Why Lead and Demand Generation is Performance Advertising

Written by Neil Shaylor on September 12, 2023

“Performance-based advertising, also known as pay for performance advertising, is a form of advertising in which the purchaser pays only when there are measurable results. Performance-based advertising is becoming more familiar with the spread of electronic media, notably the Internet, where measuring user actions resulting from advertisement is possible. Performance marketing differs from Brand Marketing, focusing on awareness, consideration, and opinions among target consumers.”

Lead Generation and Performance Advertising

Is demand and lead generation a form of performance-based advertising?

  • Potentially – 100% it is!
  • Reality – Not really. Only if you are closing the loop of the campaign!

Let me explain my reasons why this is the case. And how you can get more control over your campaigns with accurate performance advertising.

Some people are truly passionate about the process of demand and lead generation. Often referred to as the “Unicorns”, they dedicate significant time and effort to implementing a fluid lead process.

Here is how:

  1. System Integrations: They understand the value of system integrations for collecting and managing data, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks. Check!
  2. Single Hub of Truth: They combine all media channels into a single hub of truth, allowing for more effective tracking and management. Check!
  3. Granular Lead Specification: They are granular with their lead specifications, ensuring that each lead aligns perfectly with their goals. Check!
  4. Authenticity and Due Diligence: Some even go the extra mile, focusing on the authenticity of the supply chain and conducting due diligence to verify lead sources. Check!
  5. Provenance: Then, there are the ones that know how to work a campaign and demand that suppliers document and evidence the engagement of every lead (what was the interaction to encourage the submission of personal data?). We call this Provenance. CHECK!

But is that all? 

With all these practices in place and using the right technology, you can evaluate the activity’s performance. Right? 

Measuring the Leads Performance

Let´s consider an example. 

You start with 1,000 leads: 

  • 50 of these are duplicates (first come, first serve, and the technology will identify the first timestamped leads). 
  • 750 are verified (thanks to verification technology, 200 leads didn’t pass muster). 
  • 250 leads downloaded the asset (Thanks to the third-party verification technology – not because the supplier told you this information!). 
  • 140 leads open the welcome email. 
  • And then … 

Is this a perfectly measured ‘Performance’ campaign? The answer is: not quite. It’s only half the story, if you need to clearly understand whether these leads generate a return on your investment. 

However, the journey doesn’t stop here. It’s essential to move beyond these initial metrics. You need tangible, measurable outcomes. Questions like, “For every X-dollar spent, what is the Y-dollar return, and what’s the lifetime value of each customer?” become critical. 

Transparency is Key

For media buyers to make more informed choices around the best performing media channels and preferred lead suppliers, the campaign needs more information. It needs to know what happened next. This information should be sent directly back to the technology that helped collect, verify, and deliver the lead in the first place. 

Economically, buyers may hesitate to praise sellers for fear of raising prices. However, transparency can create a healthier and more sustainable commercial relationship. It can foster positivity and strength, break down barriers between buyers and sellers, and encourage a collaborative approach to work that drives real PERFORMANCE. 


Demand and lead generation can be a form of performance-based advertising, but only if you are closing the loop of the campaign. This means tracking and measuring the results of your campaigns to see if they are generating leads and sales. 

To close the loop, you need to: 

  • Use system integrations to collect and manage data. 
  • Combine all media channels into a single hub of truth. 
  • Create granular lead specifications. 
  • Conduct due diligence to verify lead sources. 
  • Demand that suppliers document and evidence the engagement of every lead. 
  • FEEDBACK outcomes to the source in real-time to inform media buyers so that they can manage budgets effectively 

Once you have closed the loop, you can start to measure the performance of your campaigns. This will help you to understand which channels are most effective and which ones need to be improved. 

Send me an email or add me on LinkedIn if you want to discuss more about performance advertising.

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