Posted 29 November 2013

New Report: Failure to measure offline sales means marketers miss out on ROI

New Report: Failure to measure offline sales means marketers miss out on ROI

Today we’ve launched a major new report that shows how a failure to take a holistic view of customer journeys means that marketers are missing out on potential revenues. In particular, marketers are ‘flying blind’ when it comes to understanding the vital role that offline channels such as phone calls play in the £582m Britons spend online every week.

The report, based on responses from a nationally representative sample of over 2,000 UK consumers and interviews with 250 marketing managers, found that even in this digital age the phone call continues to plays a critical role in online shopping journeys:

•    One in three online shoppers say they prefer to talk to someone on the phone before buying – equating to £186m of weekly online spend in the UK
•    This figure rises to 41% for those aged over 55; an important consideration when two thirds of retail spending growth over the next ten years is expected to come from this age group
•    57% say that they trust retailers and service providers more when they make it easy to contact them by phone and 56% say that they’re more likely to return to a retailer to buy again if they know they can talk to them via phone
•    72% of marketing managers said their companies make more than a quarter of their sales over the phone, and 46% make more than half
Flying blind

Despite this, the report found marketers rarely put systems and processes in place to track and analyse the phone calls they are receiving:

•    82% of marketers say it’s important to link online marketing to offline sales but 78% only link phone calls to marketing activity at the most basic campaign level
•    More than half (52%) of marketers say they don’t have a complete view of how their on and offline marketing activity is driving phone sales

The report shows how this is leaving marketers exposed; without a clear view of how customers research and buy their products. Another significant consequence is that sales are not being tracked or are being misattributed. For example, the report shows how at least twice as many sales are made when conversions made over the phone – but influenced by online marketing – are included. You can read more about this point in an earlier blog post.

Ross Fobian, Chief Executive Officer at ResponseTap, said: “The idea that tracking only online activity gives you a complete picture of your customers is clearly a myth. Our analysis shows that phone calls still play a vital role in how we shop online, yet the second a customer picks up the phone they are ‘off the grid’ for most companies. Marketers have to understand more about who is calling them, and when and why they are calling them, if they are to accurately attribute sales and make informed decisions about their marketing spend.”

Marketing still operating in silos

The report also suggests that part of the problem stems from the fact that marketing teams are often working in silos and most don’t have visibility or responsibility for phone calls. Just 16% said their marketing team has primary responsibility for tracking phone calls. 39% of respondents said their call centre or customer service team has primary responsibility for tracking and analysing phone calls but 59% said that they’re not integrated with these teams.

Fobian added: “We’d urge marketers to think about how they can access phone call data and integrate it into their analysis of customer journeys. Those that do this will find they can better target campaigns and ultimately increase revenues.”

The full report: “Off the Grid” is available to download here. It’s based on research completed in Autumn 2013 with a nationally representative sample of more than 2,000 UK consumers (carried out by  Atomik Research) and 250 UK marketing professionals (carried out by One Poll).

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