How to Track Inbound Calls in Marketo

Ari Echt Invoca

For complex B2B sales, or considered purchases like insurance or financial services, there’s a watershed moment in the sales lifecycle. A point where a lead transforms from being just another name in your database, to a legitimate, forecastable sales opportunity.

That moment is usually a phone conversation.

While Marketo provides data-driven marketers with the complete, detailed story behind every click, Marketo is 100% blind to phone calls.

As a result, you have no clue which marketing efforts are prompting prospects to pick up the phone, or what’s being said in those conversations with your sales reps.

In a world where we’re all trying to delight our customers with 1:1, personalized marketing, don’t you think marketers should know what’s happening in these high value interactions?
Unfortunately, the status quo is that every decision made in Marketo, from audience segmentation, to real-time personalization, to nurturing, to campaign attribution, is based almost exclusively on online activity.

How This Blind Spot Distorts Marketing ROI

Businessman drawing ROI concept above the city

The standard way of measuring marketing effectiveness is to look at how your Marketo programs and Salesforce campaigns are influencing pipeline and revenue. To do this accurately requires being meticulous about updating Marketo program statuses and Salesforce campaign member statuses with any response to a campaign.

Campaign responses can occur in two ways: a form fill, or phone call. Marketo only has visibility into one of those — the form fill. So there’s a fundamental misalignment between the way prospects respond to your marketing, and the way Marketo measures response. The ramifications of this disconnect can be significant.

To get a rough sense of how far off your attribution data could be due to the blind spot around inbound calls:

  • Take your average opportunity amount
  • Then take a guess as to how many times a month a phone call comes in that turns into an opportunity. 
  • Then multiply those two numbers together.

At Invoca, our lead to opportunity conversion rate on inbound phone calls is 10x what it is for lead forms.

For example, say your average opportunity value is $25,000, and you have a hunch that you might get 10 calls a month that turn into an opportunity. That’s $250,000/month (or $3 million annually) in pipeline that your marketing campaigns are creating, but you’re not getting credit for.

How about a quick moment of silence for this lost attribution tragedy. Silence…okay on to the solution.

With Invoca’s call intelligence platform, you can now get call data into Marketo just like you do click data so you have a more holistic view of your customer.

How Exactly Does Invoca Get Data from Phone Calls Into Marketo?

00 Basic Call Data Flow
Since most marketers have never managed phone calls in their marketing stack, it helps to start with a simple, macro view to see how call data flows.

  1. Phone call is placed.
  2. Detailed call data is captured in the Invoca platform.
  3. Call data is pushed in real-time into Salesforce and stored in a custom object called the Invoca Call Log.
  4. Invoca Call Log is attached to the right lead or contact if a match exists. If no match, a new lead is created.
  5. On next Salesforce to Marketo Sync, Invoca Call Log data is pushed to Marketo.
  6. Marketo smart campaigns evaluate the call data just like a form fill to determine which Marketo Program/Salesforce Campaign to credit with a response.

A More Detailed Look at How You Actually Set This Up

You begin by installing our Invoca for Salesforce app (Microsoft Dynamics integration available as well), then going to Marketo Admin and enabling a Salesforce Object Sync with a custom object called the Invoca Call Log.

Invoca Marketo Call Tracking 01 Custom Object Sync
Once that sync is enabled, you’ll get a whole new set of call-based triggers and filters that pertain to the Invoca Call Log.

Invoca Marketo Call Tracking 02 New triggers and filters

These call-based triggers and filters behave just like your digital behavior triggers such as Fills Out Form, or Clicks Link in Email.

So, What Exactly is an Invoca Call Log?

The Invoca Call Log is the custom object that our integration creates in Salesforce with each inbound call, and automatically attaches to the correct lead or contact record. Here’s a partial view of what an Invoca Call Log looks like in Salesforce.

03 Invoca Call Log

The Invoca Call Log contains data similar to a Marketo form fill, such as:

  • the marketing channel that drove the call
  • the Invoca campaign that drove the call
  • the offer they responded to
  • the keyword they searched (providing the call came from paid search)
  • any URL parameters that were in the URL of the page they called from
  • plus data you will never get from a form fill, such as the recording of the call, as well as indicators as to what was actually said in conversation

Once a call is complete, the Invoca Call Log data is pushed over to Marketo on the next SFDC to Marketo sync, which shows up in your Marketo Activity Log with an Activity Type of Added to Invoca Log.

