Distance to Engagement Determines Awareness vs. Lead Gen

This week, I’m taking a new delineation for a test ride; please comment in agreement, disagreement, disgruntlement, confusion or amusement.

I want to delineate between awareness tactics and lead generation tactics thusly:  an awareness tactic is one that requires an individual to take more than one step to engage.  Lead generation tactics are defined as single-step engagement drivers.

For instance, banner ads, search, emails and QR tags are lead generation tactics; PR, advertising and postal mail are awareness tactics.  Why?  The vast majority of engagement tactics today are online (e.g., web sites, mobile content, etc.).  If I get an email, I’m one click away from engaging with the brand.  If I see a great magazine ad (that doesn’t include a QR tag), I have to remember the URL long enough to type it into my browser.

For metrics purposes, I think this distinction provides a clean demarcation line for determining where to credit engagements.  Of course, this methodology divides direct marketing into two camps:  online and offline.  The online methods—email, SMS, etc.—would be safely in the lead generation camp.  However, postal mail would be considered an awareness tactic.  Traditionally, it has been simpler to classify lead generation as any tactic where you’re sending a message directly to an individual.  My approach says postal mail is really an awareness tactic with a higher response rate than its advertising and PR cousins.

The goal is accurate measurement and appropriate attribution of a tactic’s impact.  It seems to me that the actions-to-engagement parameter is a better classification when it comes to tracking than the traditional direct marketing vs. mass media approach.  What do you think?


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