This is Tracey.
Tracey: Hey, there!
Tracey’s company Big Bank wants more customers, and getting people signed up for auto loans is a great way to build their customer base. In this situation an auto loan is like a gateway for that consumer to the rest of the bank’s offerings. People are more likely to get additional lines of credit, checking accounts, saving accounts, etc. with an institution that they already use.
Big Bank collects some of their own leads through their online banking site with existing customers and through their website via referrals, search traffic, etc. These leads are called O&O leads for “owned and operated” because they are generated by the business itself and not bought from a third party. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough leads to meet Big Bank’s goals.
Tracey: That’s alright. I’ve got more tricks up my sleeve, namely a lead seller I’ve worked with before named Marco. I can buy more leads from him.
In this scenario, Tracey is now the lead buyer (also known as an end buyer, advertiser, or brand) who wants to buy leads from a lead seller (also known as a publisher, a network, or an aggregator).
Tracey already has an Insertion Order (IO) on file with Marco’s company detailing what her company Big Bank will buy from them, such as the geography of a lead, product details / requirements, and consumer contact information. She goes to Marco asking for more leads, specifically ones interested in auto loans. Marco says sure, he can move campaigns around to get the best leads for this request. (A campaign could cover multiple sites and sources but is specific to a request, like consumers who may want auto loans.) These changes incur additional expenses, which Tracey approves so Marco can get started.
Tracey: You gotta spend money to make money, right?
Industry-specific lead volume and the need for leads can change depending on the time of the year. For instance, car sales go up towards the end of the year, which means a desire on behalf of lead buyers for more leads and more consumers looking to buy. That makes for a pretty competitive market.
Like other lead buyers, Big Bank is very concerned with “speed to lead” which is the ability to contact a consumer as quickly as possible after they have submitted a contact request. Marco quickly gathers multiple leads and submits them in “real-time” to Tracey via Big Bank’s online system using an identifying access key that differentiates him from other lead sellers.
Tracey buys the leads that best fit, especially those that are exclusive (only sold to one buyer) or are generated by a “long form” (full details about a specific product inquiry vs. a “short form” with a simple expression of interest and limited details) and cleans them up.
Once the leads are in a usable format, she sends them on to her Sales department for calling. Soon they have new auto loan customers who will hopefully become regular customers that also open checking accounts, saving accounts, mortgages, etc. Big Bank is increasing their customer base, and Tracey is shining like the star employee that she is.
Tracey: I should ask for a raise.
You’re certainly worth it, Tracey!