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Call Tracking: Where Phone Calls Enhance Digital Marketing and Service

Call Tracking: Where Phone Calls Enhance Digital Marketing and Service

This year we decided to cover a niche IT sector, call tracking, which is growing in importance due to the digital transformation occurring in organizations worldwide. Call tracking is currently attracting a great deal of interest because of its ability to deliver significant improvements in marketing efficiency and effectiveness, quantifiable sales increases, and higher levels of customer satisfaction.

What is Call Tracking?

DMG defines call tracking as “software and analytics that is used to capture inbound call activity to determine the effectiveness of online (e.g., search engine optimization (SEO), social media, pay-per-click, web banners, mobile, etc.) and offline (e.g., TV/radio/print ads, billboards, trade show promotional items, etc.) marketing campaigns.” 

In addition to their elemental function of “tracking” incoming calls, feature-rich call tracking solutions can provide qualified leads and conversion tracking; calculation of revenue generation; IVR functionality with the ability to route and prioritize callers based on source, location, segmentation, new prospect vs. existing customer, etc.; integration with customer relationship management (CRM) systems for automated lead creation; web-form tracking; call recording capabilities; and speech analytics to automatically score calls, identify caller intent and urgency, and analyze lead conversions.

A call tracking solution can help enterprises assess the end-to-end efficacy of their marketing programs, from delivery of one or more ads through the prospect or customer’s buying decision. And at a more advanced level, call tracking is one step in the customer journey. Call tracking solutions leverage data from CRM systems and proprietary application programming interfaces (APIs) to deliver personalized experiences that promote increased conversion rates and more satisfied customers. The application can be used to provide detailed insights into customers and their behavior as they respond to marketing or other types of campaigns.

How Call Tracking Systems Work

Inbound call tracking software attributes inbound phone calls to their source. By generating different local and 1-800 numbers for advertisements, locations on a website, and pay-per-click campaigns and keywords, organizations can track which sources are generating the most calls. Further, these solutions often provide advanced call routing and interactive voice response (IVR) systems to qualify leads and provide more granular reporting. Inbound call tracking products are most frequently used by marketing teams to better measure the success of specific marketing campaigns. Inbound call tracking solutions integrate with digital analytics and digital advertising tools to include offline conversion in overall funnels. They also integrate with CRM software products to successfully log and track leads.

Call tracking solutions utilize a variety of methods to accomplish their primary goal of identifying which online or offline advertising sources are generating the most calls, leads, sales conversions and, ultimately, revenue. The most basic method leverages static number tracking to enable marketing organizations to track the volume of inbound call traffic generated by each discrete advertising campaign or source. This enables an advertising agency or marketing department to identify how many calls are generated by a print ad vs. a radio or TV spot, and when the incoming call was made.

Call tracking applications may also include more sophisticated capabilities, including dynamic number insertion (DNI), which integrates call tracking into a company’s website and generates a unique phone number depending on the referring source of traffic to the site. DNI provides the ability to track phone calls back to specific ads, social media, keyword searches, online review sites, and more, to analyze which specific campaigns are driving inbound calls. As importantly, DNI can capture and report on a prospect’s/customer’s web session journey from the point of origination to the point of the actual call, regardless of the number of searches or links accessed in between, rather than identifying only the final touchpoint prior to calling. Another advantage of dynamic number insertion is that it provides the flexibility to track calls with varying levels of granularity, such as URL-based tracking or session-based call tracking.

Final Thoughts

The digital transformation is altering the way that consumers interact with companies.  Call tracking has been around for a long time, though not well-known outside of a few verticals like automotive; the growing importance of these solutions reflects the complexity of the changes that the digital transformation is bringing to companies. Call tracking applications make it clear that while consumers want to communicate in their channel of choice, voice is not going away and remains an important contributor to companies’ sales, marketing and customer service activities. To learn more about the uses, benefits, competitive landscape and pricing in the call tracking market, see DMG’s 2019 Call Tracking Product Report.

DMG Consulting LLC is a leading independent research, advisory and consulting firm specializing in unified communications, contact centers, back-office and real-time analytics. Learn more at