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Invoca ‘Signal Discovery’ promises automated optimization from predictive call intelligence

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Call intelligence company Invoca has released a new call analytics tool called “Signal Discovery.” It uses machine learning/AI to cluster calls into topics and reveal insights about customer interactions and the efficacy of campaigns. It can also help automate marketing optimization based on call content without human involvement, according to the company.

Growing importance of first-party data. Prospect and customer phone calls are a huge and largely unexploited source of first party data that will become more important to brands and marketers as CCPA kicks in next year. While it’s not entirely clear how much third party data will be lost; first party data has become a much more valuable asset in the wake of privacy regulation and legislation. According to survey data from Invoca, a majority (56%) of marketers don’t know the content or outcomes of their customer service and sales calls.

Signal Discovery presents marketers with a “call map” (see above) that visually represents similar conversations as topic bubbles that can be more closely explored, with the ultimate ability to listen to individual recordings. According to the company, Signal Discovery will “listen” to every call and use unsupervised learning to generate these conversation clusters. It can then “predict occurrences in future conversations . . . based on similarities in speech patterns” from past calls. Marketing can be optimized and automated on that basis, accordingly.

Marketer challenges: data quality and too much volume. In coordination with the announcement of Signal Discovery, Invoca released survey findings about marketer data usage and sophistication. The company polled 500 business-to-consumer marketers, with annual budgets of over $1 million “across a range of companies and industries.” The marketers surveyed had at least three years of experience.

The most common sources of first-party data for these marketers were: 1) company websites, 2) mobile apps, 3) purchase data, 4) in-store interactions and 5) email.

Source: Invoca “State of First-Party Marketing Data” report (2019)

Asked what challenges they faced in using data to optimize campaign performance, these marketers said data quality and then privacy in that order. However, just under a third cited “too much data” as a problem. This latter issue was a bigger concern for more seasoned marketers (11+ years of experience) vs. those with less experience. For the less experienced group, data accuracy and quality were the biggest challenges.

Source: Invoca “State of First-Party Marketing Data” report (2019)

Seeking greater efficiency with AI. The survey explored a number of other issues, including AI-tool adoption. The top use case cited was efficiency — to help improve spending decisions for marketing campaigns. After that, responses included mining customer data, message personalization and audience segmentation.

Source: Invoca “State of First-Party Marketing Data” report (2019)

A separate 2018 survey from Fospha found that less than 10% of marketers said their use and understanding of data-driven attribution was “excellent,” while roughly 29% said it was “good.” The rest of respondents said it was “neutral” to “very poor.” These findings are generally consistent with marketer sentiment about challenges regarding data understanding usage in the Invoca study.

Why we should care. As a basic matter, marketers that sell over the phone or offline aren’t getting a complete picture of how their campaigns are performing if they’re not tracking phone calls. Dynamic number insertion, which is widely used today, prevents tracking numbers from being crawled or used to replace existing phone numbers, so NAP consistency or “pollution” aren’t issues SEOs have to worry about any longer.

Beyond simple call tracking, the content of calls are a potential goldmine of first-party customer insights that have all kinds of implications for media planning, campaign optimization, content creation, customer service, business operations, even product development. In addition, as the Signal Discovery announcement indicates, call tracking is evolving beyond simple attribution into much more sophisticated “conversational intelligence.”


About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes about the connections between digital and offline commerce. He previously held leadership roles at LSA, The Kelsey Group and TechTV. Follow him Twitter or find him on LinkedIn.

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Want to speak at SMX West? Here’s how

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Want to showcase your knowledge of search marketing to our SMX West attendees? We’d love to hear from you, and if you wow us with your proposal we’ll invite you to speak at the conference. To increase the odds of being selected, be sure to read the agenda. Understand what the sessions are about. Ensure that your pitch is on target to the show’s audience and the session. Please also be very specific about what you intend to cover. Also, if you do not see a particular session listed, this is because there are no openings for that session. Use this form to submit your request.

