In the past, many businesses in their nascent stages of growth, which could not afford to spend huge sums of money on traditional advertising and promotion, grew massive sales numbers through telemarketing campaigns targeted at specific demographics and regions. It helped them generate vast leads, sales, and profits, in much the same way digital marketing fulfils that role for businesses nowadays.
But does telemarketing still hold good in today’s digital age? Can it compete with the highly sophisticated algorithms that tech companies are churning out on a daily basis?
The simple answer is yes. Let us examine the key advantages that telemarketing offers and understand how businesses can leverage it to expand their market share.
1. Direct Approach to Prospective Buyers
Telemarketing relies on direct phone calls as a means to reach prospective customers. That way, it offers a more personal interaction between businesses and potential buyers.
It allows telemarketers to engage with the prospective buyers on a real-time basis, and in a more human and interactive manner. As a result, telemarketers can gather information on customers’ needs, interests, consumption and buying patterns on a real-time basis, in a manner that is as effective (if not more) as a digital campaign.
A key advantage lies in the fact that experienced telemarketers can frame questions for additional information on an immediate basis from the inputs received in the conversation. This is not possible with a digital media campaign.
What’s more, the inputs can also be used to display customised digital ads and function as a training module for the call centre staff. This is an edge that telemarketing holds over digital marketing, even today.
2. Inbound Sales Leads
Inbound calls are typically categorised under two heads—complaints and queries. While complaints relate to faulty product or service, queries are typically considered positive leads.
Queries are positive leads because the customer has already done some basic research about the product or service, and is interested in knowing more about it. In other words, the prospective buyer already has a positive intent about the product or service, and is likely to buy it if their doubts and queries are satisfactorily answered. Their buying decision depends on the answers they receive from the telecaller during the phone-in.
An experienced telecaller almost always closes a sale from an inbound call. If that isn’t possible, they are able to fix up an appointment for a call back with the prospect at a later date. They may also arrange for a live demonstration. This is a key advantage that telecalling enjoys over digital marketing.
3. Better Feedback Option
A dedicated telecalling service helps the business gather more constructive, timely and accurate feedback from the customer.
Customers typically prefer to speak to a telecaller to provide feedback or apprise them of their complaints rather than write an email. The reason is that not all customers are adept at putting across their thoughts in writing. Second, there is a general belief that businesses usually do not read mails or messages. Compared to this, interacting with a human being on the other side of the phone is an easier and favoured method of communication for customers.
Telecalling also establishes brand loyalty and trust because the customer feels they are being valued, as the telecaller is spending time and effort to try and understand their viewpoint.
4. Customised Ads
Digital marketing offers excellent potential to businesses to gather large amounts of data about customer preferences, including buying, spending and consumption patterns. This information can be effectively stored and analysed to improve the efficiency of your telemarketing campaign.
Conversely, email/SMS campaigns usually end up in the junk folder of the customer or are discarded unread. This makes telemarketing a better means of utilisation of customer data for sales leads and growth. The data acquired from telemarketing can also be used to improve digital campaigns and vice-versa.
The Human Touch
Both telemarketing and digital marketing offer specific advantages and benefit from a symbiotic relationship between them.
Telemarketing offers a human touch which can be used to build an instant rapport with the customer and maximise the potential of sale. Both telemarketing and digital marketing allow for effective gathering of customer data which can be used to sharpen and improve each other’s campaigns.
The choice between telemarketing and digital marketing ultimately depends on factors like business type, customer profile, and budget. Businesses should analyse their requirements to decide whether they should opt for telemarketing, digital marketing, or both.
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