Trine Buus is international product director at e-advertising networking & online lead generation specialist ad pepper media (which also happens to be the parent company of international affiliate network Webgains) and the new chair of the IAB’s Online Lead Generation Council.
So, Trine, you are the new chair of the IAB Lead Generation Council. What is the Council’s purpose and why should it be relevant for affiliates?
The Council was set up for a simple objective: to set standards of best practise for the online lead generation market and seek to, collectively, grow its reputation and use by online marketers.
Affiliates and online lead generation often exist in the same space – both are equated to CPA advertising, sometimes drawing from the same advertiser budgets and there’s often confusion about where the two differ. But, put simply, lead generation is about gathering the data online that helps businesses focus their outbound marketing efforts to target customers. In the meantime, affiliates are largely focused on attracting, funnelling, and converting inbound sales. The two are very different disciplines and entirely complementary.
How do you define Online Lead Generation and what’s in it for Affiliates?
We take a variety of steps to build lead generation programmes for merchants (advertisers in lead-gen circles). Ordinarily a programme will combine exclusive publisher deals to house data collection forms on their sites with established, opt-in, contextually-relevant premium lists and more generic ‘incentivised’ lists where users have been offered rewards in exchange for permission to target them with relevant offers. Pricing scales according to the exclusivity and relevancy of the leads and a typical programme will combine all three to deliver against an advertiser’s targets.
Online lead generation has something of a murky reputation. What are you and the Council doing to rectify this?
Firstly, we’ve published a straightforward, jargon-free, one-page best practise guide to online lead generation. The guide is free through the IAB and runs through what we consider to be the minimum standards advertisers should expect from online lead generation partners. It offers a series of questions that they should ask of any potential provider to ensure things like user permission are precisely as they should be.
Permission and transparency are the watchwords for us. Everything we do in online lead gen must be prefaced by the appropriate permission from the user and then transparency for advertisers is essential, meaning that they can see precisely how leads have been generated and in what context. That means they’ll be able to reach out to those users with an understanding of what they have or haven’t signed up for.
Incentivised leads, where users are offered sometimes irrelevant rewards in exchange for their data, lead many to question its value. What is your view on those kind of programmes?
The ‘win an iPad’ form of data collection has its place – and its price. But, we are encouraging advertisers and the market as a whole to focus instead on incentivisation tactics that offer relevance. A ‘win an iPad’ offer might indeed be appropriate, if the advertiser is seeking technology-focused users for their product. But if the advertiser wants to sell them holidays, we’ll always be looking to encourage them down the road of incentives that bear relevance to that objective. Again, what’s key is that the user has given their permission to be marketed to and that the advertiser knows in what context that permission was given.
What else is the council doing to build the awareness and perception of online lead generation?
We’re committing to a programme of free education workshops, particularly for agencies and advertisers, to explain what online lead generation is all about, how it sits in the marketing plan and to take them through standards of best practise. We think this, in combination with the guide, and our goal to bring advertisers on to the council to gain their view, are good first steps to building the discipline.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the IAB Online Lead Generation Council, the best-practise guide or the workshop roadshow should contact Hazel@iabuk.net