Lead Generation: Internet Marketing Vs. Traditional Advertising as Seen by the "Net Generation"

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Discussion of internet marketing methods versus traditional advertising as they impact businesses looking to generate leads. Provide examples of a website (http://www.allaroundthehome.com) that utilizes various web marketing methods to provide leads to home improvement contractors.

A new phase has begun to take effect all across the United States of America. Members of the Internet Generation (NetGen) who used to only be old enough to look up information for book reports, are now taking over as CEO’s and business leaders all across the country. The NetGen is a compilation of youth generally ranging from Mid-twenties to just above toddlers. A generation raised with the power of the internet. With this influx of youth in the workforce many trademarks of American and international business have been changing.

Some of the changes the Internet has caused are more obvious, such as the overhaul of business communication and the access of research tools. Now companies can turn to search engines such Google and Yahoo to find almost any piece of info on any topic. Other companies save money on communication with services such as Voice Over IP and of course our beloved E-Mail.

Another benefit of the internet is beginning to grow. Currently overshadowed by our affairs with Social Networking sites and search engines is the sleeping giant, a comprehensive web marketing campaign. More and more it grows. Slowly, business schools across the country offer concentrations in e-Commerce and Internet Marketing. More and more, large companies and small companies can compete head to head for customers in an advertising medium that is yet to be out-priced for the small business because large firms haven’t oversaturated the marketplace. Roles like "SEO Specialist" and "E-Commerce Marketing Manager" are now commonplace on job placement websites.

Yet internet marketing is still seen as so new and "emerging" that large advertising agencies are more frequently seeking out members of the Netgen to harvest campaigns for major clients who are beginning to ask the question, "How can we gain more business from the internet?" Of course, for years we have been opening sites and found ourselves clicking the close button on endless ad popups. Web banners seem to engulf the background of almost any useful site. These types of ads are just more of the same message placement advertising. Not much different than your basic clothing ad in a men’s fashion magazine or television beer commercial during the halftime of a football game. It gets ignored. Its bothersome.

When the small and large companies across America ask the question "How can we gain more…" what they often don't know is that there is an even smaller and more powerful advertising method that is growing. This method is lead generation through web marketing. Its currently the least expensive and arguably the most effective source of advertising available. Companies seeking to grow and gain more business slowly have been turning to Net Generation Web Marketing experts, to create campaigns that will drive leads to their company. In fact, many Americans contribute to this everyday and don’t realize it. All it takes is a simple search in Google for a mortgage rate quote or a roofing repair contractor. You visit a site that offers you the ability to receive a quote from a company, and you request this quote. Like that, the lead is generated. You receive your free quote and the company receives a quantitative result from an advertising campaign.

A company in a major market can spend more than $10,000 for a one week radio advertising campaign and perhaps only receive a handful of telephone calls that they could consider a lead. A one page advertisement in a regional or national publication can cost anywhere from $2,000 $20,000 depending on size, color etc. An internet marketing lead generation campaign allows a company to spend a fraction of that amount and receive much greater results. In many cases, leads generated by the internet have a higher close ratio than any other form of marketing because the prospect has already made several purchasing decisions about the company.

A small firm that participates in this type of marketing for the home service industry is All Around the Home, a firm that generates leads for home service contractors in regional markets across the country through its website, http://www.allaroundthehome.com. All Around The Home uses comprehensive web marketing campaigns to attract homeowners who are searching for a contractor for their project. The website then enables the homeowner to find a firm that suits their needs, and matches the homeowner with the contractor.

With a general search engine inquiry for "roofing repair companies" or "home addition contractors" you can find a website such as All Around the Home and become a lead to one of the contractors on the site. The company has the ability to charge a relatively small amount to these contractors across the country, to develop leads and help grow their business - since their advertising costs are much lower by utilizing web marketing tactics as opposed to traditional radio, TV and print advertising.

All Around The Home claims no ability to guarantee any certain number of leads to a contractor. They currently charge between $750 and $2,500 a month per company, per region, depending on the competitiveness of the market. Last month they reported gaining over 20 leads for G&E Contractors (http://www.GandEcontractors.com), a client of theirs in the roofing and home remodeling categories.

Most contractors on the All Around The Home website reporting closing between 30% and 50% of the leads they receive from the service. Due to the nature of All Around The Home’s marketing, the longer a company is present on the site, the more monthly business they can gain.

"With such a high return on investment, I think the company is great! We have invested the same amount of money with them since we started and every month we get more and more leads and our return on investment steadily increases." says G&E Owner Ross Ehudin.

With this type of easily tracked, results-oriented potential, will more expensive and traditional advertising mediums be threatened? That’s the question that lingers. Time will tell, but the trends of our Internet society seem to be leaning in that direction. The Net Generation has changed so many other aspects of business already. Advertising in general is likely to face an overhaul at some point in the very near future.

All Around The Home's owners live in the Maryland, Virginia, DC metro area. Their business model currently serves homeowners and home improvement contractors in the Mid-Atlantic region by matching the two parties through a one-to-one estimate request service.

Current home service categories featured include: Heating & Air Conditioning (HVAC); Plumbing; Electrical; Basement Waterproofing; Kitchen Remodeling; Painting; Roofing; Landscaping and Cleaning Services (among others). Interested contractors can sign up to begin receiving leads at http://www.allaroundthehome.com/advertise/.


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Ryan Corey
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