Q&Q Lead Generation

Lead generation is a high-profile area of online marketing in which many suppliers are claiming prominence. Nick Martin, managing director of Acxiom, explains why his company’s approach and data is the one to trust

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What is Acxiom’s over-riding strategy in the data market?
We aim to bring targeting to all addressable media by fusing our information with every channel in a totally compliant way. Today we solve common marketing challenges, such as how to effectively integrate marketing channels, make more from your customers or retain them for longer.

Now we’re able to bring those same principles to advertising and make it personal. That means ensuring you are able to identify and recognise people for who they are, discriminate between them and others, then undertake targeted actions to improve effectiveness and response.

How is the lead generation movement affecting your data collection processes?
Data-driven marketing needs to be able to apply an effective segmentation to leads and have a platform to manage that process. That is what we are trying to achieve with Acxiom InfoBase-X® Intelligent Leads.

On the one hand, it is a platform for serving questions that our publishing partners and lead generation sites need to capture relevant information. We then aggregate those leads back into the database and distribute them to our clients in real-time. On the other, we are supplying the same things that we have and do in the traditional offline world into the new, dynamic environment of online services.

Does that make InfoBase-X Intelligent Leads different from other lead generation services?
What our system does is look to identify prospects that are relevant to a brand based on information that we have on them and on their behaviour on the Internet. We are looking to help brand owners fulfil the interest which an individual may have in a product or service.

We identify a person as soon as we have got a name and address in a response form and have a question fulfilled. From that we can assign a segment code and serve questions to increase the information that we already know about them – who they are, their household, presence of children, income, age. All of that information is combined in real time as survey questions are served and leads are passed to clients once the process is complete.

Information is combined in real time as questions are served, then passed to clients.

What happens to leads that don’t fit the client’s required profile?
We wouldn’t recommend to a brand owner that they run a lead generation campaign, ask questions, generate leads and then leave people with unfulfilled expectations. That is poor service. What you can do is filter at the front end so you only serve questions that support your lead generation campaign to a profiled group from which you want to generate leads.

You can also have a two-step collection process with different filters and treatments for targets versus non-targets. It is easy to forget that 100 per cent of your marketing has an impact, but that a lot of that impact can be negative.

So how does intelligent question serving work?
If somebody has come in via a co-registration partner, they will serve a bank of questions linked to keyword searches. That helps to maintain the relevance of the survey to the visitor. There is no point serving a question to someone if the brand owner won’t pay for that lead because it does not conform to their targeting brief.

On a co-registration site, there may be a number of questions co-existing on one form on behalf of a number of brand owners. So a respondent is likely to fit somebody’s criteria and to answer relevant questions. The principle is that, rather than asking ten or 20 questions, you are looking for additional information triggered by linking them to their PersonicX® profile. You may only need to ask one question, rather than a battery which can have an impact on completion rate and campaign effectiveness.

Lead generation has become a very hot marketplace – what effect does this level of interest and competition have?
As more people recognise the Internet as an efficient lead generation channel, more people have come to market and more brand owners are using it. That has created a fight for share of mind which gets harder as more people do it. It also becomes harder to discriminate between those companies that are generating quality leads and those that aren’t.

So it becomes important to go back to simple direct marketing principles of testing and targeting. And work with a company that is able to help you understand what is working and what is not. The quality of the data we generate for clients isn’t up for debate.

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