Last year at this time, Marchex discovered a mobile attribution problem that would chart the course for one of the biggest technological undertakings in our company’s history.
The problem – or opportunity, as we saw it – was being fueled by a major shift in consumer behavior. With the growth in smartphones, the number of people searching and calling businesses on their mobile devices was starting to trend up and to the right. Yet that growth brought with it a huge problem for search marketers – lack of keyword-level visibility for calls from mobile search, specifically click-to-call extensions. This meant that despite investing heavily in click-to-call campaigns, search marketers were flying blind, unable to understand which specific keywords were driving calls with purchase intent.
John Wanamaker, a 19th-century marketing pioneer, once said “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; trouble is, I don’t know which half.” I’m proud to say that Marchex can now help search marketers understand which half is wasted.
Today we launched our latest innovation, Marchex Call Analytics for Search. This product solves a massive $4 billion blind spot for search marketers. It’s also the only analytics solution on the market that provides 100% keyword attribution for all calls from paid search – both calls from call extensions and calls from landing pages. Data from our beta program shows that we have been able to improve ROI for our customers’ search campaigns by more than 30%.
As any team that has gone down the path of innovation knows, it is a hard journey. Our vision was to create the technology to give marketers the same level of insights for calls on mobile as clicks on desktop. This would require months of dedication and tenacity to pull off right.
Our mantra at Marchex is “Calls are the Currency of Mobile,” and we could not have believed this more as we set out to tackle this problem.
First, we created a minimum viable product, which was a call attribution engine that could determine the propensity of keywords on mobile search to drive calls. Being the leader in search marketing and call analytics uniquely positioned us to bring the right team together. We enlisted the collective expertise of our in-house search marketers, data scientists, and technology gurus from search, call analytics and big data engineering. We then focused on trials over the next several months to develop a viable model. The result was Helix, a new call attribution engine capable of identifying the propensity of keywords from search to drive calls – including calls from call extensions.
We did not stop there. We also integrated Marchex’s groundbreaking Call DNA into our new product, which makes Call Analytics for Search the only technology to identify keywords that drive calls that convert to sales.
Early tests with clients showed promise and soon, the question turned from “Can we build this?” to “Should we make this a product everyone in the world can use?”
I’ll let you hear it from Brad Roberts, who is the Vice President of Digital Marketing and eCommerce at Allconnect, a company that offers customers a convenient single source to compare and connect integrated media, broadband, home protection, energy and green products. Allconnect, one of Marchex’s beta customers for Call Analytics for Search, manages 15 websites, 40 million keywords and more than $10 million in ad spend.
“We know how to drive traffic,” Roberts said. “What we needed to do was to find an efficient way to truly understand the value of each one of our keywords. We needed a product like this to help us do that — and, until now, it didn’t exist.”
Roberts and his team worked closely with us as we created Call Analytics for Search and their feedback was invaluable. When we showed Roberts the data on where he needed to optimize, he said he was surprised.
“The real-time data really boosted our results and showed us where we had untapped opportunities,” Roberts said.
Call Analytics for Search boosted gross profit for Allconnect’s click-to-call campaigns by 50% and decreased its cost-per-acquisition by 43%.
“No other product on the market has been able to optimize our results in this way,” Roberts said. “As a company that is constantly looking for innovative technology to enhance our business, we are really excited to see that this product is moving to the next stage.”
A happy customer – that is the ultimate reward in my book.