By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
Late in 2015 we started producing a bi-weekly radio program called Sales Pipeline Radio, which runs live every other Thursday at 11:30 a.m. Pacific. It’s just 30 minutes long, fast-paced and full of actionable advice, best practices and more for B2B sales & marketing professionals.
We’ve already featured some great guests and have a line up of awesome content and special guests into 2016. Our very first guest was Funnelholic author and Topo co-founder Craig Rosenberg. Next we had Mike Weinberg, incredible writer, speaker, author, followed by Conrad Bayer, CEO & Founder of Tellwise. Recent Guests: Jim Keenan; Joanne Black; Aaron Ross; Josiane Feigon, Meagen Eisenberg, and Trish Bertuzzi.
We cover a wide range of topics, with a focus on sales development and inside sales priorities heading into and throughout the year. We’ll publish similar highlights here for upcoming episodes. You can listen to full recordings of past shows at SalesPipelineRadio.com and subscribe on iTunes.
They be tackled:
The offline blind spot for marketers in the omnichannel world
- How the complex omnichannel customer journey has transformed the role of the digital marketer
- How does the offline blind spot impact businesses’ bottom line?
- Why customers who call your business are your best customers and how markets struggle to target them effectively
- How call analytics can help marketers develop a strategy to adapt to the omnichannel landscape
- The importance of knowing where your best customers come from and how to better identify and target them to generate more sales leads and close more deals
Definitely check out the Marchex Research Report: The Offline blind spot and the modern marketer: Optimizing the path to purchase when your prospects become customers offline
More about Guy: He is currently EVP and CMO of at Marchex, where he helps marketers find their best customers–the ones who call their company. They’e found they convert faster, buy more, and churn less. Marchex helps companies drive more calls, understand what happened on those calls, and converts callers into customers. At Marchex he leads a predictive, data-driven marketing team that is delivering new awareness of our category and company, new pipeline for our enterprise and SMB sales teams, and new products and differentiate us from the competition.
He is a marketing leader with 20+ years experience in driving bottom-line results through differentiated branding, product messaging and positioning, and customer engagement. He’s had the chance to build businesses from the ground up, as well as work around the world in global organizations. The common thread through all his experiences is the ability to build and lead great marketing teams and achieve outsized results for my company.
Paul: All right. So, welcome as we get close to the end of the year here. I’m glad you could join us. And who are we talking with today?
Robert: Yeah. So, we’ve got a good conversation ready to go here with Guy Weismantel, from Marchex. We’re going to be talking about the offline engagement channel, if you will. We do a lot these days in terms of digital, and online, and ads, and consumption, and this is about sort of going old school and getting back to kind of actually talking to each other, so I’m looking forward to that conversation. Guy and team have done a bit of research in this with Forester that will highlight a lot of the conversation today as well. And always good to be here. Matt is off building sales pipelines somewhere in the world, and so I have commandeered the microphone for today, so look forward to the conversation. Yeah. So, Guy, hey. Thanks so much for making the time today. Hopefully we’ve got the audio connection as we need here.
Guy: Yeah. Really excited to be with you, Robert. Thanks for having me. I’m looking forward to doing some surfing myself with you on the call today. It’ll be fun.
Robert: Well, cool. Yeah. Let’s make this super conversational. I’ve got a handful of questions here. I certainly have gone through the research report as well. You can add some additional details about that and where folks can get that. But kind of curious … If you want to just sort of kick us off here a little bit about you and your background and what you do there at Marchex.
Guy: Sure. Happy to. I’m kind of a two career marketer. I started off actually with a financial background. Don’t admit it often, but have my CPA and kind of started off down the financial track, and then really kind of came to the proverbial fork in the road and decided that I really had this passion for marketing that I didn’t know how to get into, so I used grad school as a way to kind of get into the marketing field and have kind of grown my career from there. I’ve taken a lot of, as with most marketers who get to be up at the executive and CMO level, a lot of different zigzags where you spend time in different disciplines. You take assignments on to get new skills and also help your companies. I’m really fortunate to be working for Marchex here. We’re based up here in Seattle. Marchex is a call analytics company, and I lead the marketing team here. Call analytics is a pretty new area of marketing and the Marchex stack, but in essence we help really big brands, brands from GM, and T-Mobile, and ADT, and State Farm really kind of connect to all the media that they’re spending and all the marketing that’s going into trying to attract new customers, and to what is driving that customer to pick up the phone and call them.
