QABy Thomas Haire ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
Brad Powers, Active Response Group
Brad Powers is chief executive officer of Active Response Group, an online
lead generation and ad network company based in New York. Active has
worked with such clients as Forbes, Atkins, Blockbuster, Netflix, American
Express, Wal-Mart and the Video Professor. Recently, Response spoke with
Powers about his background and company.
QHow did Active Response
Group start, and what keeps
it so strong?
AActive Response Group started as
an offshoot of another marketing
services company I founded, e Womp, a
provider of customized E-mail and viral
marketing solutions. We had built a
special technology platform to manage
our clients’ performance and direct
marketing online campaigns, and realized that it had the ability to become a
really powerful application for managing and running a high-quantity, high-quality lead generation business. Active
Response Group grew out of that technology platform, and here we are today
— one of the largest lead generation
firms in the space, with a very powerful
and robust ad network to boot.
QWhat can Active Response
Group do for its clients in the
DR space that sets it apart from
AWe really excel at delivering direct
marketers leads — into their CRM
platform, into call centers, wherever
they want it — that are high quality
and high quantity. Our lead collection
and delivery platform is extraordinarily
flexible and robust, so it allows us the
freedom to work with our advertising
publishers in a variety of ways. We don’t
get stymied by crazy legacy CRM platforms and technological requirements.
We are nimble enough to deliver data to
our partners that meets the IAB best
practices requirements and meets our
QHow does what Active
Response Group does help
draw its clients into DR marketing?
AThe DR space is a niche community in many ways. There are only a
certain number of online providers
doing what we do. If you do it well, marketers find out about you. And they recommend us to their colleagues in the
field, as well. Most importantly, we listen and we customize our solutions to
work with our clients’ legacy platforms,
outbound call and mailing centers, and
their sales teams.
QWhat have been the most
successful campaigns you’ve
ASome of our most successful
campaigns are the ones that are
working every day, every minute, every
month. But they aren’t always the most
interesting ones. In the past, we’ve
done some really interesting work with
a large diamond manufacturer and
wholesaler — we created a fully integrated media plan that drove leads to
diamond retailers via banner ads, classic lead-generation strategies, E-mail.
It was a really powerful program that
we’ll look to repeat this year for them.
QHow did the campaign you
worked on with Atkins come
about? How was it executed?
AThe campaign with Atkins came
about because they were doing
classic banner campaigns to drive people to their Web site and to register for
coupons, but they weren’t collecting
much information on those consumers,
so they weren’t really sure who was
responding to them online. We could
help them identify a large quantity of
interested consumers in a short amount
of time and identify additional data
points about those consumers during
the survey process. In the end, we tested a number of different online lead
generation mechanisms — opt-ins,
custom questions, behaviorally targeted
custom questions — to help them identify the most efficient and effective way
of adding names to their database.
Interestingly, once we got the coupon
out there, consumers were forwarding it
to their friends and family, and we got
this whole viral component that we didn’t even anticipate. We were able to
leverage that pretty quickly though —
we worked with Atkins’ customer support — and immediately were able to
start funneling those viral consumers
into the newsletter sign up process,
thus creating thousands of “free” leads
QWhat does the future hold for
Active Response Group?
AThe future holds a lot for us!
Perhaps more importantly, we’re
optimizing a lot of our own optimization
and targeting techniques, so soon we’ll
be able to offer advertisers an even
more targeted, specific lead-generation
environment. The end goal is to improve
the quality of leads while not compromising too much on overall quantity.