A few years ago, there was this internet binary: if you were at your computer, you were online. If you were on the go, you were offline. Things were black and white. And simple.
However, things are different now. Today, you carry a tiny computer with you at all times – the smartphone. From the surface, you are offline – going about doing offline-people- things. But underneath this exterior, you have a powerful smartphone that is plugged in to the matrix.
I like to call you the Schrödinger’s consumer – you’re both online and offline at the same time!
We shift so seamlessly between the online and the offline spheres, that we don’t even realise it! How many times have we gone to a shop, discovered a new brand of product, and Googled it before finally purchasing? This interlinking of the online and the offline is so commonplace right now that there are the new terms mushrooming in the market.
Showrooming: See a product online, try it out in a showroom, go back online to buy it at a better price. Often, this occurs for low-value purchases, such as clothes.
Webrooming: This phenomenon is the reverse of showrooming. Consumers research online about their items of interest, and later purchase it from a brick-and-mortar showroom. This mostly occurs for high-value purchases, such as real estate, electronic gadgets and so on.
The fact is this: Consumers do not (and cannot) exclusively exist in either the online or offline world. Their experiences flow seamlessly between these two dimensions. We call it ‘The Nonline World’. These purchase trends in the nonline world are due to the following things:
- Ease of online shopping
- Decreasing fear of credit card frauds
- Rise of the smartphone
So what takes a smartphone-user between the two dimensions of the nonline world?
A phone call.
Seriously, how easy is it to make a call to a business these days? You ask Google what you need. Google Click-to-Call buttons and Google Call Extensions make it so easy to make calls. You simply click the button, and it takes you straight to your phone’s dialpad!
In this nonline world, any conversation with your customer is a conversation worth having. The stupidest thing you can do is ignore the calls that your businesses receive. Therefore, not only must you prompt more users to make calls – you must track each and every call and use it to drive more revenue.The lesson I want you to take home is this: In today’s world, calls are just as important as clicks.
And if you are not tracking where your calls are coming from, you’re pouring money down the drain. Naturally, the next question will be – but how does one track calls coming to the business? Surely, calls are an offline event that cannot be measured through online means. So how will marketers go about gauging something that happens outside the reach of any web analytics tool?
The answer to this is Call Tracking. Call Tracking takes each of your inbound calls and provides you with the complete path behind each inbound call.