When it comes to lead generation and buying leads, when is enough? At what point is the operation deemed a success? When you hit ROI? When you see an improvement in conversion rates? When you hit X amount of sales from those leads?
You will get different answers depending on who you ask, and really, it all comes down to your own targets and a degree of subjectivity. However, unless you are consistently converting 100% of the leads you are buying then there is always an opportunity to squeeze more out of the process, right? You can always get a better ROI, you can always get better conversion rates, you can always get more sales. So, the question should really be: What can lead buyers do to make every single lead count?
We caught up with Callum Dudley from Neo Media World to have a look at lead generation in the automative industry, and to also look at some ways we can squeeze more value out of leads and make every lead count. Below are some of the key ideas discussed, but be sure to check out the entire Podcast at the bottom of the page.
We’ve seen Brands in the past borrow money from the affiliate budget to run lead gen. As Lead Generation & Affiliate Account Director, how does you role sit between the two areas?
Callum Dudley: I specialise in Lead Generation. Although my job title is Affiliate Account Director I don’t really have anything to do with any sort of traditional affiliates, it is all lead generation.
But yeah, traditionally lead gen has always been one of those channels where “The client’s got X budget and 10k leftover, we actually need to deliver some leads or something tangible at the end of this campaign, if we stick 10k in there that can be where it comes from.” Then the rest of it’s sort of the awareness and brand traffic etc.
But over time, and ultimately trying to educate people, it touches upon where the world is now moving to with the Cookie-less future in 2022 and First Party Data, everything I’ve been trying to gear it towards in the last 9 years or so is now becoming paramount.
Every brand I speak to is now saying “I need first party data.” I mean they’re about 10 years behind the curve but we’ve got the answer and lead generation is here.
It’s not longer just a case of collecting data, but it’s “What are you gonna do with it?!” You can build databases until you’re blue in the face but if you don’t do anything with it properly then it’s pretty much wasteful.
What would you say the current perception of lead generation is?
Most of the time this type of activity would either end up falling into the remit of a display team because no one really knows where it should sit. I’m the consultant across some of the other agencies and 9 times out of 10 it’s either a display team or an affiliate team I’m speaking to who don’t specialise in lead generation.
I wouldn’t say there’s historically been a huge amount of focus upon it, but as we move into a more focuses collection of first party data for all clients, it will hopefully become a Channel 1 plan rather than an afterthought.
It’s not going to happen overnight. We’re in a transitional period. But for certain clients, in the last 3-4 years, the budgets I’ve had (to run lead gen) have grown considerably.
In terms of getting more out of the leads you have and making each lead count, Nurturing can be massively important. What makes good Nurturing?
You can try and pigeon hole people into different “lead types” but it’s just about having the right mentality as to what that potential customer’s present situation or perspective of a brand is, and making sure you nurture them appropriately form that point.
You can’t just say “Well this person’s a Keep Me Informed level lead but this person is a Test Drive Lead.” They’re completely different within the entire purchase funnel, so you can’t treat them the same way… but they still have equal value in terms of the “long goal.”
For me, and when I speak to any brand, it’s just you have to nurture them in a way that is contextually relevant to where they currently are, because if they’re higher in the funnel they need nurturing with more information or they need a certain approach that is appropriate to whatever it is they’re buying.
To boil it down, every single lead has a value regardless of whether they are currently considering your brand or they’re just at the point of trying to decide what spec of vehicle they even want, they are all a potential customer so you need to treat their potential to be a customer the same.
THIS IS JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG: This podcast was absolutely chock-full with interesting ideas. The above is simply a few key extracts to set the tone. Be sure to check out the entire thing on Apple, Spotify or Databowl’s YouTube Channel.