There’s tons of verticals and tons of businesses, we’re all very familiar. I work within spitting distance of our friends at Amazon here up in Seattle, so we’re all familiar with the online shopping cart and buying things online. But there are just tons of businesses and tons of verticals where you don’t buy your product through a shopping cart — you go into a store or you make a phone call. And so Marchex is in the business of helping these brands understand and connect their marketing to what drove the person to pick up the call and call that business. Once they kind of get on the phone, help them understand what’s happening on that call so they can convert that caller to a customer. And then, because we have found in, you mentioned at the top some of the work that has been done with Forester, that people who call your business are incredibly valuable and important perspective customers. We help these brands kind of go back and find more of those customers just like the ones that called.
So it’s a really interesting business and a new one that brands are just starting to kind of realize from an offline perspective is a channel that they’ve got to start paying attention to.
Robert: Yeah. No, that’s great. Thank you for that, that overview, and again, as I listen to that as well as read through this thing, I think the question that I would ask, which I think even folks listening would love to know, is, how do you get a prospect to call you? I know that’s sort of a simplified question here, right? But that’s like the ultimate opt-in, right?
Guy: It is.
Robert: I’m not just sort of passively clicking through, and I’m not sort of reading something, and I’m not giving sign up for a newsletter list, it’s like I’m calling to have a conversation about something, so pretty high level of qualification to make that happen. So I know there’s levels or layers of explanation to that question, but I think that’s the operative in which I’d like to kick off with.
Guy: Absolutely, so we think about as marketers, and working with sales, we think about the different marketing mix and media mix that we go to try to attract these people to interact with our brands. And that can be everything from print or TV ads, to search ads that we’re running. And these really large brands, you think of someone like a T-Mobile for instance, and they’re using lots of different ways to get in touch with a perspective person, perspective customer and user of their phones, and buyers of their plans to reach us, and that can be through social, that could be through different display ads, that could be through their website, that could be through commercials that they’re running, or searches that they’re doing when I’m searching for a particular phone plan.
So marketers today, one of the cool things, for all of us, is we’ve got this variety of channels that we can go after perspective customers in. But the key for a lot of these businesses is because we’re flooding all these channels, and we’ve got all this marketing out there, the key is to really figure out where your customer is, and how you get them to respond. We know that if you’re taking the action to pick up the phone, or where it’s you’re swiping on your phone to kind of click on the phone icon on the search ad, that’s a very intentional action, it might not be one we think a lot about, but it is an intentional action. And marketers, they are really concerned with, “How do I get you to take that next step,” and optimize in that marketing mix for the type of customer they want to draw, and the type of reaction they want is really what Marchex is involved with, helping our customers do.
Robert: I see, so to kind of play that back a little bit, or editorialize it a little bit as well. This is about sort of choreographing all the different touch points to get to the moment when someone would be inclined to want to make a phone call and sort of enabling that. Right, is it? As opposed to sort of, “I’m just going to have a website and have a phone number on it, and someone’s going to come and just give me a call directly.” It’s much more of a cadence than sort of integrated flow to getting someone to give me information and maybe you didn’t get into an online chat of some kind, and then they decide they want to have a conversation.
Guy: That’s right, and it really is around optimizing what channels are working for you because with so much scrutiny on marketing budgets and media budgets today, the ability to kind of be super agile as a marketer and understand which channel is actually promoting that conversion, or promoting that conversation that we’re even … Interaction with the potential customer. That is kind of gold to a marketer today because they have the ability to kind of then refocus and do just different testing to kind of optimize the channel and get more people to interact with them.
Robert: It’s interesting. In the sort of topic today was around the notion of offline blind spots, are you seeing that when you talk to companies or talk to enterprises that this is sort of voiced based channel, sort of like I was telling my youngest daughter, that the phone that she has, has a really interesting feature, that you can actually dial a number and talk directly to a human being, as opposed to just sending text messages, and other sorts of things. Is it something on the radar screen or do you find yourself doing sort of advocacy selling to go back to the way that all this started?
