Tuesday, 8 November 2011 by Peter Bell

What's the difference between a lead and a like?

Our ability to like (and share) information, photos, articles and interests on the web is fast becoming an online way of life. I remember the days when you used to forward emails (usually borderline jokes) to each other in the hope they would pass it on (no, oh well just me then!).

The resulting data from Facebook and all the other social likes has created an overnight demand for a new army of online data analysts whose job it is to crunch all these numbers into something resembling an accurate picture of consumer preferences and forecast of future intentions. In the US, the term CPL is increasingly taken to mean cost per like (sacrilege, indeed).

But lets not get confused with the real thing, a lead is an insanely valuable piece of information on a consumer that is rarely beaten for accuracy, preference and intention to buy. Youve just got to know what to do with these drops of marketing gold-dust fast to turn them into gold-plated customers.

Friday, 4 November 2011 by Peter Bell

The Future - Video killed the internet star?

Glimpses of the future of online are abound with Google looking to obliterate our channel obsessed TV culture with a preference search based youtube model amid increasing bucket-loads of connected TVs being sold in the high street today.

Its clear that our traditional thinking of online will fade as we come up with better terminology to describe what these things represent. I predict three main types of marketing will be prevalent in the future:
  • On - any marketing when a consumer is on a device such as PC, phone, tablet, radio or TV 
  • Near - any marketing medium such as bill-boards, signage which can digitally engage with us
  • Off - marketing collateral such as direct mail, door-drop and print advertising
So whether its video that takes over the internet or the internet thats taking over TV, doesnt matter as the convergence will be rapid and transform everything thats gone before. The unstoppable forces of digital nature are only slowed by our capacity to deal with this change and our willingness to accept new ways of doing old things such as business, lifestyle, family and relationships.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011 by Peter Bell

99 Problems but the lead ain't one

Its amazing how a concept so basic as generating a lead in order to make a follow-up sale has become so complex.

You take the worst quality leads and get nothing but even the best quality leads can still make zero sales if you havent got all your lead generation ducks lined up. For example, to generate an effective lead online for call centre follow-up you need to sort out:
  • How are your leads validated - off-line, real-time, third party verification? 
  • How quickly can you follow-up the lead - seconds, minutes, hours, days? 
  • Which creative execution will you use - email, phone, DM, SMS, everything? 
  • What campaign analysis/optimisation to employ - segment, tiers, caps, scoring? 
  • Method of secure data transfer - batch, ftp, xml? 
  • How are your leads tracked - manual, pixel, tagging, post?
  • What business rules are in place - lead reconciliation, brand exposure, data ownership?
  • plus 92 other problems...

The days have gone when you could simply plan and buy all the leads on the market and get a result which is going to achieve marketing targets and keep all the stakeholders happy.

The 99 problems can all be solved as long as the lead aint one.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011 by Peter Bell

Lead Generation Jargon, Buster

Like most people in the lead generation industry I love a good tech talk now and again. Whether its real-time XML, de-dupe, image pixels or container tagging but sometimes I do question how many of our highly skilled direct marketers are getting this. This creeping wallowfiication (now its my turn to make a word up!) in overplayed geekiness is surely clouding a lead marketers main objective to create leads that buy enough products within marketing budget. This endless techno-waffle would put off even the keenest budget holder.

In these pressing economic times, performance marketing is perfectly placed to wipe the decks clear of out-dated paying for awareness advertising models. We just need to make sure when tech is talked, it is done with the right people on the right level with a clear sight of the marketing objective.

Monday, 17 October 2011 by Peter Bell

State of European Lead Generation Market - Stunning new research

Like you, I rarely ever see any in-depth research on lead generation across Europe so I couldnt believe the statistics when I saw this recent report in all its technicolour glory. It contains industry changing trends plus damning figures on where the European Lead Generation market could be heading.

Here are some key findings:
  • UK - market already peaked, ripe for consolidation with decreasing margins
  • Germany - near mature, pressure on margins with little scope for further growth
  • France - market not fully developed with most potential for growth (albeit slowly)
There are also some fascinating insights on the role social and mobile media has to play. It even details how online lead generation operates in each country. 

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