PLEASE NOTE: We have changed the pitch process. We’ve put together session titles that we plan to run at the show, and we’re looking for you to tell us what key learning objectives and takeaways you’ll offer to attendees. Detailed instructions are on the pitch form.

As you might guess, interest is high in speaking at SMX conferences. We literally sift through hundreds of submissions to select speakers for the show. Here are some tips that will increase your chances of being selected.

Pitch early: Submitting your pitch early gives you a better chance of being selected. Coordinators accept speakers as soon as they identify a pitch that they think best fits the session, just like colleges that use a rolling admissions policy. So pitching early increases the likelihood you’ll be chosen.

Use the form: The speaker pitch form (http://marketinglandevents.com/speaker-form/) is the way to ask to speak. There’s helpful information there about how your pitch should be written and what it should contain.

Write it yourself and be specific: Lots of pitches come in that are not specific to the session. This is the most effective ways to ensure that your pitch is ignored. And this year, we’re no longer accepting pitches written by anyone other than a proposed speaker. If you’re a thought leader, write the pitch yourself… and make certain that it is 100% focused on the session topic.

“Throw your best pitch:” We’re limiting the number of pitches to three per person, so please pitch for the session(s) where you really feel you’ll offer SMX attendees your best.

NEW: SMX Insights Sessions. What are they? 8-10 minute solo sessions that pack a punch and wow attendees with content they can’t and won’t see anywhere else. Tactical. Specific. Actionable. Speakers are challenged to deliver the goods in a limited amount of time: one must-try tactic, one nugget of sage advice, or one takeaway that makes you more productive. Have a gem to share with your colleagues? Pitch your idea and you may make it to the SMX stage!

You’ll be notified: Everyone who pitches to speak will be notified by email whether you are accepted or not.

And don’t delay—the pitch forms for each session will close as sessions are filled, with everything closing Friday, November 29.


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Video: Danny Sullivan, Google Public Liaison of Search, on his transition from Search Engine Land to Google

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We have a special video interview for you all at Search Engine Land. We interviewed Danny Sullivan, the founder of Search Engine Land and the search community, in a two-part series.

In part one, we asked Danny about his early days in the industry to him ultimately deciding to retire from his role at Search Engine Land / Third Door Media. Then accepting a job a few months later to work with the Google Search team as the Google Public Liaison of Search.

Part two is more about what it is like to work at Google and how he sees things differently as a Googler than when he was working on search from outside of Google.

Here is part one:

I started this vlog series recently, and if you want to sign up to be interviewed, you can fill out this form on Search Engine Roundtable. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel by clicking here.


About The Author

Barry Schwartz is Search Engine Land’s News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on SEM topics.



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Google Ads Editor update includes support for Discovery campaigns

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Yes, the editing pane is still awkwardly placed to take up a giant chunk of the right side of the screen, but Google Ads Editor’s latest version does offer some handy updates.

Edit pane. Speaking of that edit pane, now you can at least condense some fields to hide them so there’s a bit less scrolling. (That doesn’t mean irrelevant sections no longer show, however. You’re still going to have to scroll past a grayed-out “Shopping settings” when you’re in a Search campaign, for example.)

Shared negative keyword lists. If you’ve built out broadly applicable negative keyword lists, you can now share those across accounts in the Shared Library in Editor. (Shared Library is located under “Account-level” in the left navigation pane.)

Search for errors. You can search for similar errors across your campaigns or accounts. In the search bar, type “rule” or “violation” and you’ll see a list of options. Similarly, when you find an error or warning, you can click on the “Show violations” link at the bottom of the screen to see them all.

New campaign support. If you are running App campaigns for engagement or have access to Discovery campaigns in beta, you can now create and edit them in Editor.

Why we should care. These changes are relatively minor, but may save you some campaign management time, particularly if you’re using the newly supported campaign types. It’s also a pretty good sign that the Discovery campaigns beta is coming along. At the very least, it’s a good reminder to check how and if you’ve applied your negative keyword lists.


About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, running the day to day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin writes about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.



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