Guy: Two ways that impact that, and really interesting analogy, because I have the same issue in my household. The funny thing is, the only app that all of us across the globe share on these devices is the phone icon, everything else is totally customized, pretty much. But the phone icon is the one thing we all have on our phones and increasingly, we’ve been hearing about email marketing for years and years, that email marketing is going away while there’s more emails than ever. There’s actually more phone calls than ever, as well. Phone calls are increasing exponentially, in large part because we are holding this device in our right hand, or left hand, it’s very easy to find that icon and hit it. Or even more importantly, when you’re swiping in a Facebook ad or on a website, a lot of those ads are enabled to just click something and then connect with someone inherently. So the act of doing that is not something we have to advocate. Where I think we are in an earlier stage versus other pieces of marketing technology is in what is possible and what is this blind spot that a lot of marketers have for the offline channel.
We’ve spent many years and I’ve certainly done it in my role and my companies and other marketers that I talk to have, within an inch of our life, we’ve optimized the online part of the customer journey, right? So we can cookie everything, we know where people are coming from , we know what they’re engaging with, we can re target them, we can follow them all around, we can do all of those things. But if we’re in a business where I can’t buy the product online, I need a new set of tires, I want to buy a phone so I’ve got to go into a store or I’m going to do it over the phone, that kind of is an inflection point for marketers.
I’m sure you’ve had this happen to you, and all of us have, where we can be on a website, whatever website, and for whatever reason we leave an item in the shopping cart or we don’t even get to the shopping cart, and we got to the website because we want to continue researching or we’re not sure, we get interrupted, it could be any reason, and then we start getting these ads from the company serving us up because they’re trying to get us back to that page to complete the purchase. Well if I can’t do something online, or if I can’t do that complete the purchase, I should say, online, I’ve got to do something offline, I don’t really have a way to know did that purchase actually happen. If I go into buy a new set of tires and I keep getting served ads for tires … the marketers just go into the last online place where they saw me. And we do that a lot, where it’s like, the last touch point I had is a signal, like you get the signal from the probes that are on the planet. It’s like we think we’re here, this is the last place we saw the customer, but increasingly marketers have got to understand did that prospect turn into customer, and that’s sort of the offline part of marketing is increasingly becoming important for the brands that we work with.
Robert: Yeah, it’s fascinating, I mean, the online ad retargeting is one of those things when you know, you’ve hit a site and you’ve sort of sprung your trap, and I’m a big fan of the technology because thinking texturally it’s really impressive, but if I don’t complete my transaction online, let’s say I do complete the transaction offline, I still get pummeled by buy stuff, sort of calls to action. So I like the word choreograph, right, because that’s what I think about multichannel, whatever it is, you’ve got all these different tactics, and all these different technologies to surround the prospect, getting that right, especially the more horsepower you apply, becomes increasingly complex I think. And so I think the cost of doing it poorly is certainly pretty high.
Guy: To correlate to that, I agree, and from a marketing to sales standpoint that’s where a lot of the wasted dollars go into because if we just keep going back to where we last saw the customer, we keep pouring our energy into these channels and they actually aren’t the ones converting into a different place. That’s lost opportunity from a marketing standpoint and a sales standpoint too, and we see that problem, that a lot of marketers and a lot of sales and marketing teams are trying to correct. So I think it’s a good call out by you there.
Robert: Yeah, for sure, is that, you guys kind of come at call, analytics, broadly because is that what you’re doing on the back and just trying to connect all those dots to create this full profile, or what’s the big “ah ha” as folks begin to work with you, they you normally see?
Guy: It’s a few things, one by just thinking of calls as a pipe that previously didn’t have any water kind of going through, once you turn that spigot on they’ve got this whole new source of when they’re looking at their bid management platforms, or their data manager platforms, and all of a sudden you see calls coming in, and what’s happening to those calls and what keywords are driving that call.
You’ve got this level of insight that you didn’t maybe have when you’re just thinking about the digital part of your marketing, because again, if someone’s looking at lots of ads, but they are attracted to the ad that you have and they hit the call button, and then they turn into a customer, that is someone that I want to go find more of.
Robert: Yeah, for sure. Well, great, so what we’re going to do here is take a quick break, and when we come back I want to dig into the Forester report, I’ve dug through it a little bit on my end and there’s a few interesting data points I’d love to hear a little bit more about. So stay tuned and we will be right back after a short message.
