The Contact.io show just wrapped up at Hilton Union Square, San Francisco, and Jornaya had several representatives on site for the show. We thought we’d share some of the hot topics we noted at the show. On the afternoon of the first day of the show, Feb. 6, Jornaya’s CEO & Founder Ross Shanken moderated the panel The Customer Journey Part 2: Connecting Clicks, Calls, and Leads. The panel participants included Datalot’s Founder & CEO Josh Reznick, MediaAlpha’s CEO & Co-Founder Steve Yi, and Travelers’ Director of Digital Media Tony Homsey. While leads, clicks, and calls are all expressions of consumer intent, and marketers use a similar acquisition model to determine efficacy of each channel (as validated by Tony Homsey of Travelers), the consumer journey has multiple segments. Because these segments are rarely connected and rarely managed by a single company end-to-end, there are vast differences in how marketers need to optimize:
- Operations: When looking at inbound calls, they are a completely different beast than outbound calls (to leads) and different again from clicks. How a company is set up determines operationally how a company can best take advantage of each channel.
- TCPA Compliance: Many companies are generating or buying inbound calls. But many of these inbound calls were actually originated with an outbound call to the consumer that is then transferred to the brand. Therefore, TCPA compliance is important. Tony Homsey from Travelers stated during the panel: “You can have all the indemnification clauses you want in contracts, but at the end of the day it’s on you, the brand, to be TCPA compliant and invest in the ability to prove it. We have first hand experience dealing with TCPA issues…challenging for brands because lawsuits follow the money, brands have the deep pockets and are most susceptible to TCPA issues.” Josh Reznick of Datalot said “Beware of the bad actors. It’s critical to have a solution like Jornaya in place.” (Thanks Josh!)
- Attribution: There are very different attribution challenges across these three different channels. Clicks are very difficult to attribute, because all you see is the last action (the click), with no view into all the actions that led up to that click. Leads and calls provide fewer challenges from an attribution perspective, but are still not always fully connected to the entire consumer journey.
- Acquisition Modeling and Budgeting: This is where channel specificity is less important. Regardless of the channel, marketers look at cost per acquisition and want to ensure they are able to meet their desired metrics.
On the second day, Jornaya’s GM of Insurance Jaimie Pickles moderated the workshop panel Call Marketing for Insurance. The workshop included panelsts: Universal McCann’sDirector – Performance DigitalEric Seidelman, The General Insurance’s Monetization Analyst Tracey Pickens, and Bold Penguin’s COO & Co-FounderMarc DeLeonibus.Some observations from this panel:
- The insurer appetite for calls continues to grow. Eric Seidleman said they will concentrate 95% of their effort on driving calls in 2017 — compared to only 20% in 2015.
- Tracey Pickens explained that they started acquiring calls eight months ago to tap into the growing inventory of Non-Standard Auto Insurance calls and have been steadily growing volume.
Additional Hot Topics
- One of our Jornayans spoke with Alan Bauer, former President of Progressive Direct, attended Contact.io to learn more about the rebirth of inbound calls. Alan was surprised about the increase in calls, as his original vision in 1995, when he sold the first online auto insurance policy ever, was that the consumer’s considered purchase journey would be entirely online from beginning to end without the need for human intervention. Alan spent time with Jornaya and met many of our clients and partners to learn more about the latest in insurance marketing trends.
- We heard a lot from advertisers about the lack of quality control in the calls they buy, and how they struggle with wasting their call center agents’ time on calls that don’t have a chance to convert (i.e., the consumer is looking for a product they don’t sell). This validates our belief that if there is no buying intent, it does not matter if there is a warm body on the other end of the line.
- We also encountered many advertisers discussing a big distinction between calls that originated from an outbound call (using either a live agent or IVR) and an inbound call. Insurance carriers we spoke with are increasingly avoiding outbound-originated calls in favor of strictly inbound calls, due to both the increased TCPA risk and more volatile quality.
- Feedback from some customer meetings at the show was focused on the continued difficulties in managing retention and how the struggles, especially in insurance, will only deepen. Consumers are constantly being re-targeted with ads everywhere they go on the internet, and now that includes social media channels. This will make it increasingly difficult for brands, since their customers are now constantly presented with other options and potentially with better deals. As a result, they are looking to consumer intent data to help them identify when a customer may be headed toward churning.