Lead generation expert Jeff McCollum shares his insights on performance marketing

By Maryann TobinAugust 1, 2014

As the president and founder of CAKE, Jeff McCollum has earned his reputation for being one of the best when it comes to cutting edge marketing concepts.

CAKE’s performance marketing platform was also crowned a “Boost Your Business Top15 Winner” by Forbes in 2013.

McCollum believes that performance marketing is the key to unlocking the power of our digital world. He recently answered some of our questions and shared his insights on how to capitalize on CAKE’s state-of the-art technology.

Q: Is performance data being used differently than it has in the past? If so, how?

A: Yes. Performance data at a very granular level allows marketers to make more nuanced choices about the best affiliates to partner with, how to structure performance commissions, customize content and more. For example, insight derived about a person’s location or type of mobile device can be used to personalize offers and increase opportunities for conversion. An understanding of the number of steps and costs involved to acquire different types of leads can help buyers weigh cost versus ROI considerations. With better data, you can make better decisions.

Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of performance-based marketing?

A: Today there’s a huge array of options available for businesses that want to generate leads. The big advantage of performance marketing is that you only pay for what works. It’s all about leveraging a community of partners to zero in on potential customers who fit the profile you want. In the affiliate model, this means paying a commission to publishers who deliver a sale or qualified lead. The same approach can also be leveraged to buy leads on a CPA basis that fit pre-determined criteria. The benefit is pretty clear: More qualified leads will lead to higher conversions and better ROI on your digital spend.

Q: How does the cost of performance marketing compare to other forms of targeted marketing concepts?

A: The cost per unit can be more expensive, but you come away with a more targeted/qualified result. And businesses buying media from a performance marketing channel or agency can provide ongoing feedback on the quality of the leads they are receiving to continue to improve the results. Unlike the traditional “spray and pray” method where you buy a ton of media and hope for the best, performance marketers are incentivized to produce leads that convert, so they work hard to constantly test and optimize campaigns that deliver better results.

Q: Why did you decide to speak at LeadsCon?

A: LeadsCon has always been a thought leader and advocate for the industry, with great insight into the latest trends and innovative technologies. I’ve been attending this event since the beginning and look forward to sharing my ideas about where I think the industry is heading as well as learning from the issues that my colleagues are talking about.

Q: What unique insight do you hope to bring to the LeadsCon event?

A: CAKE has the advantage of working with companies across a number of different verticals, which has enabled me to really think about the performance strategies that perform best for each. What works in insurance, for example, might not be a good approach in education or financial services. We have insight into when and how best practices need to change depending on your objective.

Because CAKE provides analytics that bring transparency to the end-to-end customer journey, we are in a unique position to help strengthen the relationship between publishers and lead buyers. The traditional suspicion that publishers and lead buyers sometimes have about one another is really because of a lack of communication and information. Performance marketing is supposed to be a mutually beneficial exercise. A better understanding of what works, what doesn’t and how campaigns can be improved helps buyers and publishers function as partners, rather than adversaries.

For more insights, join Jeff McCollum and other members of the panel “Performance Marketing 2.0: Using Data to Create Profitable Customer Relationships” at LeadsCon NY Aug 14-15.


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