The Ultimate ‘Native App’ is Voice: A Conversation with DialogTech

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Despite the automation and e-commerce of the digital age, the need for human interaction persists. As we’ve covered, this is the principle that underlies much of DialogTech’s product strategy, including a new announcement today. We had the chance to pre-brief with the company’s executives.

CEO Irv Shapiro believes that calls are still the currency of business, marketing and commerce. BIA/Kelsey data support this, including exploding mobile call volume (consumer affinity), and the valuation of incoming call leads (business affinity). It’s also supported by 93 percent of U.S. spending that happens offline, often in conversation-rich contexts.

Before, During and After

With that backdrop, DialogTech today announced DialogTech for Mobile Marketing. It’s positioned to drive and track calls from the expanding places they’re coming from (search, social, display, etc.). For example, it plugs right into Adwords to configure call extensions for mobile search results, and to track their performance on deeper levels.

One reason this is valuable is that it fills a gap in Google’s own analytics. Google is so pervasive and it drives the majority of call leads to businesses, mostly through call extensions. But its own analytics are relatively basic, including tracking if a call happened and how long it was. In other words, this is just meta data, which misses richer contextual relevance.

“You need to know more than a call occurred,” said Shapiro. “Search data tells you what keyword drove a call; meta data includes things like duration and caller ID; and the conversational data is what’s spoken. We address all three buckets of information.”

This brings together a “before, during and after” analytics strategy:  the keywords that drove a call, the call itself and then ongoing optimization. The latter can include search campaigns and call center tactics to increase close rates. Somewhere in the middle is also a “contextual routing” layer to automatically get incoming calls to the right sales reps.

Dialed In

So whom does this address? Shapiro asserts that the new capability maps to DialogTech’s existing customers, and gives it broader appeal to continue growing. Asked where the biggest opportunities in call analytics exist today, Shapiro says it’s with businesses that sell complex, high-consideration, and high-value products such as automotive and financial services.

This makes sense, given the need for nuanced dialogue that automation and e-commerce won’t replace, as they have for commodities like apparel, entertainment and consumer electronics. And that comes full circle to the principle of human interaction and spoken communication. It underpins our need to talk to each other in several contexts — most of all commerce.

“The smartphone has allowed us to embrace our humanity,” said Shapiro. “The characteristics that have differentiated human beings from every other species is not going to change overnight: that we want to talk to each other.”

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This is the latest in our call monetization coverage, and builds up to the annual refresh of our call monetization white paper. We’ll also be hosting a webinar at 2EST today, along with DialogTech, to discuss these findings and many other important factors, best practices and case studies in call analytics. You can register for free here

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