Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Performance Agency v's Performance Network

The Royal Couple

In the booming Online Lead Generation sector, the once distinct roles of the Performance Marketing Agency and the Affiliate Marketing Network are merging.

Wind back a few years and you could see clear daylight between the two separate disciplines. Take first the role of The Marketing Agency, being primarily focused on:

  • Campaign creation & brand proposition
  • Answering the client brief
  • Media Planning & Buying specialist 
  • Strictly client-side

Contrast this with The Affiliate Network:

  • Delivery according to the media plan
  • Management of publishers
  • Affiliate marketing platform specialist

Fast forward to today and we see marketing agencies running private affiliate networks and conversely affiliate network's doing 'traditional' agency work such as planning and buying performance media.

Who is is treading on whose toes? And who is the most capable of giving the best service and results?

There is no single answer, but clearly as the performance marketing industry matures it is transitioning from many siloed specialist operators towards a broader, easier to understand proposition. This is why both agency and network players now seek to offer advertisers a one-stop shop for all lead generation and performance marketing services.

Networks and agencies have much to learn from one another and it can only be a good thing if working closer together and adopting good practice means more cohesion and simplicity on offer to the modern day performance marketer. However, a clear and present danger of being both agency and a network is where conflicts of interest arise in media buying between owned and bought media.

Whichever model wins out (or more likely a new combination of the two), it has never been more important to demonstrate media independence and use integratable (is this a word?) platforms with total transparency to ensure advertisers receive the perfect marriage of both agency and network.


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Google Lead Generation

Check it out... Try Googling myvouchercodes when logged into Google and see what you get. I got this search result with an email sign-up box:



On clicking 'get offers' you get this Google email sign-up thank you message:



So no click, no traffic just email leads. Over and above Google's recent addition of display advertising for financial product comparisons, this is now an example of pure lead generation advertising from Google.

Checking out Google Adwords, this ad extension is not currently available in the interface but it's only a matter of time.

It's clear that Google no longer see themselves as a website traffic provider using cost per click (CPC) but are becoming more orientated around cost per lead (CPL) and cost per action (CPA) campaigns. The current range of performance based advertising options on Google include:

  • Display advertising- if you're a Google owned comparison site!
  • Cost per call - using Google's less than perfect telephone number tracking solution
  • Email sign-ups

No doubt a sign of things to come if they can make it work and scale it without cannibalising the search business.

A Google click or a Google lead - I know which I'd prefer.

How long before Facebook begin offering similar Performance Marketing options?