Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ad Tech and Lead Gen are like two heads of the enormous marketing hydra, closely related but always gnashing their teeth at each other. With Ad Tech, the head is turned outward, blasting out impressions to influence gain clicks and impressions. Lead Gen, on the other hand, has its head focused elsewhere, attempting to directly capture customer information for conversion through a sales funnel. The desire of both, however, should be to convert prospects into a paying customers, increasing advertising and marketing ROI.

Why, then, are these two heads of the same beast at odds?

Nowadays, it seems that there are too many steps to generate sales. It used to be pretty simple: a customer wants to buy something, a business has something to offer. But today, the rules have changed. Even small businesses have to consider elements like customer relationship, ad networks, call centers, and ecommerce platforms. And the two departments that claim the most influence over sales are Ad Tech and Lead Gen.

The ultimate goal of all advertising technology and lead generation is to gain new customers. This of course is central concentration of a lead gen campaign. However, ad networks or ad tech platforms are often designed to fixate on ad impressions and click-through-rate, where the focus should in fact be on ROI and conversion. Both ad tech and lead gen efforts must track conversions through analytics, surveys and feedback, so companies can be sure that ad spend is contributing to sales. Clicks and impressions are terrific, but unless they lead to sales and new customers, a company is simply in the branding business.

Businesses have to come to terms with the dual-nature of sales and marketing, and do their best to integrate them.

A goal here would be an emphasized integration between the two heads, and may come in the form of communication. The tools available to Lead Gen must be equally accessible to Ad Tech platforms. Take, for example, the popularity of DMPs (or Data Management Programs). These tools are available for for both technologies, but often Ad Tech and Lead Gen are using different software that doesn’t always translate well. So, utilizing DMPs that can work across the two departments – or better yet, using the exact same software – should increase ROI and make tracking campaign effectiveness much more efficient. Creating an infrastructure that allows for a seamless flow of information can and should help both lead gen and ad tech efforts focus on the same end goal: a new paying customer.