Despite Black Friday and Cyber Monday flash sales, SMEs are still braced to answer sustained influx of telephone calls in the run up to Christmas
• One third of SMEs expect sales over the phone to increase by 40% at Christmas
• 70% of businesses will leverage social media as their primary marketing channel
• 50% of SMEs manually track calls, leading to attribution confusion
In a recent survey by call tracking software provider, Mediahawk, more than one third of SMEs said that sales made over the telephone are expected to increase by up to 40% over the festive period.
Furthermore, a fifth of respondents said that telephone sales were expected to ramp up by more than 50% during this time frame.
This suggests that regardless of the online explosion, many still prefer to make their transactions over the phone.
Businesses invest in social media to drive Christmas telephone sales
70% of SMEs are set to focus their marketing spend on social media channels in order to drive purchases made via the telephone. This year, social media was prioritised over other marketing channels including TV, radio, direct mail, print advertising, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and email marketing. It was retailers and eCommerce businesses (32%) that will be using social media the most.
Although social media was chosen as the primary method, 30% of SMEs said they use at least four channels to market their business over the festive season, with 34% of respondents saying they use traditional media like print, radio, TV and direct mail at this time of year.
Size of SME did not affect prioritisation of marketing spend with both large and small businesses evenly split. This may be because driving telesales via social media allows for a much more immediate and measurable return on investment (ROI) and a more level playing field than traditional marketing methods like print and TV advertising.
However, we still found that most businesses were not properly attributing the calls back to the channels that generated them.
More Marketing but Minimal Tracking
One third of businesses do no attribution tracking on sales made over the phone, despite pumping money into social media marketing. 50% of businesses said they manually attribute their calls, and just 16% use some form of tracking software.
Mediahawk CEO, Michael Morrell says, “The survey results go to show that not all Christmas shopping is carried out online. The telephone is equally, if not more important a sales channel as any other medium. With marketing budget being pumped into getting Christmas sales, it’s imperative for SMEs, especially those with tight margins, to know which marketing has driven sales.
“Throughout the year, businesses use a multitude of channels to build exposure and drive sales. Attributing their sales calls to marketing activities enables businesses to manage their budgets better all year round - not just at Christmas time”.
The Business Phone Calls at Christmas survey was compiled by polling a targeted audience panel of 200 UK SME owners and managers. Respondents were asked 10 questions about their businesses phone calls, marketing activity and business size. The SME owners and managers who responded were from a range of sectors including retail and eCommerce, healthcare and beauty, Automotive, Finance, Travel and Hospitality and Marketing and PR. Mediahawk then analysed the results.
Mediahawk is a leading call tracking and marketing analytics provider. They monitor the advertising effectiveness of thousands of marketing campaigns for companies such as Worldpay, Porsche, Kia UK, The Caravan Club, Barchester Healthcare and Travis Perkins.
Mediahawk has been at the forefront of call tracking innovation giving clients the ability to track online and offline activity that generate telephone enquiries. Website call tracking provides insight into visitor online journeys and the keywords, web pages and internet sources that result in phone calls.
Mediahawk was formed in 2002 and is based in Central Milton Keynes.
To find out more visit their website: https://www.mediahawk.co.uk
For more information, please get in touch with Zoe-Lee Skelton
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