Today, many digitally savvy marketers are so entrenched in the online world, they rarely give much thought to offline marketing tactics. Even if they dabble in direct mail, they’re still less likely to think about that “other” offline world — the world of the telephone.
Yes, I’m talking about call centers, IVRs (press 1 for Moviefone), people (CSRs, agents, reps, brand ambassadors), and Muzak. Most marketers don’t think of the telephone as a marketing channel, as the call center usually lives in operations, servicing, or IT (gasp) — never in marketing. Truth be told, thinking about the telephone seems somehow antiquated in this digital age — even the word sounds dated. It’s not the device that’s out of date, more the medium of voice. As marketers we may hardly use our voice to make a phone call anymore, opting instead to speak to Siri, Alexa or their voice-assistant cousins in addition to typing words into devices.
In actuality the telephone is as relevant as it’s ever been. With the ubiquitously high penetration of mobile, it has never been easier to make a call. Not only do you not have to commit the number to memory, you don’t even have to dial it. And for large swaths of the population, having a live conversation with a human offers the only true sense of engagement and consideration. For example, talking to someone is an essential and necessary point of entry into the marketing funnel for “high-consideration” products and services, such as automobiles and real estate.
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