In Boston, Massachusetts, Dolead introduced the first ever attempt to map out the Lead Generation Industry into a comprehensive landscape.
Did you know that the entire Lead Gen industry including both digital and direct mail totaled 26 Billion USD in 2019 (source: Colonnade) and has increased over the past ten years? Also, the digital Lead Gen ad spend in the US in 2019 was 2.59 billion USD and has grown 9% already in 2020 and is projected to grow at least another 14% by 2023 to 3.24 billion USD (source: Statistica 2020).
Lead Generation and the Lead Generation Industry
What is a lead? Before taking a deeper look at the Lead Gen industry, it is imperative to understand the definition of a lead in today’s context. A lead is a potential customer that is interested in a product or service. The prospect may have given their email address on a company website or completed an online form to get a free estimate or quote. In the Lead Gen industry, we seek leads with a high level of intent and help them to find the right brand to fit their needs. The key to succeeding in this industry is maintaining transparency and offering qualified leads at a competitive Cost Per Lead (CPL).
What is the Lead Generation Industry? The Lead Generation Industry is composed of all the companies that help connect Channels (Facebook, Google, etc.) with consumers that can be identified online and Brands (end advertisers) that are companies offering the products & services an Internet user is potentially targeting. You can see both Channels and Brands located to the right and the left of the DoleadScape 500 diagram published above.
As this market expands an entire ensemble of stakeholders is coming out of the woodwork to complete the vast landscape of lead gen. These stakeholders are all working on different levels not as silos, but interdependently. We have developed a new vision to clearly illustrate the complex world of Lead Gen.
During our 18 month project, our team completed the tasks listed below:
✅ Screened over 1,000 companies involved in the Lead Gen industry.
✅ Limited the geographic zone to North America and Western Europe.
✅ Elected to not include all companies that have less than 15 employees on their LinkedIn page to avoid skewing our final results. The goal of laying out companies in the DoleadScape 500 is to better understand their role and the actual path of the industry from start to finish. That is why we decided to map out the industry landscape into 4 main categories:
Traffic Generation: As we look at the media channels, we notice that they are linked to Traffic Generation, including machine learning and campaign optimization. This is the beginning of a customer’s journey as they click through to landing pages.
Lead Capture: One-to-one marketing or personalized marketing is aimed to “capture” lead information through landing pages and pre-filled forms, etc.
Lead Processing: Internet users information and preferences are then handled by SaaS companies in the Lead Processing phase. These companies evaluate and score leads to identify qualified leads.
Sales Closing: In this last step, Sales Closing is communicating to reach leads via dialers, chatbots and emails.
Throughout this process, transparency is crucial to fully interpret market trends and understand as well as manage customer expectations. In this way, it is essential for clients to share sales outcome data with lead vendors to create a virtuous cycle targeting the right lead profiles.
As you can see below, the US & Canada region accounts for over 70% of the companies mentioned in the DoleadScape 500 and all of the Western European countries combined comprise 21.3%.
It is also interesting to observe the category based splits. In the chart below, the categories Telesales and Lead Generation Agencies dominate the graph followed by First and Third Party Vendors as well as Digital and Media Buying Agencies. Overall, we can see that the DoleadScape is indeed an extensive patchwork of different categories that work together smoothly.
We hope you will like this first attempt to map out the Lead Generation Industry into one comprehensive landscape! Of course we recognize that this might not be perfect! As it is the first rendition and we plan on updating it in the coming weeks, don’t hesitate to share your feedback and comments with our team at firstname.lastname@example.org!