marchex
Screenshots of Marchex scorecards (via Marchex)

Seattle-based Marchex was founded in 2003. It is publicly held and trades on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker symbol “MCHX.” Marchex has more than 250 employees and has more than 30 technology patents.

Target customers

Marchex serves enterprise and mid-market brands, multi-location businesses and agencies with clients in a range of verticals, including automotive manufacturing and services, real estate/senior living, home services, healthcare/dental, e-learning/education, insurance, lending and mortgage, and travel. Key customers include General Motors, Meineke Car Care Centers, Thryv, Wyndham Hotels Group and Zillow.

Product overview

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Marchex offers a suite of conversation intelligence products for marketing and sales teams: Marchex Marketing Edge, Marchex Engage, Marchex Sonar and Marchex Spotlight.

Marchex Marketing Edge uses actionable Al to create more high-intent, revenue-generating conversations. The solution enables brand marketers, agencies and marketing services providers to connect online marketing campaigns to the revenue-generating offline conversations they drive, and reveal which campaigns and marketing channels have the highest ROI and lowest cost per lead.

Key capabilities include:

  • Multichannel attribution dynamic number insertion (DNI) that connects consumer calls, texts, chats and web form completions to marketing campaigns.
  • Integrations with a range of third-party martech, adtech, CRM and chat systems including Salesforce CRM, Adobe Analytics, Google Ads and HubSpot.
  • An intuitive user interface to enable easier campaign management and provide customizable, real-time analytic views that highlight campaign performance.

Marchex Engage uses conversation intelligence to empower sales teams to improve sales outcomes while delivering a better buying experience. It unlocks the content of conversations and enables sellers to increase sales efficiency, take the right action to make the most of every opportunity, and sell more.

Key capabilities include:

  • Action Lists that identify a specific list of conversations that require priority attention based on their outcome to help focus a sales team’s follow-up conversations on the best leads
  • Deal-saving Action Alerts sent to a team specialist so they can take quick action to save a lead, make sure a follow up occurs, and coach their teams after a conversation ends unsuccessfully.
  • Workflow management to track and change the status of conversations that sellers have acted on and identify who is responsible for the next action.
  • Visual conversation playback to listen and move quickly through the most interesting parts of a recorded conversation and follow along via a synchronized transcript.

Marchex Sonar uses intelligent mobile messaging to empower sales and marketing teams to communicate with prospects and customers personally at scale using two-way text messaging and dramatically increase critical actions, customer engagement and conversions.

Key capabilities include:

  • Send and receive SMS and MMS messages over local or toll-free numbers.
  • Send campaign-specific messages to any segment of a target audience based on properties and include data for A/B testing and response rates.
  • Route customers or prospects through an automated conversation flow for lead qualification, saving sales team time and effort.
  • Schedule drip campaigns or automated text messages based on customized times or specific user actions.
  • Add more contextual information to conversations either automatically by a bot or manually by a seller.
  • Stay compliant with the evolving messaging policies and standards by tracking customer opt-out, obtaining double opt-in consent to send messages, and protecting against sending text messages to customers outside of acceptable hours.

Marchex Spotlight measures the performance of a company’s locations in how they are handling inbound conversation opportunities against company benchmark targets, quickly zeroing in on areas of the business where opportunities exist to improve conversation handling performance and results.

Key capabilities include:

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Benchmarking at the highest level of an organization all the way down to an individual location, helping to pinpoint performance results where action can be taken to improve performance.

Proactive, guided insights that surface performance issues a company can immediately be informed of, and directed to, that require corrective conversation handling action while shortening the amount of time it takes to identify the source of the issues.

Ringba

New Dashboard UI, Tweaks and Updates - Ringba updates
A screenshot of Ringba’s platform (via Ringba)

Dover, Delaware-based Ringba was founded in 2015 and has 33 employees.

Target customers

Ringba serves performance marketers, media buyers, digital agencies, enterprise brands and call centers in verticals such as insurance, financial services, healthcare, legal and home services. Key customers include 1-800-DENTIST, Progressive Insurance, eHealth, National General Insurance Corp., Health Network and Allstate.

Product overview

Ringba provides enterprise-grade call tracking to businesses, pay-per-call networks, agencies and performance marketers of all sizes. The company’s real-time tracking and analytics are designed for media buying, click arbitrage and substantial scale.

