coffee and notebook

5 questions – the year ahead in US parenting

This week, we put five questions to Tony Golden, FanFinders’ Senior Vice President of Business Development, North America – who gave us his reflections on the past year in the US parenting market and some predictions for 2021.

Talk me through the current landscape for FanFinders and our industry?

We do lead generation at scale in the parenting space. What does that mean? We are the initiation engine to drive consumer interest and enquiry for the products and services of our brand partners. Our partners turn to us to help in list building, newsletter lists and sales leads within the niche parenting vertical.

In my humble opinion, more brands need to better pair their lead generation efforts with more robust lead management to optimize moving leads through the purchase/activation funnel. We can deliver leads at scale all day, every day, but once that coveted lead is delivered, brand partners have to be built to convert.

Consistency is also key, too many brands seem to start and stop campaigns for various reasons and then wonder why we can’t go from zero to 100,000 leads a month. Finding and delivering quality leads/hand raisers at scale is hard work, and brand partners need to go into these relationships, knowing that annual, consistent CRM campaigns are crucial to optimize performance for the long haul.

How did the industry evolve last year?

We’ve seen more traditionally “Brick and Mortar” retailers and brands take a deeper dive into digital lead generation in 2020. With less foot traffic and more competition for a finite e-commerce consumer, more brands are reaching out to see how FanFinders can help drive brand awareness and brand equity in a crowded and competitive online marketplace for new and expecting families.

We’re also seeing a trend for more consistent campaigns with brands. Historically there have been many brands that look to us for one-off promotions, sweeps or the like. Now we’re seeing brands get far more serious about driving consistent CRM year round, with more sophisticated lead management meant to nurture leads-to-sales all year vs. the ‘one-off’ approach.

What technology or approaches have you seen emerge due to COVID-19?

Again, we’re seeing more robust and sophisticated marketing management of the leads we provide our brand partners. The shotgun approach is no longer the status quo. More and more marketers are really dialing-in their lead generation programs and executing nurturing/pipeline management to sales via far more granular targeting. We’re developing our technology to support this further over the coming months.

What are your predictions for the industry in 2021 and beyond?

My prediction is that more brands will look to build out and optimize their lead generation efforts. Tech publishers that use smart AI, optimize their channel offerings to deliver the leads demanded by more savvy brands will be uniquely positioned to garner more market share, while delivering both leads and marketing programs the help brand partners nurture those leads into buying consumers.

What are the current challenges in the industry?

The biggest challenge I see is that brand partners want more than just quality leads. 10 years ago, parenting brand partners wanted all the leads you could push them and rarely would we hear about KPIs.

Today’s brand partners want you to not only deliver quality leads at scale, they want you to deliver omni-channel marketing solutions to help push the lead to a buying consumer.

Many publishers aren’t built to deliver on those needs, but the publishers that are will reap the rewards, demand higher payouts and position themselves to earn larger and larger shares of the lead gen market allocation.

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