Venerable (& Expensive!) Generation Methods Can Still Yield Poor Results
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Venerable (& Expensive!) Generation Methods Can Still Yield Poor Results

Venerable (& Expensive!) Generation Methods Can Still Yield Poor Results

For years we’ve all heard that no better lead or phone call could be anticipated than those generated by search, maybe paid search and perhaps email that strictly follows all the rules and does everything right. Recently, however, this seems to not always be the case. More and more “non-performing” potential customers or applicants seem to arrive at a Buyer through one of these cherished methods. Often, surprisingly large numbers of these potential customers show up showing some Publishers really have this methodology “locked in”. Unfortunately, most (sometimes all) are either looking for customer service regarding their existing policy or just “looking”, “shopping”, “checking things out”, and “comparing”, but not seriously interested in taking an action right now. What’s going on?

After sorting through many reasons as to what’s behind this phenomenon, it appears to come down to the “message”. It’s what the potential customer is told they are expected to do or say in the message they’re responding to. This is not to say the Generator is being intentionally misleading, but the Generator’s goal is to attract as many people as he can and this means going easy on specificity. Often he doesn’t even know what exactly the potential Advertiser is expecting. Publishers may be using the words “shopping”, “comparing” which the potential customer perceives is what they are expected to do. Additionally, if the Generator is “brand bidding”, customers who respond will think that they are communicating with a company they already have a relationship with. The conflict with the Advertiser arises when he is anticipating this buyer to “buy”, not “look around”, “compare” or seek customer service.

The fall out of this can be generation that’s expensive to implement creating results for a Buyer falling way below their expectations. The Generator believes his “conversions” or “qualified” calls aren’t high enough and it’s someone else’s fault other than his since he’s using top-flight search techniques. At the same time, the Buyer is seeing their Cost Per Sale far exceed what they can afford. If the Buyer and Generator aren’t working closely together this can create a marketing situation where each side is unhappy and want to end the campaign.

The lesson learned is working closely and as transparently as possible is the key to most successful campaigns. Admired generation techniques won’t necessarily ensure success. It takes both parties with a good understanding of the “total picture” to succeed in today’s rapidly moving environment.

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