Brand Marketers…Don’t Hang Up the Phone!

Brand marketers, take heed. Apparently, there’s something about the human voice that captures the hearts and minds of consumers. It’s a quality that digital communications somehow lack. Call it familiarity, friendliness, or warmth. But when intelligible sound flows through somebody else’s lips, strong connections occur. A recent report confirms this connection. According to the 2016 Call Intelligence Index prepared by Invoca, the tried and true phone call remains the preferred mode of consumer communication. As the report reveals, 65% of consumers prefer phone contact with a retail business. 24% want to reach out via internet. That’s quite a gap.

Brand Marketers...Don’t Hang Up the Phone!This proven preference demolishes the previous belief held by the wisest of the wise. Namely — digital shopping will blast offline purchasing into oblivion. It hasn’t. What digital channels have done, however, is stimulate consumer phone calls to businesses. According to the Index cited above, 63% of shoppers transact a purchase offline after conducting a digital search. Without question, the offline and online shopping routes are merging into a single, satisfying user experience. One powers the other.

The phone purchase trend is part of a trajectory that emerged in 2015. For that year, digital visits drove a staggering 92% of consumer calls to businesses. This figure reflects an 84% jump from the previous year. Not surprisingly, mobile devices grab the majority of online search activity. It makes sense. Search and call occur on the same device in the same hand. To connect with a friendly voice, you needn’t move a muscle (except for those in the fingertips).

Responding to the phone preference phenomenon, search engines are facilitating the blurring of boundaries between digital and voice contact. Google, for example offers call-only ads as well as click-to-call buttons. The mission for brand marketers is clear — develop omni-channel strategies that bridge the realms of digital and voice communication. From email campaigns to retargeting programs, it’s all about linking and syncing.

If you have any questions or comments about digital marketing, or about any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way.