ILM East: Reply.com’s Sean Fox and Rebirth of Leads as Marketplaces

Lead generation has gotten a bad reputation because leads can be inexact, old and sold to too many players. But the new model of a leads marketplace with auctioned leads to the highest bidders can keep them fresh and responsive.

Reply.com COO Sean Fox said that leads are under-appreciated, given “how effective they can be for folks.” Many businesses have defaulted to clicks for SEM, display and online listings and profiles, he noted. But leads result in forms, calls and warm transfers.

The bad reputation is somewhat earned, he concedes. In the traditional leads marketplace, pricing is static,terms are long term ,targeting is limited, advertiser churn is high. But in a leads marketplace, such as run by Reply.com, pricing is dynamic, you can have real time adjustments, and advertiser churn is low.

A branded lead should be part of a digital package for media companies, adds Fox, noring that media partners are ideal because they are trusted brands. Hearst media, for instance, sells auto ads via the marketplace.Another reason: get in the market before Google takes it from you. Google has purchased a leads company in the U.K. Google is absolutely focused on lead gen,” added Fox.

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