When a “breaking news” story with significant national attention occurs such as the space shuttle breaking up over Texas, school shootings such as at Virginia Tech or Columbine, or airline disasters, the reduction in online leads being generated during the next 12-72 hours is dramatic.
Fruition manages lead generation programs for many companies in the U.S. On an average weekday, Fruition processes roughly 10,000 leads. These lead generation programs are spread out over many industries including legal, medical (LASIK, BOTOX, cosmetic dentistry,etc), and general business to business sales such as marine plywood and hardwoods. Without fail if a major news event occurs the leads stop coming in.
The reason is simple, people read the news and then IM, call, or e-mail others about the events. Their prior goal of getting online and finding a LASIK surgeon or just conducting regular business is reduced to an almost negligible amount. When an event like the Virgina Tech shootings occurs. The overall loss in productivity must cost businesses hundreds of millions of dollars.
We do see a slight increase over the following weeks, thus the cumulative loss in Internet leads is probably relatively small. Yet, that isn’t comforting to a business that has a very quick turnover from lead to paying customer.