Paul: Alright, lets pick it back up with our pro surfers as they make their way through the sales pipeline.
Robert: Yeah, I know, having a great conversation today, this is Robert Pease, in place of, or trying to do the best to fill Matt Heinz’s shoes today on Sales Pipeline Radio. And we’re having a cool conversation, Guy Weismantel, I’m going to say it and get that right again, the second time, from Marchex, talking about the phone, of all things, I’ll boil it down to that, right? But sort of voice based interaction, voice based communication, and sort of enabling that and understanding that whole process.
So Guy, as we dig in the second part of the conversation today. Talk to me a little bit about the research report you guys worked with Forester on, and some of the thinking and some of the key take-aways from that.
Guy: Yeah, happy to. It was born out of the fact that I would be out on sales calls with our sales team, actually, and they would be talking about how the people that call your business are your most valuable customers, and I heard that just about a half a dozen times, and then I finally asked our VP of sales, I’m like, “Do we actually know that? Or do we believe that?” And he’s like “Well, it’s kind of self-evident, right?” And I was like, “Well I think, why don’t we go prove that.”
Robert: No one was disagreeing with you, so it must be true.
Guy: Exactly, we all just kind of, we said it, it’s our business, we want it to be true, but we wanted to actually see if it was. So we go in touch with Forester and just said, “Look, here’s what we want to find out, you guys run the study, here’s the types of companies that have a lot of phone calls coming into their business.” And so it was sponsored by us, but certainly we let them do it, and I don’t know if we’d be having this conversation if the results had come back a lot differently.
The good news was, the hypothesis that we did have was born out tremendously, where they found that the people that call your business actually convert, they convert about 30 percent faster than people who are surfing online. And it goes back to what we were saying in the first part of the conversation, which is, this is an intentional act when someone’s calling your business, they’ve got something in mind, they want to figure out about pricing or they want to know about a feature, they’re kind of looking for something to help them make the decision. So they convert faster, they also spend more.
And that makes sense too, if we’ve ever been on the phone with a sales person, the ability to kind of upsell or get you into the next package, and learn a little bit more about what you’re maybe looking for and provide some different options that we’ve all probably agreed to. “Yeah, you know what, that does sound like a good deal, I will take that bigger package and those bigger things.” And so we found that people who are on the phone actually spend more with brands.
And then I think what’s super interesting kind of the third finding, which falls out of this, and for marketers and for sales folks, are looking at, “How do we retain customers and cross sell/upsell?” The people that are calling your business have about a 20, I think about a 25, 28 percent higher retention rate, than people who engage with your brand or buy something from your brand online. And again, it’s this personal connection, it’s this one to one, I’m calling, I want to take an intentional act, and so you find that the people, again, with a lot of these business who rely on phone calls for, somewhere between ten, fifteen percent, up to 100 percent of their business, in an incredibly important audience for them to try to reach, and then also convert, and then finally retain. And it turns out it’s super valuable audience for marketers to be paying attention to in those key verticals.
Robert: Yeah, no that’s a great summary of it, those were the notes that I went through on this. I thought it was kind of holistically and nicely done. And fortunately proved the point of that these are the best customers you have, but I liked the fact that they’re more profitable, they stick around longer, they close faster, and I think that’s again, it’s sort of optimizing this offline channel, or this phone based channel. It’s sort of an imperative if you’re in this, if this is part of your business, if this is how people choose to interact and buy with you. Because if you ignore it, it essentially looks like you’re ignoring some of your best customers.
Guy: That’s right. If I give you a quick example, we represent and work with a ton of car brands, over 16 different car brands. We did some research recently because unless you’re buying a Tesla, and maybe, even if you’re buying a Tesla, you don’t buy a car online. You can customize the features you want, you can get, you know, general price of what it might be, but ultimately, you’re going to go into the showroom. You’re going to test drive the car, you’re going to see what models are available, you’re going to try to get a deal, right? And so auto dealers are incredibly reliant on people calling the dealership and making an appointment. The people making appointments for a dealer convert at a way, way higher rate as opposed to people who just walk in off the street.
