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SES Interview: ClickPath

Posted on 12.03.2007
I had the opportunity to sit down with Mike Christensen, Director of Business Development and Managing Director Jody Huff of ClickPath this morning to talk about ClickPath's call tracking solution which tracks phone calls back to the keyword (GOOGLE, YAHOO, MSN) initially searched for by the user. As you may have guessed, this helps bridge the gap between online advertising and offline conversions.

ClickPath utilizes what is known as DNI (Dynamic Number Insertion). Here's the quickie version: a search takes place, the users clicks on a listing and arrives on a site. A dynamic toll-free number loads at the same time which is unique to the event (making it trackable). That number then follows that user around the site (a click path - get it?).

What seperates ClickPath from the crowd is that they enable advertisers to track calls by keyword, while others do the same assign numbers to groups of keywords or buckets. ClickPath is citing a 9-12% conversion for some of its efforts.  Unique to both call tracking and analytics, I found both Mike and Jody fluent in understanding the challenges inherent in each.

The ideal client for Clickpath is a medium-large business that sells "high-consideration" items as it is neccessary to justify high ad spends these products require. What impressed me most about ClickPath was their willingness and ability to work with both in-house advertisers and agencies. ClickPath's roots are in full-service marketing, so they are capable of providing a lot of collaboration and assitance in developing appropriate strategies.

ClickPath's pricing model is very simple (subscription fee + cost per minute). Technically a phone company, they charge per minute which means their offering is scalable and are able to build and bill campaigns (and their minute usage) on a custom basis. It's not for everyone however. There are barriers to entry (namely education). For starters though, the phone has to make sense for an organization. For example, having Amazon as a client would not make any sense as they have all "low-consideration" items.

ClickPath fills a very unique void for sure and will appeal to those that understand the problem of tracking keyword advertising to phone call conversions. Ah, the beauty of granularity.
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