Countrywide PLC Case Study

An Award Winning Call Tracking Solution

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The Customer

Countrywide PLC is the UK's largest property services group, they serve customers in over 850 branches across the UK.

With unparalleled coverage of the UK property market, they are uniquely placed to support customers across the residential and commercial property markets. Countrywide PLC brings people and property together, priding themselves on care for our customers and the ability to take care of the complexities of all property transactions on their behalf. As specialists in both the residential and commercial property markets, Countrywide employ more than 10,000 people who are passionate about property and work hard to deliver the best outcome for our customers.

The Challenge

Countrywide is a vast, complex business with over 65 different brands and websites alongside 850+ estate and lettings agent branches. Combined they generate millions of online calls and leads each year. This makes tracking performance highly challenging.

Organic search, Google My Business and paid search were well-developed acquisition channels for Countrywide, but there was a lack of optimisation in Countrywide's paid search channel.

The lack of a reporting solution meant there was no clarity on the impact of paid search campaigns. Countrywide had a paid search tracking platform in place which measured contact form submissions to keyword level performance, however, the business was receiving a higher number of phone calls than online form submissions. Improvements in the understanding of which keywords and campaigns were generating these calls could be made. The goal was to link the leads coming in for each of Countrywide's branches to paid search metrics, improving the lead volume and efficiency.

Countrywide also identified inefficiency, a lack of reporting and poor workflows as major challenges due to disparate technology platforms. These factors made reporting and developing insights onerous. meant it was difficult to focus more time on developing strategies and improving performance.

While the need to track call performance to a keyword level was clear, the challenge of doing this was increased by a requirement to preserve “local" STD calling codes for each branch. No off-the-shelf call tracking platform could cope with the scale of the business or provide sufficient “local" phone numbers (i.e. to the same area code as the branch), cost-effectively. A key reason that a unique and innovative solution from TTNC was needed to meet Countrywide's requirements.

  • No performance tracking.
  • Poor reporting.
  • Disparate technology platforms.
  • No off-the-shelf call tracking platform that could cope with the scale of the business.
  • Insufficient “local" phone numbers to the same area code as the branch.

Objectives & Goals

By working with the Countrywide in-house team, sponsored by the Head of Digital, we formed a strong partnership and identified the following solution goals.

  • To focus more time on developing strategies and improving performance.
  • To link the leads coming in for each of Countrywide's branches to paid search metrics, improving the lead volume and efficiency.
  • To increase the overall volume of leads from paid channels while also reducing the cost per lead.
  • To grow the PPC acquisition channel to generate over 10k leads per week.
  • To improve visibility on paid search performance for all of Countrywide's campaigns.
  • To implement a platform that would help Countrywide's online marketing team spend less time on manual reporting.
  • To ensure the solution used Countrywide's corporate lead reporting data, to enable clarity by eliminating double counting.

The Solution

We assessed the software capabilities in the market and came up with a solution that would work; a bespoke integration of TTNC's “enterprise" telephony solutions and Google Analytics online reporting platform, Marin's award-winning PPC ad management software. These were all linked back to, and integrated with, Countrywide's existing line of business lead tracking and reporting systems.

A critical strategic element was evaluating the number of telephone numbers required for each branch based on historical traffic levels, telephone number availability, the frequency of site visits, the latency period of site visits and subsequent user action. This ensured that there would be sufficient numbers to track each call uniquely while minimising the overall number of dynamic numbers to be provisioned. Crucial given the constraints of numbers in specific geographic locations and a need to manage costs.

At TTNC we have over 7 million virtual telephone numbers covering every town and city in the UK coupled with a feature rich customisable reporting and analytics platform. These capabilities, alongside an agile development and project management team, enabled TTNC to work in partnership with Countrywide's business analysts, data team, online marketing team, Marin and Three Whisky to deliver the required solution.

Upon delivery, the solution successfully integrated all existing data into the new platform, including Countywide reporting, Google Analytics and existing reporting of calls generated by AdWords call extensions.

  • An automated branch-level performance reporting tool which saved Countrywide's online marketing team time and improved management workflows.
  • A dynamic number insertion solution that tracked leads from calls down to an ad group, ad and keyword level within Marin's platform.
  • A sophisticated bespoke campaign management platform for 850+ branches.
  • A pool of over 50,000 local, call tracking telephone numbers and local STD numbers for every branch.
  • Instant provisioning.

The Result

The performance improvements were immediate and significant.

  • A 33% increase in leads.
  • A 30% decrease in cost per lead.
  • A 9% increase in clicks.
  • A 7% decrease in spending.

This performance uplift equated to approximately 2,500 additional weekly leads and 130,000 leads annually, alongside a six-figure sum saving on advertising spend.

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“This use of technology has been instrumental in transforming our enterprise approach to PPC as a viable, targeted, cost-effective and controllable customer acquisition channel. The results achieved within a very short amount of time have been phenomenal. The level of data that is now available to enable our decision making has transformed how we can leverage and control this channel as an online marketing team."

Michael Bolton — Head of Digital, Countrywide PLC

“The scale of Countrywide's business and the challenge of providing a bank of 50,000+ trackable geographic phone numbers to 850 branches and 65 brands should not be underestimated.

Together we developed a unique dynamic number insertion and keyword call tracking solution that integrated the TTNC platform with Marin's auto-bid management software.

The collaboration with Three Whiskey, Marin and Countrywide worked well and we are very pleased such a complex and sophisticated solution has helped deliver such amazing results."

David Orrell — Business Development Director, TTNC