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Use cases include:

  • Campaign tracking. Allows users to track and monitor call campaigns with real-time analytics.
  • Call attribution. Lets marketers attribute specific traffic sources, keywords, and other data to calls.
  • Automated routing. Enables the creation of dynamic routing plans to automatically manage call flow.
  • Real-time bidding. Allows programmatic buyers to bid on calls in real-time.

Smith.ai

Introducing the Smith.ai Partner Portal: One Account to Manage Your Clients  | Smith.ai
Smith.ai’s partner portal (via Smith.ai)

Los Altos, California-based Smith.ai was founded in 2015 and has 25 employees.

Target customers

Smith.ai serves marketing agencies, franchise-based large organizations, and SMBs in service-driven industries, including automotive, IT, legal, marketing, personal, pet, and homeowner (contracting, lawn/garden, plumbing, HVAC, etc.). Key customers include Colorado Lawyer Team, Convert IT Marketing, Edwards Family Law, Indie Law, Mockingbird Marketing and the Youngblood Group.

Product overview

Smith.ai leverages human and machine intelligence to provide 24/7 answering, intake, scheduling for businesses, plus controls for call routing and spam blocking, as well as insights through call analytics and call metadata.

The service’s work-from-home receptionists answer and return calls, respond to live website chats and SMS text messages, qualify leads, intake new clients, book appointments, and accept payments. Website chat can prompt an outbound call to Smith.ai receptionists or the business owner, and is available as a live-staffed or AI-only solution.

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Transfer notifications can be sent via SMS or chat app (such as Slack) instead of a call, for silent prompts.

The Client Dashboard provides tools for adjusting call-handling settings, so insights from metadata can be used by clients to adjust the course of action on the next call. This is often a collaborative endeavor between a business owner and their staff, the business and Smith.ai support staff, or the business and its marketing agency.

Smith.ai integrates with Slack, MS Teams, SMS, email, and software like business management tools HubSpot or Salesforce to ensure workflows and collaboration are promptly initiated in the right system and assigned to the right person. For example, a New Lead call goes to the sales team, whereas an Existing Client call may go to their account manager. Infrastructure is deployed on Amazon Web Services (AWS) which complies with GDPR. Data is encrypted with Secure Socket Layer technology (SSL).


About The Author

Does your marketing team need a digital experience platform DXP

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Pamela Parker is Research Director at Third Door Media’s Content Studio, where she produces MarTech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land and MarTech. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager, Senior Editor and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She’s a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.


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MARKETING

Only 6% of global marketers apply customer insights to product and brand

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Only 6% of global marketers apply customer insights to product and brand

While many brands talk about focusing on the customer, few do it. Less than a quarter (24%) of global brands are mapping customer behavior and sentiment, according to Braze’s 2024 Customer Engagement Review. What’s worse, only 6% apply customer insights to their product and brand approach.

“At the end of the day, a lot of companies operate based on their structure and not how the consumer interacts with them,” Mariam Asmar, VP of strategic consulting, told MarTech. “And while some companies have done a great job of reorienting that, with roles like the chief customer officer, there are many more that still don’t. Cross-channel doesn’t exist because there are still all these silos. But the customer doesn’t care about your silos. The customer doesn’t see silos. They see a brand.”

Half of all marketers report either depending on multiple, siloed point solutions to cobble together a multi-channel experience manually (33%); or primarily relying on single-channel solutions (17%).  Only 30% have access to a single customer engagement platform capable of creating personalized, seamless experiences across channels. This is a huge problem when it comes to cross-channel, personalization.

The persistence of silos

The persistence of data silos despite decades of explanation about the problems they cause, surprised Asmar the most.

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Screenshot 2024 02 27 140015
Source: Braze 2024 Global Customer Engagement Review

“Why are we still talking about this?” she said to MarTech. “One of the themes I see in the report is we’re still getting caught up on some of the same stumbling blocks as before.”

She said silos are indicative of teams working on different goals and “the only way that gets unsolved is if a leader comes in and aligns people towards some of those goals.”

These silos also hinder the use of AI, something 99% of respondents said they were already doing. The top uses of AI by marketers are:

  • Generating creative ideas (48%).
  • Automating repetitive tasks (47%).
  • Optimizing strategies in real-time (47%).
  • Enhancing data analysis (47%).
  • Powering predictive analytics (45%).
  • Personalizing campaigns (44%). 

Despite the high usage numbers, less than half of marketers have any interest in exploring AI’s potential to enhance customer engagement. Asmar believes there are two main reasons for this. First is that many people like the systems they know and understand. The other reason is a lack of training on the part of companies.

