A recent Wall Street Journal article discusses a stark reality marketers face with attribution. Many have growing doubts about the accuracy of their digital marketing performance. No one wants to waste budget on campaigns that aren’t performing, and if we can’t trust in our results then how do we know what’s working? It’s a shocking reality, but one that needs to be addressed.

In many ways marketers feel trapped. Consumer behavior has shifted and marketers know they have to increase spend on digital marketing (especially on mobile devices), but now they have reservations. Their trust has been damaged by a lack of transparency. They’re questioning their agencies. How are my dollars being spent? How many conversions did we really get? What’s my true ROI? With over $77 billion expected to be spent on digital advertising in 2017 (that’s more than TV), they need greater reassurance in their investments.


To add another layer to the misattribution many marketers face, let’s talk about offline conversions. Most marketers either don’t know or don’t believe they can capture and measure offline conversions, such as customer calls. Just yesterday we presented on true mobile CPA at SMX East in New York City and a member of our audience exclaimed, “I didn’t know we could do that!” when we demonstrated ways to include offline call conversions in an AdWords account.

How Call Conversions Impact Marketers’ 3 Main Concerns

Mobile marketing is going to drive 129 billion call conversions to US businesses next year. Until these call conversions are accounted for in their data analysis, these three main doubts marketers have about the success of their digital marketing campaigns will persist.

1. An Overall Lack of Transparency

Transparency for marketers needs to occur in two ways. Marketers need to know the reporting they have access to, or receive from their agencies, tells the full picture.Doubts set in about how digital ads and campaigns really perform when this doesn’t occur.

Marketers also need to have a better understanding of how media platforms determine audiences and calculate delivery. Transparency into how performance is analyzed on each platform will create a deeper trust between marketers and publishers.

Call Impact: Until more platforms and reporting include call conversions, the transparency marketers seek will be hindered. And until we have this level of reporting transparency, we’re optimizing our campaigns on incomplete data and hurting our ROI.

2. Understanding Mobile Conversions

Marketers understand they need to shift toward mobile marketing. It’s evident in the investment now being made: mobile makes up 63% of overall digital ad budgets. What marketers realize is that mobile consumers behave and convert very differently than desktop users.

More consumers today begin their research on a smartphone. They often search for immediate information and purchases. And they don’t necessarily convert online.

Call Impact: When marketers understand how mobile consumers convert offline (by calling), they realize they could be missing over 50% of conversions by not using call attribution technology to track and optimize for call conversions.

3. No Third-Party Verification

The Wall Street Journal also brings up the concept of third-party verification for digital marketing, similar to how Nielsen operates for TV advertising. It comes down to trust. Marketers want to trust that the media platforms and channels they allocate budget to are held to a consistent standard.

They need this level of trust and understanding to make the best decisions possible when determining where to allocate ad budget.

Call Impact: The direct impact of calls here still lies in better optimization with more data. But if some form of third-party verification for digital marketing were to happen, it would be essential to consider offline conversions.

These doubts and concerns should not be taken lightly, and it’s a good conversation for digital marketers to have. Our Digital Marketer’s Guide to Call Attribution is a great starting point to learn more about the growth in mobile marketing and call conversions.