7 Dec 2020
in Digital Marketing
One day in March I arrived at Infinity with a 90 day plan. Barely 90 minutes later the wide-reaching impact of our imminent lockdown was apparent and that plan was in the bin.
That all seems like a lifetime ago. I reflected on it nearer the time, but now I want to look forward and share some observations following the announcement of our groundbreaking Instagram and Facebook Ads call tracking integration, the most up-to-date one in EMEA.
As a call tracking provider, our success is intertwined with our clients’. April 2020 saw the lowest number of calls going through our system for many years, as businesses in many key industries were forced to close their doors for weeks on end.
Yet as restrictions across the world loosened, June 2020 saw our highest volume of calls in the company’s history. A record that only lasted until August 2020. This highlights how crucial human contact is right now as physical locations face restrictions.
We call this graph our Heartbeat; it represents the total number of calls we handle (sensitive numbers redacted). On the one hand, it is influenced by the number of clients using our technology, so as a growing company a year-on-year jump is largely only of relevance to us. But we see evident macro-trends in it this year.
For example, the January and February levels compared to June and July are of interest. Yes, we took some new clients on between the two dates, but not enough to warrant such a significant leap. It highlighted to us how much a personal connection and direct communication is valued in these times. How will you handle delivery? What are my options if we need to change dates? Do we need to bring a mask for a viewing? What do you recommend?
We’ll accept certain risks or inconveniences when ordering smaller things online, but for the bigger purchases (cars, holidays, mortgages etc.) we still want the same sense of clarity, security, and personalisation we have always wanted.
These are valuable conversations for the customer, and a crucial engagement for the brand. So if your hard work leads to one of these calls, you want to be able to prove you’ve helped make the difference. With over half of Instagram users checking it multiple times a day, there's a lot of chances to make that difference, and now you can show it.
And truth be told, while the events of 2020 may have impacted what we’re seeing with regards to screen time, an increase was always going to be on the cards. This graph from eMarketer in 2019 shows how daily smartphone usage had already surpassed TV viewership and was expected to grow through 2020 and beyond.
As much as we all love a graph, this probably isn’t big news to anyone who works in digital marketing. Which is why I feel it’s more crucial than ever to be able to link as much of this online activity to high-intent offline interactions.
But without successfully connecting your tech stack together, you’ll always have question marks over where revenue is coming from in complex journeys, how to generate more, and where you’re wasting budget on activity that’s not closing further down the funnel.
One of the common conversations among digital marketers is how we justify social media spend from a performance standpoint. In earlier days, when it was harder to tie spend to revenue in many industries, there was a push for a focus on branding and awareness. It was gradually understood that principles and practices that were applied to print and TV could be transferred to display and social.
This is an important pillar of marketing, and impacts sales, but as technology enables greater visibility on purchase paths and more potential for attributing complex journeys, it’s time to bring clearer attribution of revenue generation back to the table.
If you or your client is a business that generates revenue or provides support via inbound calls, you previously had a gap here that could be hard to tie revenue back to. Our connection with Facebook Ads now represents an opportunity to see the true value of your spend on these channels.
I've touched on some of the benefits of our Facebook Ads integration, but one thing that’s astounded me is the work that has gone into creating it despite the circumstances.
With the exception of a couple of very early meetings, this has been built by an entirely remote team. Our developers worked tirelessly with our clients, with Facebook, and with our agency partners to deliver something that not only worked, but actually did more than we had originally anticipated.
Yep, things that we were expecting to be a ‘possible’ in a later release (largely related to Conversation Analytics and more customised goals) turned out to be included on launch.
Not only that, the pitching, the strategising with partners, and all the things that go into a major launch which usually require big whiteboards and large boardrooms. All remote. Plus, our Head of Agencies and Partnerships even managed to expertly time his paternity leave to finish in time to pitch the integration to over 3,000 interested partners. Just another day at the office Edd!
It truly is a luxury to work with a team who can execute at such a high standard whatever the weather. In terms of service, product, and vision, it’s an inspiring place to (metaphorically) walk through the doors every day. I’d like you to have the chance to be equally impressed.
If you’re looking to prove and improve the value of your paid social work, we’re always happy to speak to new agency partners and brands. Start a conversation with us here, over the phone, or using the chatbox to the right.
Chief Commercial Officer
Matthew leads Infinity’s sales and marketing teams, following a background as an agency director and investor. As a father of three and a school governor his spare time is limited, but has been known to split time between the gym and the golf course.
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