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Quality Vs. Quantity: Finding The Balance & How Lead Exchanges Can Help

March 17, 2021 Joey Liner

Shutterstock_1816118867 Quality over quantity. Hand turns cubes and changes the word 'quantity' to 'quality'. Beautiful yellow table, white background, copy space. Business concept.

It’s the age-old debate among marketers and advertisers: which is more important - quality or quantity?

In the early years of online advertising, many strategies prioritized quantity, gathering as many leads as possible during a given campaign window. Quantity-focused strategies reflected the mindset of a numbers game: more volume would result in more conversions. Or at least that was the belief.

In time, quality was prioritized by many for its ability to save time and money. But quality lacked a key attribute: quantity. A handful of quality leads was rarely able to satisfy the growth demands of advertisers and the businesses they represented.

Recognizing that neither quantity nor quality alone could achieve business objectives, digital advertisers began to understand the importance of the balancing act. Both quality and quantity must be prioritized in tandem.

Like all balancing acts, there is no easy solution and no magic bullet to achieve both quality and quantity. But, there are tools, strategies and advanced technologies that can help advertisers bridge quantity and quality to achieve comfortable quality at scale.

‘High’ Quality Is A Subjective Term

Although quality is quantifiable, what is considered “high quality” is subjective. Advertisers seeking to balance quality and quantity must define the minimum quality they’re willing to receive. Quality definitions can be based on a single performance measurement or on multiple metrics, from contact rates to conversion rates and beyond.

Historical data should be used to define acceptable quality and to define the audiences and sources that are likely to produce that quality. Leveraging historical data, scoring techniques and advertising technology can all be deployed to assess presumed quality for incoming leads, helping advertisers procure the quality sought.

‘High’ Quality Doesn’t Always Cost ‘Less’

No matter how it’s defined, “high quality” should mean you need less to do more. And that means “high quality” should save time and make life easier. For example, working from a high-quality list, a call center should have to call fewer leads to achieve more conversions.

However, as sophisticated digital advertisers know, “high quality” does not always indicate higher prices or campaign cost savings. In general, high-quality leads cost more than lower-quality leads. But, when right-priced, conversions from high-quality leads cost the same as conversions from lower-quality leads. When the time to work the leads is factored in, though, higher-quality conversions typically cost less.

‘High’ Quality Doesn’t Always Result In ‘Enough’

Unfortunately, focusing on quality alone often does not provide the volume of conversions needed to achieve marketing or business objectives. That’s why most advertisers seek to balance high-quality, low-volume sources with lower-quality, higher-volume sources.

For example, imagine if the digital advertising manager of an auto insurance carrier decided to only purchase leads from sources that converted at 85% or higher. Conversion rates would rise dramatically, but conversion volume would simultaneously drop to minimal levels and new customer policy volume would undoubtedly plummet. The campaign would be efficient, but ineffective at achieving business objectives.

This isn’t to say that higher quality shouldn’t be continually strived for. But, quality that sacrifices quantity can lead to dismal results.

Lead Exchange Platforms Can Aid In Balancing Quality & Quantity

Balancing quality and quantity requires sophisticated performance monitoring and optimizations that hone in on the balance point at which quality is as high as can be while quantity is scaled to a point to achieve defined objectives. Digital advertisers tasked with this duty, however, know that the quality/quantity balance point is always moving.

Continual monitoring and regular optimizations are required to keep lead generation campaigns balanced, efficient and effective. Many campaign optimization strategies and techniques have been developed to balance campaigns, with the most recent relying on sophisticated and innovative advertising technology, like DMS Exchange -- a vertical-agnostic, self-service lead marketplace from Digital Media Solutions.

The most effective lead marketplaces and lead exchanges, including DMS Exchange, provide a number of benefits for advertisers seeking to balance quality and quantity, including:

  • The ability to quickly test a long list of lead sources
  • Automated filters, rules and other configurations to hone in on target audiences
  • Automated quality and compliance checks
  • Real-time performance feedback loops that automate campaign optimizations

Specifically designed to help advertisers quickly identify and scale the highest-quality sources to reliably balance quality and quantity for customer growth, DMS Exchange provides access to pre-vetted media vendors and DMS owned-and-operated sites. Real-time performance feedback loops means campaign metrics are easily tracked to determine which leads, campaigns and publishers are best-performing and where improvements are needed, meaning advertisers can make data-based decisions based on performance to determine their ideal lead mix to balance quality and quantity. 

Neither quantity nor quality can sustain a business for the long term. Instead, finding the balance point can help digital advertisers maximize the ROI of their lead generation efforts. There is no magic bullet to balance quality and quantity leads, but technology like DMS Exchange can dramatically reduce the effort required to remain at the balance point while efficiently scaling customer acquisition. It is important to prioritize a balance of quality, quantity and cost and the combined effect they have on output. 

Are You Looking For New Ways To Reach High-Intent Consumers?

Digital Media Solutions® (DMS) Exchange streamlines launch timelines, providing advertisers with immediate connections to high-intent consumers and a real-time performance feedback loop to automatically optimize campaigns based on advertiser KPIs. DMS helps brands flourish by capitalizing on consumer intent and engagement, deploying sophisticated adtech with big data intelligence to connect brands with consumers at the moments they’re most ready to take action, using messages proven to resonate.

Contact DMS

About the Author

Joey Liner

Joey Liner is the Chief Revenue Officer at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest-growing independent digital performance marketing company. DMS helps its clients accelerate growth by deploying diversified and data-driven customer acquisition solutions that deliver scalable, sustainable and measurable marketing results. DMS performance marketing solutions connect the right consumers with the right offers at the right time to achieve the marketing objectives of our clients. DMS is continually innovating to provide new and emerging media and technology solutions that minimize waste and maximize results across the most competitive industries. Since its inception, DMS has demonstrated incredible year-over-year growth which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Joey comes to DMS with more than 15 years of experience working with lead generators, lead buyers and lead sellers in the mortgage, education, insurance and home services space. Prior to DMS, Joey was Co-Founder and CEO of DoublePositive, a leading performance marketing company specializing in online search and display, mobile performance marketing, lead generation and telephone transfers. Joey’s dynamic client-focused and consultative approach to performance marketing led to the continuous growth and expansion of DoublePositive, earning it two spots on the Inc 5000. He earned Joey earned his undergraduate degree in Business Management from Towson University.

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