Dig deeper: 5 ways CRMs are leveraging AI to automate marketing today

“I think about when I was in advertising and everybody switched to social media,” she told MarTech. “Companies acted like ‘Well, all the marketers will just figure out social media.’ You can’t do that because whenever you’re teaching somebody how to do something new there’s always a level of training them up, even though they’re apps that we use every day, as people using them as a business and how they apply, how we get impact from them.”

The good news is that brands are setting the stage for the data agility they need.

  • 50% export performance feedback to business intelligence platforms to generate advanced analytics.
  • 48% sync performance with insights generated by other platforms in the business.

Also worth noting: Marketers say these are the four main obstacles to creativity and strategy:  

  • Emphasis on KPIs inherently inhibits a focus on creativity (42%).
  • Too much time spent on business-as-usual execution and tasks (42%).
  • Lack of technology to execute creative ideas, (41%).
  • Hard to demonstrate ROI impact of creativity (40%).
Screenshot 2024 02 27 135952Screenshot 2024 02 27 135952

Methodology

The 2024 Global Customer Engagement Review (registration required) is based on insights from 1,900 VP+ marketing decision-makers across 14 countries in three global regions: The Americas (Brazil, Mexico, and the US), APAC (Australia, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea), and EMEA (France, Germany, Spain, the UAE, and the UK).

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MARKETING

Crafting Effortless Sales Through ‘Wow’ Moments in Experience Marketing

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Crafting Effortless Sales Through 'Wow' Moments in Experience Marketing

Crafting Effortless Sales Through Wow Moments in Experience Marketing

In an era where consumers are bombarded with endless choices and digital noise, standing out as a brand is more challenging than ever. Enter experience marketing – a strategy that transcends traditional advertising by focusing on creating immersive, memorable interactions. This innovative approach leverages the elements of surprise, delight, and reciprocity to forge strong emotional connections with customers, making the sale of your core product feel effortless. But how can businesses implement this strategy effectively? This guide delves into the art of crafting ‘wow’ moments that captivate audiences and transform customer engagement.

The Basics of Experience Marketing

Experience marketing is an evolved form of marketing that focuses on creating meaningful interactions with customers, aiming to elicit strong emotional responses that lead to brand loyalty and advocacy. Unlike conventional marketing, which often prioritizes product promotion, experience marketing centers on the customer’s holistic journey with the brand, creating a narrative that resonates on a personal level.

In today’s competitive market, experience marketing is not just beneficial; it’s essential. It differentiates your brand in a crowded marketplace, elevating your offerings beyond mere commodities to become integral parts of your customers’ lives. Through memorable experiences, you not only attract attention but also foster a community of loyal customers who are more likely to return and recommend your brand to others.

Principles of Experience Marketing

At the heart of experience marketing lie several key principles:

  • Emotional Connection: Crafting campaigns that touch on human emotions, from joy to surprise, creating memorable moments that customers are eager to share.
  • Customer-Centricity: Putting the customer’s needs and desires at the forefront of every marketing strategy, ensuring that each interaction adds value and enhances their experience with the brand.
  • Immersive Experiences: Utilizing technology and storytelling to create immersive experiences that captivate customers, making your brand a living part of their world.
  • Engagement Across Touchpoints: Ensuring consistent, engaging experiences across all customer touchpoints, from digital platforms to physical stores.

Understanding Your Audience

Before diving into the intricacies of crafting ‘wow’ moments, it’s crucial to understand who you’re creating these moments for. Identifying your audience’s pain points and desires is the first step in tailoring experiences that truly resonate.

1709033181 544 Crafting Effortless Sales Through Wow Moments in Experience Marketing1709033181 544 Crafting Effortless Sales Through Wow Moments in Experience Marketing

This involves deep market research, customer interviews, and leveraging data analytics to paint a comprehensive picture of your target demographic. By understanding the journey your customers are on, you can design touchpoints that not only meet but exceed their expectations.

  • Identifying Pain Points and Desires: Use surveys, social media listening, and customer feedback to gather insights. What frustrates your customers about your industry? What do they wish for more than anything else? These insights will guide your efforts to create experiences that truly resonate.
  • Mapping the Customer Journey: Visualize every step a customer takes from discovering your brand to making a purchase and beyond. This map will highlight critical touchpoints where you can introduce ‘wow’ moments that transform the customer experience.

Developing Your Experience Marketing Strategy

With a clear understanding of your audience, it’s time to build the framework of your experience marketing strategy. This involves setting clear objectives, identifying key customer touchpoints, and conceptualizing the experiences you want to create.

