This week we pull back the veil on the dark side of Lead Gen. We explore what Ping Post is, explain how it varies from Ping Trees, and examine how it is used to exploit the most vulnerable in society in the pay day loan industry.
Below are some key ideas discussed in the latest episode of the B2C Lead Gen Podcast, but be sure to check out the entire thing with links at the bottom of the page.
What is Ping Post and how does it differ from Ping Trees?
Ping Post is when someone has collected a lead - it could either be a lead generator or a data broker - and they are able to send snippets of information of that lead to a selection of buyers. For example, they may send Post Code or Zip Code or Name, just a small snippet of information about the lead. This will be sent to the selection of buyers and the buyers will make a “bid” as part of an auction based solely on that snippet of information. The winning bid will then receive the lead and the entirety of information collected. This typically occurs in real time.
In contrast, there is no auction element as part of a Ping Tree. There system has the same selection of buyers, but the buyers are ranked and the lead will be distributed to individual buyers in order of ranking where they will have the option to buy or effectively “pass” on the lead, based on aspects such as whether or not the lead already exists in their CRM.
Why is it that Ping Post is heavily used in industries such as the pay day loan Industry, and what are the dangers this system presents to consumers?
The way to think of Ping Post is like an evil comparison site in the sense it doesn’t work in the favour of the person who is the lead. Rather, it benefits the people selling and buying the leads, so the danger is that in industries such as the pay day loan Industry the buyers and sellers are able to use this technology to exploit the consumers.
What does this exploitation actually look like though?
Imagine, it’s a month before Christmas, you’re a single mother with two kids, working two jobs to try and survive. Inflation is currently rising and in real terms you are worse off than ever.
You need to get some money from somewhere but you have bad credit and the only option - that you can see - is something like a pay day loan. You search online and fill in your details and become a “lead.”
The BIG problem is that due to this auction system you are delivered as a lead not to the buyer who gives you the best option for you but to the buyer who bids the highest, and they typically will charge the highest interest terms. This simply compounds the situation you are in and doesn’t in anyway serve to help or serve the you as a lead, only the lead seller and lead buyer.
This entire system can often begin a cycle of debt that the lead - that is the person needing help - can never escape. The very nature of the Ping Post system is inherently built to exploit and work against, not with or for, the prospects.
Of course, the argument from the people giving out these pay day loans is that they are simply providing a service, based on demand, and the extreme APRs and interest rates are necessary as the people requesting the loads are usually a high risk. However, the biggest issue - at least in terms of lead generation and Ping Posts - is the exploitation of that person as a lead because they are not being given the best option for them, their data is being sold in the way that will derive the most money out of them.
So, is the technology the enabler here?
There will always be demand. There are a lot of poor and vulnerable people out there. That is unlikely to change anytime soon unfortunately. What CAN change is the exploitation of these people.
In this industry, the technology really facilitates the exploitation. Without it it would be impossible to have the auction bidding which works against the leads.