This year, LeadsCon celebrated its 10th anniversary as the premier conference for performance marketing. Over 3,000 attendees descended upon the Paris Las Vegas Hotel to network, share and learn new insights. The strong engagement, emerging ideas, and high energy reinforced why LeadsCon Las Vegas is the must-attend event for the performance marketing industry.
As we reflected on this year’s event, we wanted to recap our top 5 highlights from this year’s event:
Good sales is about helping customers understand why they need to make a change
Millions are familiar with Malcolm Gladwell and his book The Tipping Point. But scarcely few are aware of political science professor, Morton Grodzins who first conceived of “The Tipping Point,” more than 40 years prior to Gladwell.
Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy & Research Officer with Corporate Visions, delivered this year’s opening keynote address by suggesting that Gladwell told a better story and found a way to make the concept far more accessible. Reisterer used the notion of better storytelling to share a highly effective sales framework called the “Why Change?” story that consists of 4 key selling tenets:
Destabilize Current Preferences with an Unconsidered Need
Sales is often about overcoming the Status Quo Bias, a prospect’s inertia to make a change. When selling innovative solutions that solve problems in new ways or address challenges prospects may not realize they have, this is especially difficult.The first step is to identify and articulate an acute pain point that the prospect did not understand with detail and clarity so that it feels real and relatable…the Unconsidered Need.
Highlight the Cost of Staying the Same through Loss Aversion
It is common for prospects to believe that there is no cost to the current state and only new cost is associated with change, causing prospects to think, “This idea sounds interesting, but I know it will cost me time, effort, and additional money to make this change”.This belief requires a strong emphasis on quantifying the opportunity cost or loss that will occur if no action is taken, creating a belief that there is a real cost to no change.
Create Clear Contrast between your Offer and their Current Situation
People make decisions through direct comparison. If sales cannot provide clear differentiation between offers, this comparison, and resulting decision will most often be made based on price. To shift from a price discussion to a value discussion, create more clear and visible contrast between your solution and the alternative.
Close with a “Before and After” Proof Point
A sales pitch should conclude with a customer success story, only after you have spent sufficient time outlining the problems with the current state in a way that the prospect can truly understand and feel. When companies jump to the solution too quickly, prospects often lack an emotional connection to the problem and thus dismiss your solution as something different or unique to what they need.
Do you want to be a Gladwell or a Grodzins? To learn more, you can check out Tim’s eBook on this selling approach.
Home Services is emerging as a growing new vertical
From solar to home security to home utilities, the home services sector is gaining traction and emerging as a significant new lead generation category, with multiple LeadsCon sessions this year focused on the vertical.
A few of the highlights from the different sessions include:
This emerging segment is facing similar growing pains to what most other lead gen sectors have experienced. Home services is still a highly fragmented lead landscape, with many participants still figuring out best practices. As the sector expands and sees increased competition, price pressure is increasing and there is a greater need to find high-quality sources.
Additionally, top brands in the sector prefer calls. Due to the diverse range of potential services that consumers might be seeking, companies can be far more effective at identifying and converting new leads while speaking to a prospect directly on the phone. Here, smart applications of data and technology will come into play to align lead generation campaigns with consumer availability and call center capacity; (Coincidentally, MediaAlpha recently launched an advanced call center capacity integration for calls across all industry verticals).
Look for the Home Services sector to gain critical mass and continue its strong growth.
Overcoming supply-side consolidation in auto insurance
Over the last several years, there has been significant M&A activity in the auto insurance lead sector, significantly reducing the number of lead suppliers and creating strong ripple effects across the ecosystem. MediaAlpha’s SVP Platform Solutions, Michael Foster, led a panel to discuss this consolidation trend and to offer some practical insights for how buyers and sellers alike can adapt and succeed in this market.
Representing the buyer side, Pete Shea, CMO with Insuramatch, reinforced that quality still trumps quantity. He suggested that it is essential for buyers to know their customers and how to locate them and to seek partners that can help find the right customers. Pete also detailed how he is using MediaAlpha for Advertisers to help him more intelligently target and bid on the right audiences.
On the seller side, Dave McFarland, CEO & Partner with The Lead Company, shared how consolidation is impacting both demand and the market price for leads, and some of the creative actions he has taken to evolve and adapt his business. He also noted the importance of direct carrier relationships to gain better insights to buyer needs and maintain lead pricing by ensuring he is delivering the highest quality leads for each customer. “By working directly with the carriers, I can better understand buyer needs to make sure we are delivering exactly what they want. Using the MediaAlpha for Publishers platform helps make it possible for us to easily establish these valuable direct carrier relationships.”
The overarching takeaway? With less supply-side choice and inconsistent quality across the ecosystem, buyers and sellers are turning to data, technology, and innovative thinking to adapt and make smarter decisions.
Smart marketers are winning the day
Every year LeadsCon features a ton of smart marketers who come to share their innovative solutions and ideas to stay a step ahead of their competition, and this year was no different.
With ever-increasing competition and consistent challenges to find the highest quality audiences, countless marketers reinforced the importance of having a deep understanding of your customers and where to find them to advertise effectively. We are rapidly moving beyond simple demographic data for targeting, as innovative companies look to capitalize on behavioral and attitudinal data to gain a deeper level of customer insights than ever before. Smart marketers are testing a whole range of approaches to creatively use data and technology to target and acquire the exact consumers they want for their brands.
Perhaps the most consistent – and sometimes perplexing – example of how this is playing out is with the millennial generation. Countless companies are trying to decode the best tactics and messages that will resonate with this segment. While no silver bullets were offered, there are a lot of smart people focused on millennials, which should make this a hot topic for several years to come.
Celebrating our partners
MediaAlpha looks forward to LeadsCon every year as a great opportunity to engage and say “thanks” to all of our advertiser and publisher partners. Our annual Partner Celebration at Bouchon Bistro was once again a great success as guests mingled and reconnected while enjoying the culinary creations of Chef Thomas Keller under a starlit sky on a warm Spring evening.
Thank you to all of our partners! We could not be where we are today without all of your support and commitment.
Overall, LeadsCon Las Vegas 2017 confirmed that data and the use of technology will continue to fuel the innovation and growth of performance marketing. Lead generation marketers and partners alike are embracing both to improve ROI and maximize yield.