  • Setting Objectives: Define what you aim to achieve with your experience marketing efforts. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, boosting sales, or improving customer retention, having clear goals will shape your approach and help measure success.
  • Strategic Touchpoint Identification: List all the potential touchpoints where customers interact with your brand, from social media to in-store experiences. Consider every stage of the customer journey and look for opportunities to enhance these interactions.

Enhancing Customer Experiences with Surprise, Delight, and Reciprocity

This section is where the magic happens. By integrating the elements of surprise, delight, and reciprocity, you can elevate ordinary customer interactions into unforgettable experiences.

1709033181 790 Crafting Effortless Sales Through Wow Moments in Experience Marketing1709033181 790 Crafting Effortless Sales Through Wow Moments in Experience Marketing
  • Incorporating Surprise and Delight: Go beyond what’s expected. This could be as simple as a personalized thank-you note with each purchase or as elaborate as a surprise gift for loyal customers. The key is to create moments that feel special and unexpected.
  • Applying the Principle of Reciprocity: When customers receive something of value, they’re naturally inclined to give something back. This can be leveraged by offering helpful resources, exceptional service, or customer appreciation events. Such gestures encourage loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.
  • Examples and Case Studies: Highlight real-world examples of brands that have successfully implemented these strategies. Analyze what they did, why it worked, and how it impacted their relationship with customers.

Best Practices for Experience Marketing

To ensure your experience marketing strategy is as effective as possible, it’s important to adhere to some best practices.

  • Personalization at Scale: Leverage data and technology to personalize experiences without losing efficiency. Tailored experiences make customers feel valued and understood.
  • Using Technology to Enhance Experiences: From augmented reality (AR) to mobile apps, technology offers myriad ways to create immersive experiences that surprise and engage customers.
  • Measuring Success: Utilize analytics tools to track the success of your experience marketing initiatives. Key performance indicators (KPIs) could include engagement rates, conversion rates, and customer satisfaction scores.

Section 5: Overcoming Common Challenges

Even the best-laid plans can encounter obstacles. This section addresses common challenges in experience marketing and how to overcome them.

1709033181 656 Crafting Effortless Sales Through Wow Moments in Experience Marketing1709033181 656 Crafting Effortless Sales Through Wow Moments in Experience Marketing
  • Budget Constraints: Learn how to create impactful experiences without breaking the bank. It’s about creativity, not just expenditure.
  • Maintaining Consistency: Ensuring a consistent brand experience across all touchpoints can be daunting. Develop a comprehensive brand guideline and train your team accordingly.
  • Staying Ahead of Trends: The digital landscape is ever-changing. Stay informed about the latest trends in experience marketing and be ready to adapt your strategy as necessary.

The Path to Effortless Sales

By creating memorable experiences that resonate on a personal level, you make the path to purchase not just easy but natural. When customers feel connected to your brand, appreciated, and valued, making a sale becomes a byproduct of your relationship with them. Experience marketing, when done right, transforms transactions into interactions, customers into advocates, and products into passions.

Now is the time to reassess your marketing strategy. Are you just selling a product, or are you providing an unforgettable experience? Dive into the world of experience marketing and start creating those ‘wow’ moments that will not only distinguish your brand but also make sales feel effortless.


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The Current State of Google’s Search Generative Experience [What It Means for SEO in 2024]

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The Current State of Google's Search Generative Experience [What It Means for SEO in 2024]

SEO enthusiasts, known for naming algorithm updates after animals and embracing melodrama, find themselves in a landscape where the “adapt or die” mantra prevails. So when Google announced the launch of its Search Generative Experience (SGE) in May of 2023 at Google/IO, you can imagine the reaction was immense.

Although SGE has the potential to be a truly transformative force in the landscape, we’re still waiting for SGE to move out of the Google Labs Sandbox and integrate into standard search results. 

Curious about our current take on SGE and its potential impact on SEO in the future? Read on for more.

Decoding Google’s Defensive Move

In response to potential threats from competitors like ChatGPT, Bing, TikTok, Reddit, and Amazon, Google introduced SGE as a defensive maneuver. However, its initial beta release raised questions about its readiness and global deployment.

ChatGPT provided an existential threat that had the potential to eat into Google’s market share. When Bing started incorporating it into its search results, it was one of the most significant wins for Bing in a decade. In combination with threats from TikTok, Reddit, and Amazon, we see a more fractured search landscape less dominated by Google. Upon its launch, the expectation was that Google would push its SGE solution globally, impact most queries, and massively shake up organic search results and strategies to improve organic visibility.

