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Online lead generation can be a very useful tool for bands in their online customer acquisition strategy but a branded campaign is not always the best way to generate leads.

At its most basic level, lead generation provides an advertiser with a ready-made pipeline of prospective customers that should be primed to interact with their brand.

Of course, the method of interaction will vary considerably from advertiser to advertiser and depend on campaign objectives but fundamentally the consumer should at least be ready for further contact.

The received wisdom, especially in the Agency world, is that the first messaging a consumer sees should be branded. However, branded is not always best.

For a branded lead generation campaign there often has to be a fairly obvious “quid pro quo” to entice the consumer to submit their details, such as free sim cards, prize draws, giveaways etc. and this will of course affect the performance of a campaign. Many of those consumers that respond are more interested in the “quid” than the “quo”.

If the advertiser is using a co-registration model to generate the leads then the consumers will most likely be on a publisher site that both has nothing to do with the advertiser or the product or service they provide. Again in this scenario, in order to get the consumer to interact with the advertiser’s brand there often needs to be an incentive. Now these methods of generating leads can be very effective, especially for a strong brand with a relevant incentive but it is important to note that this is not the only option.
 
For some sectors and certain products and services an unbranded lead generation campaign can often be much more effective. One particular area suited to this kind of execution is financial services lead generation where leads are often put into call centres and the value of a conversion is relatively high. A quick history lesson will help put this into perspective.
 
In the UK, the financial services industry was one of the first to take advantage of a trend for consumers to go online to compare products and services. Large money portals allowed consumers to compare multiple branded products in once place and due to the complex nature of financial services the traffic was very sticky. This offered a massive opportunity for advertisers to reach a much more targeted audience and often consumers just wanted to speak to somebody for advice so they would fill in a form to be contacted and thus becoming a lead for advertisers to purchase. 

In this situation, the consumer is embarking on a non-branded journey. They are looking for advice and to be contacted about a product or service rather than to be contacted by a specific brand. Of course brand awareness my influence their ultimate purchasing decisions but this is not why they filled in that form in the first place.

The other main advantage for advertisers using an unbranded execution, whatever the vertical, is that it is often a “plug and play” solution. There is not much campaign planning required, no creatives to be made, no forms to test and integrate, no validation to set up etc. All advertisers really need to know is what their CPA target is and how many leads they can get for their budget.

At the same time, publishers are increasingly using lead generation to monetise their traffic and the “plug-and-play” solution is very attractive to them. Vertical specific comparison and portal type sites are springing up everywhere aggregating consumer audiences around a specific set of products and services and many of these consumers will end up becoming leads. This can really only be achieved effectively from a non-branded execution.

Ultimately whether an advertiser uses a branded or non-branded lead generation solution will vary on many different factors but advertisers and their agencies need to realise that sometimes the brand can get in the way of a good lead!

Justin Rees

Published 1 April, 2010 by Justin Rees

Justin Rees is founder of Talking Customers and Cofounder of Currently.

15 more posts from this author

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Andy Kinsey | Internet Marketing Manchester

This article is superb I can't tell you how many people I will be sending this link too! 

Brand is often a primary cause of stopping online lead generation, it can overwhelm a potential customer in moments. 

I do however see the otherside in that if your brand isn't clearly defined you may struggle to get customers ... it is a balancing act

over 6 years ago

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matt dailey

Whilst I agree with the overall sentiment that Brand can get in the way of acost effective acquisition campaign, I disagree with the context in which this interference has been presented and also the use of the UK financial aggregator market as an example of un-branded lead generation.

Firstly, in any true acquisition campaign that is going to be judged against "cost per" KPI's, the use of incentives is highly dubious due to the likely quality of lead generated (as the author rightly points out) and the negative impact that will have on conversion levels. The incentives mentioned are generally used by brands that are playing at acquisition and trying to gain advocacy from both current and new customers.

The key distinction in how effective activity is for lead generation is not whether or not a brand name is present but the balance within the creative execution of brand and brand value messaging versus product benefit messaging and strength and prominence of calls to action.

To the main point of UK financial aggregators providing un-branded lead generation opportunities, this is not the case. The whole value of the aggregator offering is in bringing together a relevant audience in the research or purchase phase of the customer pathway and allowing brands to place their products in front of that audience with their best offers. A mix of brand recognition and product strength then determines the levels of leads and acquisitions achieved from that activity. The presence of the brand name is still important to many consumers and even if not paid for, exists in text format alongside the product, so is always present. If the listing is unpaid for then any "proceed" button that a consumer clicks will drive them to a form that generates a lead for a broker that is brand agnostic, so the lead is potentially lost anyway. So I cannot agree that aggregators can be described as un-branded lead generation.

Overall, the key distinction in how effective activity is for lead generation is not whether or not a brand name is present but the balance within the creative execution of brand and brand value messaging versus product benefit messaging and strength and prominence of calls to action.

over 6 years ago

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Jon

Great stuff here guys. I think its important to keep in mind the 2 different conversion points... traffic to lead, and lead to sales. If you only consider the first one might neglect the second!

over 6 years ago

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Tony Nguyen

Great post.  Not enough is written about "lead generation" in general, but the bottom line in most internet advertising efforts is about leads, prospects...call it what you like...conversion.  Thanks.

over 6 years ago

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Answering Service

Online lead generation can be a very useful tool for bands in their online customer acquisition strategy but a branded campaign is not always the best way to generate leads. Thanks for a very nice and informativ post. I'll just follow on your updates.

over 6 years ago

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contractor leads-15

Thank god that there's a tool for finding leads easily. Online lead generation can help any scale of business on finding potential leads.

over 6 years ago

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lead generation services

Well,thanks for the sharing this stuff,this is great stuff that is really very usful for us to be aways from the doing this kind of mistake.

almost 6 years ago

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