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November 02, 2007

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Andrew

Not to over-simplify it, but might it be that these local business don't have the manpower, infrastructure, or even care to do it themselves?

An analogous example might be selling homes. I COULD sell my home myself, but I'd prefer to cede some control and pay some commission to have a realtor do it for me.

There are a million niches and business where a middle man (in this case a lead generation company) plays a role in facilitating some transaction. In nearly every case, it would be cheaper and better for the buyer/seller to deal directly with the seller/buyer, but more often than not, it is far less efficient to do so.

Now lead QUALITY and where leads are coming from, and transparency is a different story...lots of grey area for shady companies to be shady in.

Peter Caputa

Well put, Andrew. And given you have lots of experience in online lead generation, I am sure you see this from different vantage points.

Lead generators certainly play an important role - being the middle man between a seller and a buyer. And I can't imagine every small biz owner coming up with adwords campaigns, designing banner ads, writing their own blog, etc, etc - in order to generate leads for themselves.

But, I do think that more small business owners will get savvy to all of this. (Or maybe more mid sized biz owners.) For example, I can't see every realtor writing a blog. But, it certainly makes sense for a coldwell location with 30 realtors to write a blog and do ppc campaigns for the office.

They will certainly still buy leads from 3rd parties. But, they'll learn to "create demand" online like they "create demand" offline. Meaning... networking/prospecting will increasingly be done online through blogging, ppc, email marketing, link building, commenting on blogs, etc.

Most importantly, I also think that there is more room for innovation on the web around connecting local buyers/sellers of services. Currently, google has a near monopoly over "buyers looking".

I think sites and services will spring up that allow buyers to find sellers without sellers paying for it. Or atleast without them paying for every click or lead. Similar to a networking event or a trade show, where a "seller" pays a flat fee - and their success is dependent more on their ability to network and sell (and help buyers solve their problems) - less on their ability or willingness to pay google per click or a lead generator per lead.

There's too much money being made right now... the market is too big and profitable. Lower cost or no cost solutions will come along and make adwords less profitable by reducing the friction between searcher/buyer and merchant/seller. If you look at what craigslist did to classifieds... i think a similar app will arrive that'll destroy the profitibility of adwords....putting the power of local commerce back in the hands of local people... not needing to pay it's tax through Silicon Valley.

Innocent O.

Let's be honest with ourselves. The web is filled with more scams than legit opportunities. It's hard to find something that really does deliver what it promises. Some of the scam programs now call others scams, promising not to charge you any money. Then, at the end of the webpage, they are telling you to buy something from them. I have been looking for REAL paid survey site for a while now. I paid to join the top 5 I could find. I have to say that 3 of them were total crap. One was so-so, but it only had about 25 companies to work with. One of them was definitely head and shoulders above the others. It had everything it said it had, and it was easy to get started making money. That's the one I'm stuck with: http://www.all-teamed-up.com/?frankinno

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