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Future of targeted advertising: lead generation?

I recently talked to a Brooklyn company, Pontiflex, which handled lead-generation for the Obama campaign. The CEO, Zephrin Lasker, won’t give me precise numbers, but he says the campaign paid more than $100 thousand in the last month of the campaign for tens of thousands of names in key regions. That sounds like several dollars per name. Pontiflex gathered these names by targeting Internet ads and enticing people to sign up as Obama supporters. An opt-in model.

Sure, the names cost a lot. But unlike anonymous clickers on banner ads, they have enduring value. Most of those people Pontiflex landed will be hearing more from Obama over the years.

Lasker says Pontiflex, with 17 employees, has $2.5 million in venture funding and is planning a big expansion next year. That’s something you don’t hear often. “Lead generation is in its infancy,” he says.

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