By Keith Trivitt | Director, Marketing and Communications
LeadsCon, a lead-generation conference, wrapped up its West Coast show in Las Vegas last week. The MediaWhiz team was all over the conference, starting with the first day’s Buyers Summit (March 18), and ending with an afternoon panel March 20 on mobile lead generation.
Beyond the ideas and insights our own team brought to LeadsCon, we learned a lot from the dozens of other speakers and vendors who were in attendance. Below is a quick synopsis of our top-3 takeaways from LeadsCon Las Vegas 2013.
Trend #1: Mobile Here, Mobile There, Mobile Everywhere
Not surprisingly, mobile dominated many of the panels and presentations at LeadsCon.
Taking a page from that meme, we launched MediaWhiz Mobile at the conference. Serving as our official mobile performance marketing practice, MediaWhiz Mobile offers clients and publishers mobile performance marketing campaigns and offers across a wide range of online marketing channels, including affiliate marketing, email, social media, display, search, SEO and lead generation.
In a March 20 panel hosted by MediaWhiz (“Taking Lead Gen Beyond the Desktop”), panelists discussed best practices for mobile lead generation. One issue panelists highlighted was the need to prepare call centers for the potential flood of incoming calls that could result from making mobile landing pages too easy to convert.
Trend #2: The Rise of Performance and Affiliate Marketing
While mobile’s value in performance marketing continues to grow, so does the industry as a whole. This is particularly the case with affiliate marketing, which seemed to capture the attention of many LeadsCon attendees who are looking for an edge in their lead-gen campaigns.
In a March 19 panel moderated by MediaWhiz Senior Vice President Peter Klein, a quintet of speakers ranging from representatives of an affiliate network, SaaS provider, major brand and agency executive, debated some of the biggest myths surrounding affiliate marketing.
In a wide-ranging discussion that often touched upon many of the hot-button issues in affiliate marketing — from fraud to compliance and self-regulation to best practices — one central point came across loud and clear: affiliate marketing works. Period.
This point was driven home by Neustar’s Chris McArdle. He ended the discussion on a high note, stating unequivocally: “Affiliates are amazing. They generate far more traffic [for brands] than traditional advertisers.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Chris.
Trend #3: The Evolution of Lead Generation
Every so often, talk rises up within the performance marketing industry over whether lead generation is dead, or at least dying off. As DM Confidential’s Jason Hahn noted in a wrap-up article from the LeadsCon Buyers Summit, several end-buyers of leads are openly questioning the value of the very thing they buy: leads.
Writing about the panel, “What’s in a Name: Is ‘Lead a Bad Word?” Hahn notes that some marketers consider “lead” a bad word and are seeking to replace it with a more relevant term. Reactions of the panelists ranged from “It’s somewhere between bad and confusing” to “it’s a perception” problem when describing what they think of the term “lead.”
What do we think? As we wrote on Twitter in response to the DM Confidential article, “lead” isn’t a bad word. Quite the contrary. But to dispel the perception issues, performance marketers should focus more on profitable customer acquisition for clients. Ultimately, that is what brands are looking for when they engage a performance marketing agency or affiliate network – customers.
Did you go to LeadsCon Las Vegas? If so, what were some of the big trends you took away from the conference? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter at @MediaWhizInc or in the comments section of this post.