• http://www.rimmkaufman.com George Michie

    It will be fascinating to see how this plays out. The cost of a call is not just what you pay Google, it’s what you pay the person who takes the call, and the opportunity costs associated with increasing call center wait times, particularly if the conversion rates on these calls are lower than the average call taken currently.

    That said, targeted appropriately, this could be very interesting indeed.

  • http://screenwerk.com Greg Sterling

    Fair points George.

  • Michael Shostack

    More disappointing news from Google on the call-tracking front. While I applaud the ability to let advertisers focus on the actions that are most valuable to their business (calls), it seems Google is trying to force its awful call tracking solution on anybody who wants to use this.

    Their Call Metrics product, simply put, is overpriced for advertisers (particularly national ones with large accounts) who do any sort of real volume. Compare $1/call for one number with a couple bucks per month per 800 number and a few cents per minute for most other call-tracking providers.

    Also, while I can’t really fault Google for taking the approach they did with the minimal info they make available on the callers (to say they are being careful about PII and privacy at the moment would be an understatement), that simply won’t cut it for advertisers with complex back-end tracking. Many Clients need full visibility into all of the caller data (that Google does not provide) in order to map things back correctly into their CRM for conversion/ROI reporting purposes.

    So in short, a cool feature that would be a huge boon to many national advertisers that highly-value calls, will likely be completely unable to use this because it will be overpriced compared to their current options and they will lack the necessary data for their tracking needs.

  • http://www.desertstandard.com Roger Williams

    my concern is what happens when the customer writes down this Google phone number and calls back 2 weeks or 2 months later? how long does this number stay associated?

  • http://screenwerk.com Greg Sterling

    Roger: The number probably doesn’t stay associated with the business for more than a couple of days but I don’t know for sure.