It has been a long time coming, but 2007 is seeing the explosion (in a bad way) of third-party hosted lead generation. I predict, however, that later this year and in 2008 we will see an explosion (in a good way) of this type of lead generation. Hopefully, marketers won't be so snake-bit by a previous bad experience that they avoid jumping back into the market when the best opportunities in hosted lead generation begin to avail themselves shortly down the road.
Affiliate marketers have long discussed the possibilities that could be opened up by being able to access offline ad budgets. Using a lead generation exchange, affiliate marketers can use any number of techniques to capture leads from any medium -- print, radio, TV or online -- and sell those leads to the highest bidder.
Just when I thought I had seen every convoluted lead generation scheme on the planet, along came ConsumerTestGroup.com, telling me I could get test the iPhone for free. I envisioned Steve Jobs waiting anxiously for my personal feedback on his new creation, since he probably hadn't done any product testing of his own before unleashing the iPhone on an unsuspecting populace. Glad to help out, Steve.
According to a previous Performance Insider column, "We already know that online lead generation is one of the fastest growing advertising vehicles today." Well, now add a television and radio lead generation component to that, and we see that pay-for-performance lead generation, as a whole, is the fastest growing advertising vehicle today.