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Now, industry leaders are starting to question if Google is better off leaving SGE in the testing ground in Google labs. According to Google’s recent update, it appears that SGE will remain an opt-in experience in Google Labs (for at least the short term). If SGE was released, there could be a fundamental reset in understanding SEO. Everything from organic traffic to optimization tactics to tracking tools would need adjustments for the new experience. Therefore, the prospect of SGE staying in Google Labs is comforting if not entirely reliable. 

The ever-present option is that Google can change its mind at any point and push SGE out broadly as part of its standard search experience. For this reason, we see value in learning from our observations with SGE and continuing to stay on top of the experience.

SGE User Experience and Operational Challenges

If you’ve signed up for search labs and have been experimenting with SGE for a while, you know firsthand there are various issues that Google should address before rolling it out broadly to the public.

At a high level, these issues fall into two broad categories including user experience issues and operational issues.

Below are some significant issues we’ve come across, with Google making notable progress in addressing certain ones, while others still require improvement:

  • Load time – Too many AI-generated answers take longer to load than a user is willing to wait. Google recommends less than a 3-second load time to meet expectations. They’ll need to figure out how to consistently return results quickly if they want to see a higher adoption rate.
  • Layout – The SGE layout is massive. We believe any major rollout will be more streamlined to make it a less intrusive experience for users and allow more visibility for ads, and if we’re lucky, organic results. Unfortunately, there is still a decent chance that organic results will move below the fold, especially on mobile devices. Recently, Google has incorporated more results where users are prompted to generate the AI result if they’d like to see it. The hope is Google makes this the default in the event of a broad rollout where users can generate an AI result if they want one instead of assuming that’s what a user would like to see. 
  • Redundancy – The AI result duplicates features from the map pack and quick answer results. 
  • Attribution – Due to user feedback, Google includes sources on several of their AI-powered overviews where you can see relevant web pages if there is an arrow next to the result. Currently, the best way to appear as one of these relevant pages is to be one of the top-ranked results, which is convenient from an optimization standpoint. Changes to how attribution and sourcing are handled could heavily impact organic strategies. 

 

On the operational side, Google also faces significant hurdles to making SGE a viable product for its traditional search product. The biggest obstacle appears to be making the cost associated with the technology worth the business outcomes it provides. If this was a necessary investment to maintain market share, Google might be willing to eat the cost, but if their current position is relatively stable, Google doesn’t have much of an incentive to take on the additional cost burden of heavily leveraging generative AI while also presumably taking a hit to their ad revenue. Especially since slow user adoption doesn’t indicate this is something users are demanding at the moment.

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While the current experience of SGE is including ads above the generative results now, the earliest iterations didn’t heavily feature sponsored ads. While they are now included, the current SGE layout would still significantly disrupt the ad experience we’re used to. During the Google I/O announcement, they made a statement to reassure advertisers they would be mindful of maintaining a distinct ad experience in search.  

“In this new generative experience, Search ads will continue to appear in dedicated ad slots throughout the page. And we’ll continue to uphold our commitment to ads transparency and making sure ads are distinguishable from organic search results” – Elizabeth Reid, VP, Search at Google

Google is trying to thread a delicate needle here of staying on the cutting edge with their search features, while trying not to upset their advertisers and needlessly hinder their own revenue stream. Roger Montti details more of the operational issues in a recent article digging into the surprising reasons SGE is stuck in Google Labs.

He lists three big problems that need to be solved before SGE will be integrated into the foreground of search:

  1. Large Language Models being inadequate as an information retrieval system
  2. The inefficiency and cost of transformer architecture
  3. Hallucinating (providing inaccurate answers)

 

Until SGE provides more user value and checks more boxes on the business sense side, the traditional search experience is here to stay. Unfortunately, we don’t know when or if Google will ever feel confident they’ve addressed all of these concerns, so we’ll need to stay prepared for change.

