Connect The Dots: Lead Gen and Ad Tech

By Ross ShankenJuly 2, 2014

If you examine the individual players in the sales ecosystem, it might not seem that lead generation and ad tech share the same goal. But they do. All too often, the attitude among the various players in online advertising and lead gen becomes “everyone for themselves.” But that is short sighted. As long as each entity is focused solely on its own profit margin, there’s a limit to how far the industry as a whole can grow.

A thread runs through the entire sales process. It takes twists and turns. The path is no longer linear, and more often than not, the funnel metaphor no longer strictly applies. A user might bounce around from site to site, gathering online and offline impressions from a multitude of sources. Many different partners and touches contribute to that single shining moment when a prospect converts to paying customer.

It’s actually quite simple. On one side of the equation is a consumer who wants a product or service, and on the other side is a business with a product or service. Seems elementary, but add in all the other players in the sales process and the landscape grows ever more complex. Customer relationship management. Ad networks. Attribution firms. Call centers. Ecommerce platforms. Lead management systems. The list of players is larger every year.

But think of it this way. Ultimately, all of the processes leading up to a purchase flow through one point, and that’s via a lead generation portal. It’s the link between an interested party and a purveyor of a product or service. Without validation, every other link in the chain is worth less. That ad on Facebook or BuzzFeed is meaningless. A waste of money, if it doesn’t convert to a sale.

When a lead is validated, all players in the ecosystem, especially the consumer and advertiser, join together out of mutual desire and benefit. The multiple parties engaged in the sales process are, ideally, aiming for the same goal: to help the advertiser acquire a new customer.

However, in the increasingly complex and noisy supply chain, it’s easy to lose sight of that goal, becoming isolated from that basic consumer-advertiser relationship. A media company, for example, becomes focused on selling more media, clicks, or leads, instead of keeping an eye on the essential task of helping the advertiser get customers.

Imagine the trend reversed. With a reframed goal of connecting interested parties, everyone in the ecosystem has a stake in optimizing valid leads and ads, and minimizing fraudulent ones.

Transparency and connecting all the dots are key to a flourishing customer acquisition intelligence platform. When everyone is open in a universal alliance, everyone is successful. Let’s all work toward building out that critical layer that allows for smarter spending and instant ROI.

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