Monday, April 27, 2009

1. An Overview of The Internet Lead Ecosystem

buzz this

Most people outside of the lead industry assume that there is a very basic internet lead value chain that looks something like this:

  1. A consumer enters their information on a website like LowerMyBills
  2. The information is stored in a database
  3. A company pays for the lead
  4. The lead information is emailed to the buyer
  5. That company calls or emails the consumer
While such a simple process sometimes does exist, the lead ecosystem is so broad and complex that it is not unusual for a person's information to touch more than 10 companies as it flows through the lead ecosystem.

The Internet Lead Ecosystem

Over the next six posts I will cover the major components and companies that comprise the lead industry. Namely those associated with 1) the promotion and advertising that draws a consumer to enter their information online; 2) the methods for capturing that consumer's information; 3) how leads are bought and sold; 4) what types of evaluation go into determining lead quality at, or just after, the point of sale; 5) how leads are managed; and finally 6) the types of activities that successful lead buyers of leads carry out in order to ensure that they get the maximum return on investment possible for every lead that they buy.

As I hope that you will see, generating, buying and using internet leads is not rocket science. However, it is a more complicated industry than most people think. Understanding the different parts of the ecosystem, what each of those parts contribute and who the major players are in each sector of the value chain can give you a massive advantage as a lead buyer.