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Why Aren’t You Picking Up?

by Sterling Weiss | October 10, 2016

One of the benefits of processing over 3 million calls a year for our clients is that Marchex produces a lot of insightful data. The Marchex Institute, an in-house team of data scientists and analysists, shares industry specific data with marketers and clients looking for, among other things, data to benchmark their performance against their industry.

Marchex has produced a number of industry segmented reports for industries like Finance, Cable/Telco and Travel, just to name a few. In many cases, these reports can provide some eye-popping insights. Recently, I was reviewing some learnings from the real estate segment that caused me to have an “Aaah” moment. Not “Aaah” in the normal sense, but “Aaah” in the “Aaah, Crikey!” sense.


Here’s what I was looking at. You tell me if you have the same reaction I did:

  • Monday is the busiest day for inbound calls. (Aaah. I would have thought Friday was the busiest)
  • 24% of calls are detailed new inquiries. ( I figured it would be a bit lower, but OK)
  • 57% of inbound real estate calls go unanswered. (SAY WHAT!!)

That last one is a shocker, isn’t it? There’s no way that can be true, right? I refused to believe it. But the bottom line is this: the data doesn’t lie.

One of the common issues marketers present to me is the need to solve for missed opportunities. Marketers simply don’t get the level of feedback from the sales channel they need. Think about the magnitude of money left on the table when your sales channel is missing 57% of its revenue opportunities from inbound phone calls. Some perspective:

Adwerx has determined the lifetime value (LTV) for a typical single family homebuyer is over $45,000. (Check it out for yourself: Client Lifetime Value Calculator). The LTV for a rental customer is sizable too. You probably know the LTV of your customers or the customers in your industry.

Here’s the challenge

Marketers tend to have data insight into their marketing channel, i.e., what media is driving calls. However, they often don’t know if the media is driving “quality” calls, or similarly, what specifically happened on those calls.

Why that matters: As I mentioned earlier, marketers tend to have some form of call tracking or analytics that provides baseline data regarding marketing attribution. For example, Google analytics will show specific keyword searches drove X number of calls at X minutes per call. But that baseline data could be very misleading. I’ll use the example above to make my point.

Let’s say you’re the CMO of a Top 50 real estate property management company. You have over 100,000 rental units throughout North America. Can you imagine the cost of your agents answering only 43% of the calls your marketing is designed to drive? What you don’t know is your analytics are showing that far more calls are being connected. What the data isn’t showing you is the significant percent of callers that are hanging up after being on hold for too long.

What if you had data that showed what media drove the best high-intent, high-conversion calls? Similarly, what if that data also offered insights into what your best sales agents were doing to convert leads into appointments or deliver the best customer experience? How would you apply that knowledge?

I can take that same example and apply it farther upstream. Let’s say you’re the same CMO who’s placing thousands of listings on an exciting, new apartment search web site. After 90 days in, you call the web site’s account manager to cancel. “We’re not seeing the ROI we were looking for.” you say. But the account manager has news for you. Very insightful, actionable news. “I was expecting your call,” they say. “We’ve been studying the outcome of every call. Not a good picture, I’m afraid. We’ve found that 57% of the calls we generated to your properties last month were never answered. In fact, we found, on average, these consumers let the phone ring for over three minutes on average before giving up. What I’m saying is, the problem seems to be on your end.”

Having insights into what media is driving calls is a great first step. My guess is you’ve got that one covered. However, there is so much more critical data that has to be known about your marketing attribution and customer outcomes. Thoroughly understanding both the marketing channel and the sales channel will allow you the means to optimize your media spend, and deliver a great customer experience.

If you’d like to learn more, please contact us today.

And stay tuned for more blogs that will help you be the smartest person in the room.

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