IAB Lists Best Practices for Lead Generation Transfers

With intent to not only improve the flow of information between advertisers and lead generation companies, but also protect consumer files while staving off government regulation, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has issued a list of best practices for lead generation transfers.

The report, titled “Lead Generation Data Transfer Best Practices,” was compiled by the IAB’s Lead Generation Committee, and recommends that all lead generation data should be encrypted before being transmitted, and that companies should adopt a standard filing format for the information.

“We’re always looking at ways to develop best practices that are white hat, that our members can use to increase the level of transparency, accountability, security, and operational efficiencies,” said Sheryl Draizen, senior vice president and general manager at the IAB. “One of the issues that the Lead Generation Committee brought to our attention was there were no current best practices about how lead generation data was transferred between companies.”

The report recommends use of at least 128 bit data encryption for real-time and batch transfers, and for file formats to share a common time and date stamp, said Gayle Guzzardo, SVP of product management at Q Interactive, and chair of the Lead Generation Committee.

“There is a basically a laundry list of common data fields that are typically passed in lead generation offers and a standard format for all of them,” said Guzzardo. “An example format would be year, month, day, hour, minutes and seconds, with underscores between each.”

In addition to putting together the report, the IAB has been busy trying to supplant any potential need for government legislation and address any privacy concerns in recent months, and both Guzzardo and Draizen acknowledge that the best practices document is an effort to help the industry self regulate.

“I’ve not heard anything from governmental legislators on this. But we wanted to be proactive as a committee to show that we are leaders in the industry and come out with guidelines,” said Guzzardo. “We always hope that the industry will self regulate, but yes these guidelines were the first step in setting common guidelines across the industry.”

Companies adhering to the best practices guidelines will also benefit from streamlined business practices as much as they will be warding off regulation Draizen said.

“A document like this feels like it’s a small thing, but at the end of the day it accomplishes a very important objective for the industry as a whole,” Draizen said. “Employing these types of best practices means you have security and integrity of the data, you can increase the effectiveness of the campaign and the resources that you’re spending against operation inefficiencies get reduced because we’re standardizing formats.”

A long list of IAB members have signed off on the best practices document, including Motive Interactive, NextAction, Permission Data, PointRoll, Q Interactive and others. The IAB’s Lead Generation Committee also released the “The Marketer and Agency Guide to Lead Quality,” earlier this year.

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