Tell us about the department that you manage/ tell us about your company
iFame Media is a marketing and technology firm that specializes in Lead Technology Enablement. At our core, we are an agency with a specialized team that understands and has lived in the lead generation space for over a decade. Thus we’ve done everything from help integrate PX into a new client’s infrastructure to developing a full lead generation business from scratch, systems, media/traffic and everything in between. We love this stuff and really enjoy working with professionals that want to do it right.
Tell us about what your job entails
My job requires the ability to wear multiple hats at any given moment. I can go from firefighter to strategist or technologist to mediator at any given moment. However, if I’m doing my job right on any given day, I’m helping my clients create their business in a sustainable and meaningful way.
How did you get started in the internet marketing industry?
I got started back in ’98 when I started to work for America Online (AOL), this was back when it was cool to say you worked there. Yes, even before Google. It was wonderful as I was able to learn about all the main facets of Internet Marketing from a large publisher all the way down to small channels. Watching the Internet grow from what it was during the “You’ve got mail,” days to the complexities of what PX now interfaces with has been amazing and I couldn’t have picked a better line of work.
What is the biggest challenge in lead gen for iFame?
In my role, I often interact with buyers, sellers, aggregators and everything in-between. There are two common challenges, first is quality and second is patience and both are tied together. All too often we see business owners looking for the quick revenue, shortcutting processes which can lead to poor quality throughout the funnel. This behavior is so common in the industry that trust has become a concern to many of the larger players, making it harder for the ones that are doing it right to get ahead of the line. With our clients, we try hard to navigate them through the maze, focusing on quality and taking the time to do it right the first time. This does cause a slower run to revenue, however, it creates sustainable channels and relationships that help our clients grow in the long run and create a real business.
What does it take to run a successful lead generation campaign?
Any successful lead generation campaign will start with data and end with data. Taking the time to fully map out your funnel and identify your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) vs. supporting metrics can save time and keep the focus where it belongs. This requires the right tools to be in place, from Google Analytics to systems like PX. Then making sure you have the downstream view, such as contact rates, sales, etc. Let’s you tie it all back to your efforts.
Another area of campaign success I often bring up to my clients is ethics. All too often there are shady players in our industry and it puts a bad name to us all and doesn’t help create that sustainable business I’ve mentioned. Being ethical will create trust amongst your peers, clients and similar which can open doors that you may have otherwise not known existed.
What does a quality prospect look like to you?
A quality prospect is simply someone that has a true interest in the offered product or service and has raised their hand to be contacted, through validated contact methods. We tend to lose sight of how simple it really is to define a prospect, the problem often comes from generating a quality prospect at a cost and volume that keeps all parties in business.
What strategies work best to convert leads into clients?
It all comes down to a robust and well-supported contact strategy. A lead is only as good as the strategy the business has to work the lead. This comes from speed to lead concepts, meaning how quickly you make contact to deploying as many contact methods as possible. There is a lot of research out there that helps focus your efforts based on vertical, but we find many marketers keep saying I just need more leads, vs. I need to close the leads I already have better. This goes back to sustainability, deploying text messaging, multiple call attempts day 1 and real-time chat or similar is hard but can pay dividends in the long run.
Tell us about your campaign optimization process?
Optimizing a campaign can occur anywhere within the conversion funnel, and requires unique process per vertical or offer in many cases. That said, we tend to utilize a combination of PX, Google Analytics, buyer/seller data, and the A/B testing suite implemented to identify key areas of opportunity. A recent example is that we were able to see via PX that a percentage of leads weren’t sold to buyers for on our campaigns. This was causing an issue with margin. After ruling out technical issues we started looking at landing page flows and identified an income question was confusing the users. We implemented a second validation step that simplified the process and saw an increase in sellable leads, directly impacting the bottom line of our client. The goal is to listen to the data, create a testable plan and monitor.
What have you done in the past year to help better monetize your lead generation activities?
It is all about quality. Quality and monetization go hand in hand so our team starts with traffic sources. We tend to lean heavily on organic build up, quality PPC channels and the creation of proprietary databases that can be used for nurturing. While our volume will be very different than affiliate focused traffic, we find the value is higher so we can direct our attention to areas that aid our partner in a more meaningful way.
How do you stay ahead of changes in martech/technology?
I wish I was able to stay ahead of the changes better, I’m sure we all do. With everything that is going in the industry on we tend to do our best to weed out the noise and focus on the large opportunities. We’re lucky in the capacity in that we have a large client base that helps us focus on industry level problems that need to be solved. Outside of trade publications and blog monitoring, staying plugged in with our network, including the PX team helps to make sure we are in the know.
What role does PX play for iFame? (ie where does it fit into your tech stack, who do you integrate with us, have we changed any or maybe eliminated processes for you)
As mentioned before we focus on Lead Technology Enablement, thus PX is a central tool we’ve either recommended or helped optimize around their conversion funnel. We tend to put PX as a key tool, often the system of record for the entire business. This means that we mold the remaining tech stack around PX’s capabilities ensuring there isn’t a square peg/round hole scenario.
“Utilizing PX has eliminated some of our older, obsolete tools and even aided in the quality area with the built-in scoring features.”
This allowed us to remove some third party scrubbing and scoring tools, reducing overhead burden as well. Best put, PX is often the gateway for our ability to monetize on behalf of our clients and it helps to do so in the most efficient way out there.
Can you explain how you work with PX?
We’ve been working with PX for a few years now and our relationship has evolved since then. In some cases, we work with PX to help onboard and integrate PX clients that don’t have a technical team. This can be from simple items such as landing page posting to deeper areas creating conditional branching logic for ping tree concepts. Most recently though, we’ve taken a PX client and created the entire technology stack around it, creating a lead portal, multi-step conversion funnels, databases, email campaigns and similar. It’s been great since everything is harmonized around the core tool.
How does PX empower you to attribute ROI to your lead generation efforts?
A quick glance in PX allows our team to know which source/channel is producing the most ROI, thus we can make certain the direct attribution is occurring on the media site. The tool also allows us to see scores by source, creating a more knowledgeable media destruction. However, that is only the media side. We also are able to look at where the leads are going, what the sell-through rate by source and buyer are, allowing us to implement improved lead routing to increase revenues.
Let’s Get Deep! What is one of the most important lesson that you learned in your marketing career?
Ethics in business is critical to success and is so true in our industry. We’ve been in the space a long time and have seen lead buyers/sellers come and go, chasing the quick buck. Though the truly ethical players that are trying to solve a real business problem will outlast the fly by night operators. When in doubt, ask yourself if you’d feel comfortable explaining your tactics to your family and friends. This isn’t the only lesson, but one that should be true in the lead generation space as much as your daily life, and a message when enforcing with our clients.