Lead generation: A fistful of dollars

IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau)

The IAB’s first online lead generation seminar highlighted the potential offered by this growing medium, whilst also pointing out some of the historical barriers to growth.

Opening the session, the IAB’s Amit Kotecha compared the lead generation industry to the wild west of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western trilogy. Kotecha argued that the industry needed to move from being seen as “the good, the bad and the ugly” to a future where those involved in the industry could legitimately claim “a fistful of dollars”.

Kotecha argued that this could only be achieved by focussing on quality leads generated by improved transparency, accountability and technological developments.

Quantity and quality are not mutually exclusive

But just how do you go about planning a lead generation campaign in order to reap the benefits offered by the medium? This was the question that Justin Rees, head of marketing at LeadPoint, attempted to answer.

Rees outlined some practical approaches to the discipline and argued that there is still “a misconception between lead generation and data capture”. According to Rees, a lead is an engaged consumer who has expressed consent, and not simply a name and a contact number. Having said this, Rees was keen to point out that “quantity and quality are not mutually exclusive”.

Another key issue to the development of the sector, argued Rees, is the ability to accurately measure the success of a campaign. “The same campaign can look very different depening on how you look at it,” argued Rees. As a result, the industry needs a more unified, standardised approach.

The fastest growing sector in US advertising

Next up, Robin Caller, founder and managing director of Goallover, discussed the emergence of cost per lead (CPL), explaining that with 43% of all Google searches resulting in a phone call between merchant and prospect, CPL has become the fastest growing commodity for transaction.

“That makes this the fastest growing sector in US advertising,” argued Caller, before going on to offer some practical tips on how to generate a lead.

Would you give the best leads to the worst sales person?

Closing the session, Trine Buus, International Product Director at ad pepper, argued that lead generation was only part of the battle.

Making reference to the film Glengarry Glen Ross, Buus argued that it would be folly to give all your best leads to the worst sales person. What you chose to do with those leads is crucial. The next step is having a joined up strategy in place to deal with an capitalise from that lead.

The growing importance of lead generation

During the closing panel discussion Sean Sewell, commercial director at AOL Advertising, argued that lead generation is growing in importance for a number of sectors - in particular FMCG. Sewell drew attention to a recent P&G campaign for Dove which proved that lead generation can be applied to a wide range of different sectors.

The channel that marketers want to know more about

Discussing the event, the IAB’s Amit Kotecha comments: “The IAB’s first online lead generation event was a full-house, proving awareness and the hunger for knowledge is stronger than ever. The Taskforce has worked hard this year to create a common language and to provide a source of guidance for the industry.

“Next year will prove to be an important time for the Taskforce to establish best practise and continue to promote what is fast becoming the channel that marketers want to know more about.”

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