October 9, 2007 | Sponsored By www.MortgageDaily.com | view on web

Online Ad Spending Rises

Despite a decline in overall ad spending during the first half of the year, Internet advertising jumped.

From Jan. 1 through June 30, total advertising spending was $72.6 billion, TNS Media Intelligence reported. Ad spending edged down from $72.8 billion in the same period during 2006.

A separate report from Nielsen Monitor-Plus indicated total spending on advertising was down 1 percent from the first half 2006 to the first half 2007.

Noting that ad expenditures were down two consecutive quarters -- the first time since 2001 -- TNS said the second half outlook is challenging.

But Internet spending climbed 18 percent from last year to account for $5.5 billion of first half ad spending, the report said. Internet activity represented 8 percent of first half activity.

The Nielson report indicated online advertising rose 23 percent.

Ad spending in business-to-business print magazines was down 7 percent, TNS said, while Nielson noted a 6 percent decline. Newspapers recorded a 6 percent decline and accounted for 18 percent of total ad revenues reported by TNS.

No mortgage-related companies were among TNS's top ten spenders during the 6-month period, but Cerberus Capital Management, parent of Residential Capital and bidder for Option One Mortgage Corp., spent $615 million during the period according to Nielsen's report.

Spending on ads for financial services rose 4 percent from 2006 to $4.5 billion, according to TNS, which says it monitors 3 million brands worldwide and has more than 16,000 customers.

Secrets to Successful Lead Generation

Whether mortgage leads are generated by loan originators or lead companies, there are several factors that can enhance the value of the leads.

Data verification is the single most important lead quality factor, according to a recent 47-page report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Lead Generation Committee. The study evaluated the standards and practices of lead generation with an eye towards improving conversions and lead quality.

The next most important lead quality component was consumer motivation, the IAB's survey of mortgage advertisers indicated.

"All of the advertisers felt lead quality is heavily influenced by the consumer motivation for submitting the lead form," according to the association, which represents over 250 companies that are involved with interactive advertising, including AOL, Cox Newspapers, Inc. and ValueClick.

IAB, which was founded in 1996, noted the best mortgage leads would be real-time leads that are manually verified where the prospective borrower had been offered information in exchange for filling out the form.

In addition, leads generated without incentives may be better than those where data was captured in conjunction with a giveaway or sweepstakes offer, IAB said.

To produce high quality leads, lead generation companies that garnish "free search" leads from consumers should have a Web site that is considered to have expert information on the subject matter, the report said. These type of sites tend to draw researchers or brand loyal consumers.

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