Q&A: Matthew Whiteway, Chief Commercial Officer, Infinity UK
Matthew Whiteway is the CCO at Infinity and has been in digital marketing for 20 years, including working as a digital agency director for 12 of them.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I’m fascinated by the possibilities of combining tech with digital marketing, which led to me working at the forefront of marketing landscape for 20 years. Previously I was a director and board member of one of the UK’s leading full service digital marketing agencies, but early this year I decided it was time to satisfy my passion for technology by moving across to Infinity, a global marketing technology leader.
What does your company do? / What is your USP?
Customers call up when your brand is the number one thing on their mind and they need you that instant. It’s always a crucial moment and it’s often for a major purchase where extra guidance, customisation, or reassurance is needed.
Therefore, we believe every conversation you have matters, so Infinity helps you find what matters in every conversation.
What does that mean in practice? We show marketers, sales leaders, and operations what happened before, during, and after every call they receive. Our call tracking capabilities show where each caller came from, right down to the webpage, social campaign, or even specific PPC keyword.
Our Conversation Analytics suite was launched two years ago, it’s the first of its kind in Europe and continues to go from strength to strength. Brands are using it to automatically find calls where a payment was made, where certain words were said, or where a specific outcome happened. As well as giving richer insight on improving the customer experience, it also saves you from spending an enormous amount of time trawling through all of your calls to find the bits you want to analyse closer.
We’ve been helping businesses for a decade now, including retail brands such as Hillary’s, Carpetright, and Safestyle.
What’s special about the platform and your approach?
In terms of our approach, when we won the ‘UK Software as a Service (SaaS) Company of the Year’ award at this year’s UK Business Tech Awards, the judges highlighted how we valued our clients’ performance as much as our own. This wasn’t a quaint nicety or accident, we’ve significantly invested in building a Customer Experience team that works as a strategic advisor to clients focusing on their end goals, as well as highlighting tactical opportunities.
That sort of thing does not happen overnight, and clients who try Infinity now will enjoy a slick, enterprise quality experience, smooth onboarding, and first-class training.
Our platform is the most advanced call intelligence platform in the UK, we combine exclusive functionality with exceptional reliability. Examples include our aforementioned Conversation Analytics suite, identifying calls that happened after a customer saw a display ad, and most recently our Instagram and Facebook Ads call tracking integration.
We also have an extensive global coverage plus great segmentation options, meaning we work especially well with brands who have a large number of franchises/locations or international territories.
What advantage does it add?
For marketers, prove and improve the value of everything you do. We regularly find that your work is driving hugely valuable calls, but without any tracking in place you aren’t getting the credit and are relying on guesswork to get more of them.
If you’re answering sales calls, we give you up-to-the-second insight on what led to the call, helping you to know what the caller wants before they have even asked for it. We also help highlight the tactics and traits of top performers, which can be shared across your sales teams.
Wider operations and IT teams can use our insight on customer journeys to create a more joined-up, efficient experience. For example, one client with an enormous amount of support calls used our data to identify FAQ pages where people where calling from (implying their query wasn’t answered), improved those pages to reduce the number of calls from them, and made an annual saving of £24 million.
How does a product/service implementation actually look like and how do you measure success?
Our most important KPI is yours. Yes, we may look to improve average order value, optimise marketing activity, or minimise basic support calls, but we focus on what matters to you.
I mentioned our Customer Experience team earlier, who usually meet with a client pre-sale to discuss their strategic goals and will advise on how best to use Infinity to achieve those. Often, they come to us wanting help with one challenge in the short term, and come away with a clear view on how we can attack four or five more.
Implementation times can vary depending on the scale and complexity of the solution chosen by the client, but our most straightforward set-ups can be done in a few minutes. We also offer customers a clearly project managed onboarding, including training tailored for the roles or goals relevant to the client.
How are retailers using your systems to gain competitive advantage and what does best practice look like? Can you share a case study with us?
Tightening budgets this year have meant that brands have had to make every pound work hard for them, and our insights highlight where the opportunities are and help to ensure no pound is being wasted.
One major windows and blinds client has been using our data to optimise their paid search activity, and have managed to boost their year-on-year visits-to-calls conversion rate by 18% from a similar number of paid clicks. They have also been closely monitoring what pages are most likely to generate booking calls, boosting the conversion rate of their website to drive an additional 1,500 calls every month.
Other case studies focus on lowering cost-per-acquisition, boosting sales calls, minimising missed calls, and other growth/experience related metrics.
Are there other companies you partner with?
We integrate with over 45 other technology providers, and have a highly flexible API ready for any that we need to add in the future. Popular integrations include Salesforce, Adobe, and a substantial portion of the Google suite.
On top of this, we are the trusted call tracking provider for a large number of digital agencies and consultancies across the globe.
What challenges and opportunities do you see in UK retail for 2021 / What challenges are retailers facing in 2020?
In September and October we noticed that the number of people calling retail brands (especially home, garden, and luxury) was up 20% year-on-year. This highlights that there’s still a desire for the guidance and opinion that a human expert can provide when it comes to major purchases, and brands need to look at ways to provide in-store quality service whatever channel a customer wants to contact them on.
Moreover, with many wanting to pick up the phone, ensuring you are matching their online activity to offline conversions and revenue only becomes more important.
How will you address these challenges and turn them into successes?
These are challenges we’ve been helping retail brands solve for years and our platform closes enormous visibility gaps in that online-to-offline journey, but I think our Conversation Analytics suite will make a huge difference in helping brands to deliver that top quality service that will be expected. Identify the converting calls, pinpoint what’s working, and spread those insights across the relevant teams.
We have something else coming very soon that will be highly relevant to this challenge too. Watch this space!
What is on the horizon for you as a company?
We’ve had a lot of clients signing up to use us with their paid social campaigns, so we’re looking forward to seeing the different ways we can deliver value there. Development on our platform continued at pace throughout 2020, and as I mentioned earlier, we have some exciting new launches planned for early 2021. There’s also more to come on the tech integration front, we listen closely to what our clients would find useful and are always exploring better ways of serving them with new partners and old.
Any final thoughts?
2020 was a challenge for many, but it wasn’t without its success stories. In Summer we noticed that those who put in the work to analyse their performance, improve their offering, and build their brand during lockdown were at the forefront of customers’ minds when doors could open again.
Already, we are seeing call volumes jumping up significantly since news of the vaccine rolling out was announced. It leads me to think that 2021 is packed with opportunity for those who have put the work in during 2020.
Company name and location: Infinity, UK (London, Manchester, Reigate) [We have offices in San Francisco, Baltimore, and Madrid too)
To find out how Infinity can help your retail operation, click here.
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