Why agencies need to prove the offline value of their campaigns

Shaun H. Ruff


Analytics are gold dust for agencies. With clients constantly demanding greater transparency and better ROI, digital businesses have invested heavily in the tools that prove the value of their strategies and delivery. 

Research shows that 91% of UK marketers believe that martech budgets will increase next year, from their current average of £533,300. And agencies are often at the forefront when it comes to advising their clients on how best to measure success. But are they investing wisely?

Digital channels have made it much easier to track the customer journey from the moment a prospect makes their first click to the final point of sale. Recent predictions reveal that digital ad spend in the US alone was expected to pass $200 billion in 2021 – a 38.3% growth compared to 2020. So, with budgets rising in line with spending on the tech stack to measure their effectiveness, agencies should be getting the credit for every penny of revenue that their campaigns generate, right?

Well, not quite. 

Tracking down lost value

Direct click throughs from a website aren’t the only way to measure success. 60% of smartphone users contact a business directly from a search result – but not all of them move all the way through to conversion via the website. Potential customers who select the ‘click to call’ option, for example, are not part of that dataset.

Infinity’s Pulse Check data also indicates that calls to businesses have risen by 37% year on year as Covid-19 restrictions have lifted, highlighting the importance of direct communications between customer and brand. This is particularly true as customers have sought reassurances over their purchases, on everything from travel to insurance and delivery issues.

To compete and build stronger client relationships, agencies need a more holistic view of how well their Google Ad campaigns are performing. This means having the ability to track where the initial interest was generated, even if prospects move offline to complete their purchase.

Take the credit

The ability to track when phone calls are being driven by specific campaigns enables agencies to demonstrate even greater value to their clients, as well as giving them more insight into what’s working best for different target audiences.

Google Ads already enable agencies to include phone insertions, such as call extensions or call ads, for their clients  to give customers more ways to connect with a brand. But, once a prospect has moved offline to a phone call, vital analytics can be lost. Regardless of how a customer makes their final purchase, or the stages they moved through to get there, agencies need to know the origin of that interest – and whether it was their campaign that ultimately led to the phone call being made.

Thanks to collaboration between Google and call tracking tech partners, agencies can now track calls directly from the search ads that 70% of mobile browsers use to call their target business. Connecting campaign activity to calls and conversions in this way means agencies can analyse call tracking directly from Google – and prove the link between their original output to the eventual outcome.

Using conversation analytics, they can also see, in real time, how long calls linked to specific campaigns are lasting and what is being said on those calls. Are conversions happening quickly? Are the same questions being asked repeatedly? Can anything be done to tweak the campaign to secure a quicker path to purchase? Does a specific campaign trigger phone calls more or less than a campaign with a different approach? What conclusions can be drawn that can help to plan future campaigns? What is the true cost of acquisition?

The agency landscape is fiercely competitive, and battles are being won and lost on analytics. It’s crucial, then, that credit is taken for every lead that is generated or converted. With the phone call as a channel becoming more powerful, including call tracking in the analytics toolkit not only improves accountability, but it also offers a strategic tool for planning future campaigns more effectively, as well as building trust and loyalty into the agency/client relationship.


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