So we looked at a ton of the auto brands that we work with and found that about 20 percent of the people calling auto dealers are not being … those calls are being answered, not answered, or abandoned all together, people are getting lost in the voicemail, the IVR systems. And that is resulting in millions and millions of dollars of lost business and lost opportunity. If I can’t get ahold of this dealer, and I’m go to another dealer, I’m going to go to another car brand, and buy from them instead. And so in an incredibly competitive space like buying a car, especially around the holidays where we are right now, where we’ve got all these deals out there, the ability to get someone in your showroom is largely tied to are you there to pick up the phone. Is there a warm body to welcome them in and get them an appointment? You’re going to get a much higher chance of closing business, that’s a really interesting real world example of the Forester research and what it bore out.
Robert: Yeah, no that’s a great point, right? Which is, if someone tried to call your company, who would they talk to? Right, and so we’ve over the years now, we’ve built high performance outbound inside sales teams, right? And we do a lot of different things, but if someone calls the main number, right? Like how does that get routed? Who speaks to that person? Do they go to a sales person or are they going to someone that’s more sort of a further qualification, assuming that there’s a lot of complexity there based on the type of business. But your example of dealership is spot on, which is, if you’ve consumed all this content online and you just want to ask somebody a question, enabling that process seems like sort of the entry level, if you really want to optimize this sort of, this offline, sort of phone based channel I guess.
Guy: Yeah, and I think going forward too, what’s super interesting to us is how you think about phones, but you think about voice. And with the advent and the rise of all the digital assistance, and the things like the Echo, and Siri, and Google, and Microsoft, you’ve got all the kind of in home kind of assistance that you have. You have Chatbots that are coming, so there’s a lot of ways that I think that if you kind of generalize this, there’s 300 million calls over the course of the last year, just that we recorded, so calls are always going to be there, but if you broaden this out to, hey what are different ways that through voice or through interactions, we are going to interact with our brand, the ability to pick up those buying signals, and connect with a prospective customer and understand what drove them to your brand, is going to be gold for marketers and super important for sales efforts as well. So it’s a really interesting time to be in this space.
Robert: Yeah, no doubt, and even as I was going back to the report, I’m like you, I started life kind of on the financial side before I got into marketing, so I’m sort of a spreadsheet anchored marketer as well, but there’s one here around think of the ads you serve to customers, what actions do these ads prompt consumers to perform? And 56 percent of those were to initiate a phone call, right? And this says 62 percent here for email address or whatever, but I mean, is this literally just we’re not asking? Like if we ask someone, if the call for action was more regular and routinely, talk to us, would we get more, sort of this inbound, nirvana of deal origination, right? This inbound self-qualified prospect.
Guy: What’s interesting is where we’ve seen this on our side, where it breaks down highly by demographics. When you have, for instance, insurance companies, that you may be appealing to a little bit older demographic who’s going to want insurance, then yes, you’re tabbing this kind of we’re here to talk to you, and providing that kind of warm handoff. Super, super important. When you get into the Millennials and some of the Gen Y/Gen Z, that’s coming up behind them, it’s far less around, we kind of all have the stereotype of people just looking at their phones and kids don’t want to talk to each other. But what we’ve actually found and kind of we’ve dug into that as well, it’s not that they don’t want to talk, they just need a frictionless way to know how they can communicate when they want to. And so it can be as easy as providing the phone icon in the ad that you’re serving up to them, or an easy to remember 800 number, or something that they can interact with in real time in the Facebook ad that they’re looking at while they’re in line at the coffee shop.
So there’s different way, I think to kind of provide that engagement as marketers, and further the sales pipeline, that you start to breakdown maybe not so much by the industries, although it is by that a bit, but it’s a little bit more generational, how you appeal to different demographics that your product is appealing to.
Robert: This is awesome, time went really fast on us. Guy, tell us a bit where can folks find this report? And then we’ll wrap up here.
Guy: Yeah, we’d love for you to take a look at it and see if there’s anything interesting that applies to your business. If you visit us at www.marchex.com you can download the report right from the front page of the website. So take a look there and try to learn a little bit about how offline channels can help your business as well, we’d love to talk to you. Thanks for having me today, it was really great and really fun.
Robert: Yeah, no. I’ve enjoyed it as well, and thanks so much for making the time. And with that I think we will return to the waves.
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