Thursday, August 7, 2008

Performance Insider: Lead Quality, Transparency And Network Phobia

Lead Quality, Transparency And Network Phobia

THE CONTROVERSIES SURROUNDING AD NETWORKS have been at the top of the news this year.  Now, they are migrating from the CPM/display world to the realm of cost-per-lead advertising.  However, the issues are different.

In display, much of the furor concerns whether publishers are wise to allocate inventory to third parties where there is a loss of control.  But in cost per lead, the concern is in another direction: lead quality.  And the answer is transparency.

 Transparency is a true win-win for advertisers and performance-based networks.  For the advertiser, transparency means knowing the true source of all leads whether developed through direct publisher relationships or via a network.  Understanding source becomes an important factor in analysis and modeling.  That pays off in greater conversion when the advertiser can customize follow-up using more factors.

For the networks, there's a range of positives:

·        Eliminate the suspicion: If advertisers, agencies and sites are beginning to believe networks are hiding something through anonymity of sources, networks can simply eliminate the issue by disclosure.  Result: greater loyalty, more renewals.


·        Put the dogs out: Often, advertisers end some network relationships because lead quality appears to be poor: e.g. bad contact information, incorrect filtering etc.  But often, the culprits are a handful of sites within the network, not the network itself.  When the networks reveal sources, there can be a collaborative effort between network and advertiser to purge the sites that are not doing the job and reward those that are effective.


·        Better segmentation: Just because you're a network doesn't mean you should emphasize run-of-network buys.  Most nets attempt targeted ad placements, but fewer deliver effectively.  The demographic and psychographic characteristics of successful sites can be cumed to build vertical or premium networks within general networks.  Result: higher CPLs and ECPMs.

Partnership between advertisers and networks can work -- and a little more information will make all the difference.

Gary Kreissman is co-founder and president of Precision Prospects, Inc., a performance-based advertising firm.

Performance Insider for Thursday, August 7, 2008:

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