An American Werewolf In (Ad Tech) London

Impressions of Ad Tech London

It was a day after the end of Ad Tech London and I sat at the airport, sipping on what I hoped would be my last pint for quite some time.  Don’t get me wrong, I like beer and fish & chips as much as the next guy, but a man can only go so long without a good cheeseburger and shot of bourbon.  As I daydreamed about a Kuma’s burger, I was able to compile a list of my impressions and takeaways from my most recent jaunt across the pond.

Presentation Is Key

My first impression of Ad Tech was that presentation was of great importance.  Maybe it was the British culture clashing with my Midwest upbringing, maybe it was me comparing Ad Tech London to LeadsCon & Affiliate Summit and maybe it was that there was not such a high concentration of lead generation professionals, but there was definitely a lot more time and money put into the booths at Ad Tech London than I typically see at a conference.  My personal favorite was the booth below, which was James Bond-themed. It was able to attract large amounts of the Ad Tech foot traffic.

Ad Tech London -

High Quality Seminars

Another major difference at Ad Tech London was both the quality of the seminars and the attendance rate of each session.  The speakers selected not only had impressive CVs, but obviously had given a lot of time, thought and research to their topic. This was quite different than my experiences at US conferences like LeadsCon, where the quality of speakers can vary greatly.  From Oban Digital’s Hayley Pheonix-Stones’ presentation on international SEO efforts to an interesting session on the value of incentivized traffic by Max Pepe of Clickwork7, I was able to gain insight into how other marketers address various issues and learn a couple of tricks along the way.

The attendance for these sessions rivaled those seen in other industries where professionals are required to maintain continuing education credits, like accounting or legal.  The combination of quality topics and an attentive audience made for more intelligent questions and the sharing of different experiences.

Importance of Brand and Location

One common theme was the importance of altering the brand based on the local region and culture.  The takeaway of course, was that localization is important because what works in one place does not work in another.  There were the classic examples of big brands that failed to do their homework and ended up with huge failing campaigns.  But, it got me thinking, who truly is better able to address local needs than the service providers in that area?  And who can get local leads into local hands better than a lead generation company?

Differences In Companies And Practices

While the above differences highlight the conference itself, there were also differences in the companies themselves.  For example, the vast majority of marketing companies, media agencies, and publishers worked on proprietary campaigns for a single advertiser or brand.  There was much less emphasis on industry or vertical and more placed on marketing the brand.  The standard practice for these marketers is to cede control over campaigns, in terms of creatives, landing page optimization and ultimately their profit potential to the advertiser.  While we all follow the golden rules to a certain extent (he who has the gold makes the rules), I think this philosophy creates opportunities for both US and international companies alike.

No Competitive Quote Offers

One thing I did not see at Ad Tech London was any sort of competitive quote offer in any vertical.  Every offer was for one specific advertiser.  I see 2 primary issues with this situation.  First, every company has a slightly different target market.  Some have different qualifications, be them demographic, psychographic or geographic, and others have a value proposition that is specific to a certain subset.  What happens to those leads that do not fall into the advertiser’s ideal qualifications?  The cost is the same to generate these leads so oftentimes the advertiser effectively pays a premium on the leads they want by being forced to take those they do not.  The marketer misses out on revenue opportunities since the campaign is only for the one advertiser and cannot sell that lead elsewhere.  And lastly, the lead itself suffers because their inquiry will fall through the cracks and ultimately have to seek assistance elsewhere.

The other issue I see with the proprietary campaign process predominantly seen at Ad Tech London is the lack of choice.  Being a Darwinian capitalist, I believe having alternatives increases competition, stimulates innovation and controls costs, benefiting everyone in the purchasing process, from the service provider through to the consumer.  And choice is exactly what lead generation companies that market competitive quotes offer.

Call Routing Opportunity

One other opportunity that is relatively untapped in the UK and international marketplace is utilizing call routing for the desired action in a direct response campaign.  Inbound call routing may be common in the US but is still met with hesitation elsewhere, primarily because of a lack of awareness, as opposed to a cultural or business objection.  Lead generation companies that take the initiative to launch inbound call campaigns in the UK and other countries will enjoy both first-mover advantage and also the other benefits that typically accompany calls, namely high contact rates and a premium price of traditional web lead.
Ad Tech is a leading provider of lead distribution software for lead generation companies all over the world. Our software allows businesses to automatically route leads and calls in real-time while also handling all tracking, billing and reporting needs as well. As an industry leader, we enjoy attending events such as Ad Tech to stay up to date on all trends and to help our clients better cope with a changing industry. If you would like to speak to us about our lead distribution software or to have a conversation about your business, please feel free to give us a call at 800-776-5646 or click the red Contact Us tab.

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