Experts Chime in on Search Generative Experience

Our team has been actively engaging with SGE, here’s a closer look at their thoughts and opinions on the experience so far:

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“With SGE still in its early stages, I’ve noticed consistent changes in how the generative results are produced and weaved naturally into the SERPs. Because of this, I feel it is imperative to stay on top of these on-going changes to ensure we can continue to educate our clients on what to expect when SGE is officially incorporated into our everyday lives. Although an official launch date is currently unknown, I believe proactively testing various prompt types and recording our learnings is important to prepare our clients for this next evolution of Google search.” – Jon Pagano, SEO Sr. Specialist at Tinuiti

“It’s been exciting to watch SGE grow through different variations over the last year, but like other AI solutions its potential still outweighs its functionality and usefulness. What’s interesting to see is that SGE doesn’t just cite its sources of information, but also provides an enhanced preview of each webpage referenced. This presents a unique organic opportunity where previously untouchable top 10 rankings are far more accessible to the average website. Time will tell what the top ranking factors for SGE are, but verifiable content with strong E-E-A-T signals will be imperative. –Kate Fischer, SEO Specialist at Tinuiti

“Traditionally, AI tools were very good at analytical tasks. With the rise of ChatGPT, users can have long-form, multi-question conversations not yet available in search results. When, not if, released, Google’s Generative Experience will transform how we view AI and search. Because there are so many unknowns, some of the most impactful ways we prepare our clients are to discover and develop SEO strategies that AI tools can’t directly disrupt, like mid to low funnel content.” – Brandon Miller, SEO Specialist at Tinuiti

“SGE is going to make a huge impact on the ecommerce industry by changing the way users interact with the search results. Improved shopping experience will allow users to compare products, price match, and read reviews in order to make it quicker and easier for a user to find the best deals and purchase. Although this leads to more competitive results, it also improves organic visibility and expands our product reach. It is more important than ever to ensure all elements of a page are uniquely and specifically optimized for search. With the SGE updates expected to continue to impact search results, the best way to stay ahead is by focusing on strong user focused content and detailed product page optimizations.”  – Kellie Daley, SEO Sr. Specialist at Tinuiti

Navigating the Clash of Trends

One of the most interesting aspects of the generative AI trend in search is that it appears to be in direct opposition to other recent trends.

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One of the ways Google has historically evaluated the efficacy of its search ranking systems is through the manual review of quality raters. In their quality rater guidelines, raters were instructed to review for things like expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (EAT) in results to determine if Google results are providing users the information they deserve. 

In 2022, Google updated their search guidelines to include another ‘e’ in the form of experience (EEAT). In their words, Google wanted to better assess if the content a user was consuming was created by someone with, “a degree of experience, such as with actual use of a product, having actually visited a place or communicating what a person has experienced. There are some situations where really what you value most is content produced by someone who has firsthand, life experience on the topic at hand.” 

Generative AI results, while cutting-edge technology and wildly impressive in some cases, stand in direct opposition to the principles of E-E-A-T. That’s not to say that there’s no room for both in search, but Google will have to determine what it thinks users value more between these competing trends. The slow adoption of SGE could be an indication that a preference for human experience, expertise, authority, and trust is winning round one in this fight. 

Along these lines, Google is also diversifying its search results to cater to the format in which users get their information. This takes the form of their Perspectives Filter. Also announced at Google I/O 2023, the perspectives filter incorporates more video, image, and discussion board posts from places like TikTok, YouTube, Reddit, and Quora. Once again, this trend shows the emphasis and value searchers place on experience and perspective. Users value individual experience over the impersonal conveyance of information. AI will never have these two things, even if it can provide a convincing imitation.

The current iteration of SGE seems to go too far in dismissing these trends in favor of generative AI. It’s an interesting challenge Google faces. If they don’t determine the prevailing trend correctly, veering too far in one direction can push more market share to ChatGPT or platforms like YouTube and TikTok.

Final Thoughts

The range of outcomes remains broad and fascinating for SGE. We can see this developing in different ways, and prognostication offers little value, but it’s invaluable to know the potential outcomes and prepare for as many of them as possible.

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It’s critical that you or your search agency be interacting and experimenting with SGE because:

  • The format and results will most likely continue to see significant changes
  • This space moves quickly and it’s easy to fall behind
  • Google may fix all of the issues with SGE and decide to push it live, changing the landscape of search overnight
  • SGE experiments could inform other AI elements incorporated into the search experience

 

Ultimately, optimizing for the specific SGE experience we see now is less important because we know it will inevitably continue changing. We see more value in recognizing the trends and problems Google is trying to solve with this technology. With how quickly this space moves, any specifics mentioned in this article could be outdated in a week. That’s why focusing on intention and process is important at this stage of the game.

By understanding the future needs and wants SGE is attempting to address, we can help you future-proof your search strategies as much as possible. To some extent we’re always at the whims of the algorithm, but by maintaining a user-centric approach, you can make your customers happy, regardless of how they find you.

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