92% of calls to businesses in 2015 were driven by digital marketing channels. That is a statement that kind of takes your breath away and is the headline in a study recently released that tracked 58 million calls. I think most businesses have realized by now that digital advertising is an important component in marketing their businesses, but do they realize how big a part it plays in driving phone calls?
Most local businesses that I talk with will say that increasing calls to their business is just as important (and in some cases more important) as foot traffic. Phone calls to schedule appointments, ask questions, and get additional information are all drivers of conversions and getting the sale.
Here is how the data in the study ranked individual ad channels as drivers of calls:
As you can see, Mobile, Desktop, Review Sites and Email accounted for 92% of calls. Interestingly, email was not a strong performer in driving calls and digital ads performed much better in terms of moving the potential customer to contact the business.
This research and the graph above is great to show those potential clients that tell me, “I don’t need to do internet advertising because I don’t sell on my website.” An additional piece of information to share with those that think it doesn’t make sense to do digital advertising is new research that showed 64 cents of every dollar from in-store sales was influenced by the internet in 2015. A figure that is likely to continue to grow.
This really underscores that people are on the internet browsing, looking for information, comparison shopping, etc., BEFORE they ever set foot in a place of business. It doesn’t matter whether you are e-commerce or not, if you want to drive phone calls and in-store foot traffic, digital ads are now a must.