Case Study: How Google Fails to Measure Mobile Marketing
August 31, 2013
Drew’s note: Here’s a fascinating guest post from the folks at ContactPoint.
We are not a mobile marketing company, but for testing purposes, we recently started conducting some click-to-call campaigns for some of our call tracking clients. We wanted to determine two things from these tests:
- How many calls do click-to-call campaigns actually produce
- What is the ‘quality’ of the calls that come from click-to-call campaigns (i.e. how good are the leads)
- How many clients eventually purchase due to click-to-call campaigns
One very interesting test was with a Holiday Inn Express in Utah. Let me explain what we did and why it was interesting.
But first, let’s discuss what click-to-call mobile marketing is and how it works.
Mobile click-to-call ads are ads that appear with a ‘tap-able’ phone number. You see the phone number in the ad and you tap it with your thumb (or any other appendage) and you can call the business immediately. The most common way to serve these ads is via Google Adwords. These ads appear after a Google search. Again, there is a phone number within in the ad itself. Google then charges the advertiser on a pay-per-call basis (each time the phone number is tapped) rather than on a pay-per-click basis.
This gives Google a way to monetize phone calls via mobile. And it gives advertisers a way to generate phone calls.
The Test: Background
When you set up Click-to-Call in Google Adwords (Google calls them call extensions) you have to input a phone number you would like to use in the ad. Most businesses simply use their regular phone number. But you can use any phone number including phone numbers that from call tracking providers. The calls are still auto-routed to your business.
We began the test in June 2012. We used local phone numbers provided via our SaaS, LogMyCalls, as the call extension number within Google Adwords. Thus we were able to extract call analytics from each call.
Holiday Inn Express – Logan, Utah – June 2012
- Spend – $332
- Calls Generated – Google charged us for 60 calls generated via click-to-call. This means that 60 people tapped the phone number in the ad. Google bills for all of these taps because it believes they are actual phone calls. (Note: Most mobile marketers are stuck with this information and this information only).
- Calls Completed – Only 29 calls (48.3%) were actually completed and made it to the hotel. The rest were abandoned before the phone even rang. (Note: The only way we knew this is because we used a call tracking phone number to measure call analytics).
- Qualified Leads – Only 9 calls (15%) were actually looking for a hotel room. The rest were merely wrong numbers, confused or had a question about booking a future room. They were not qualified, sales-ready leads. (Note: Again the only we knew this is because we used a call tracking phone number and call analytics).
- Closed Deals – And 6 ended in a room reservation (10%).
Implications of the Test
- If we had relied just on the information Google Adwords provided, our CPL, CPA and CPC would have been grossly inaccurate.
- This has huge, huge implications for optimization, future spend, and of course assumptions about ad channels.
- Mobile Marketing is Very, Very Effective – Even though only 10% of the phone calls resulted in room reservations, the marketing spend was still effective. Those 6 calls generated over $600 in revenue. The spend was only $324.
Bio: Jason Wells is the CEO of ContactPoint. Their new product, LogMyCalls, represents the next generation of intelligent call tracking and marketing automation. Prior, Jason served as the Senior Vice President of Sony Pictures, where he led the creation and international expansion of Sony’s international mobile business line from London.
Jason holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.More