Marketo Activity Log Invoca Marketo Call Tracking

This activity of an Invoca Call Log being added to a lead or contact record causes appropriate “Added to Invoca Call Log” triggers to fire, such as the example below.

05 Smart List

Just as with online triggers like fills out form, or clicks link in email, there are different attributes of a phone call you can evaluate to determine which marketing effort drove a response.These attributes are all available within the familiar Marketo Add Constraints button.

Here’s a closer look at each of the three different triggers used in the sample smart campaign above, which is designed to attribute calls from Paid Search to a Marketo Program and Salesforce campaign named “PS (Google) Demo New.” I’ll walk through each trigger separately.

Example Trigger #1: Campaign Name

06 campaign name

If call comes in where in the Invoca Call Log data, the attribute Campaign Name contains “Paid Search”, then in flow steps, you’d do same thing as if it were a form fill to credit the appropriate Marketo Program and Salesforce campaign with a response:

Invoca Marketo Call Tracking 07 Flow with Marketo

Change program status, add to SFDC campaign, log interesting moment that a call came in, and from which LP, set the appropriate lead source, change score, etc.)

Example Trigger #2: Pool Param 1 Name, Value

08 pool param

“Pool Params” in the Invoca Call Log are our name for URL parameters.

So if in this case, a person called from a landing page that had the URL:

then this campaign would fire and you could take your desired flow steps to attribute the call to your paid search program.

Example Trigger #3: Promo Number

Invoca Marketo Call Tracking 09 promo number smartlist

The Promo Number attribute looks at the specific phone number that was called. If the Promo Number in the Invoca Call Log call matches the Promo Number in your trigger, then the campaign will fire.

Every company structures their attribution a bit differently. The three sample triggers above are designed to show you that you have a lot of flexibility in molding your call intelligence around the way you tag phone calls.

Going Beyond Attribution….Smarter Nurturing, Retargeting, and Personalization

So far, we’ve talked about attributing calls to the right source. But there are many other use cases for call intelligence, one of them being conversation analytics. With a feature called Invoca Signal, you can trigger off of keywords or phrases that are said during a phone call to help make your next steps be as relevant as possible.

For example, say Marketo was using Invoca. Marketo has multiple products that prospects might be interested in:

  • Marketo lead management
  • RTP
  • Revenue Cycle Analytics
  • Financial Management

You could setup Signal to listen for which products were mentioned in conversation to help determine which nurture tracks to put them in, and which offers to show them in RTP. Here’s how you’d set up a Signal in the Invoca platform to listen for conversations where the prospect showed interest in Revenue Cycle Analytics.

Invoca Marketo Call Tracking 10 signal setup

And here’s the smart campaign that listens for phone calls where that “Revenue Cycle Analytics” Signal has been met.

Invoca Marketo Call Tracking 11 signal smart list

(A Signal Value of 1 means the condition was met. Signal Value of 0 means condition not met).

Since we know this person showed interest in Revenue Cycle Analytics, let’s add them to a nurture track that talks about RCA.

Invoca Marketo Call Tracking 12 signal add to engagement program

A New Frontier for Digital Marketers

We’ve only scratched the surface here on what you can do when you have data from the phone channel at your fingertips in your familiar Marketo environment.

We’ve all been empowered by the agility/control that Marketo gives us in being able to quickly create unique landing pages and forms without being dependent on web developers or IT. You now have that same agility/control in provisioning unique, fully tracked phone numbers, and shaping the caller experience with just a few clicks.

Invoca Marketo Call Tracking 13 Call Treatment

Closing Thoughts

The blind spot around phone calls is not limited to Marketo, or marketing automation. It affects every layer of the digital marketing stack, from email, to paid search, to bid management, to website optimization, to analytics, to DMP’s, to retargeting, to CRM. With so much of your brand now consumed on mobile, where it’s far easier to engage by tapping the call button than to fill out a lead form, digital marketers who ignore the call channel risk inaccurate reporting, lower conversion rates, faulty optimization decisions, inability to prove ROI, and subpar customer experiences.


If you’re going to be at 2016 Marketo Summit and want to chat about any of this, or take a peek at how we have this setup in our Marketo instance, I’d be happy to show you. Hit me up on LinkedIn.

The post How to Track Inbound Calls in Marketo appeared first on RevEngine Marketing.

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