LeadsCon 2008

4 Apr
2008

So I’m at the tail end of LeadsCon, getting ready to go home.

To me, the best two sessions were ‘Keynote Address: Lessons From the Leaders’ and ‘Uncovering Local Lead Generation’

The first was an interesting story – how things were done, how much FreeCreditReport.com cost (hand regged!), and so forth. Personal stories of success and development are always good.

The second was interesting in the sense of mechanics – the background work required to make local lead generation work. What is expect from businesses, and what is expected from consumers, and match the two.

The rest in the middle, while executed well (I much prefer talk sessions than podium preaching), was boiled down to two core issues:

  1. Teeth gnashing at what meanies the FTC are and how they hate us
  2. Teeth gnashing at the mortgage industry explosion, and looking forward to the housing market coming back

It was, in my opinion, far too retrospective, when it should have been more forward-thinking. What I got (and remember, this is my perspective), was that the only new thing was lead scoring.

My intent in coming was of course locally-oriented – local lead gen, while a tougher nut to crack than the traditional ‘financial’ categories (mortgage, debt, loans, financing), is also potentially far more lucrative (higher margins, repeat customers, word of mouth effectiveness). Yet every single established company I talked to had the same boiler plate answer – we think it’s great, it’s on our list of things to do, but not in the year 2008.

It reminded me a lot of the domainer industry. All those PPC companies are basically the same (their ads come via Google or Yahoo), and they all sell the same services. Instead of trying to evolve the market in new ways, it seems like everyone is content sitting on their laurels fighting each other for the same leads, instead of trying to work on new areas where there is no competition.

Yes there were most definitely some individuals who want to try new things, who are looking at new types of leads. But the local space requires scale and operations – a one man operation won’t make much of a dent in local lead gen.

At the end of the day, this just elucidates the level of disconnect happening between some of the major industries I travel. Local companies should be interested in domains (readymade traffic – just look at Marchex), and should be interested in getting the most money out of a consumer (lead gen!). Yet I saw almost zero local-oriented companies. Domainers should love local (‘unlocking’ the potential of their domains) and lead gen (leaving the Google/Yahoo duopoly) … but again, few domainers. Lead gen should love domainers (source of traffic) and local (higher margins, new areas) – but again, little interaction.

I almost feel like a trailblazer trying to connect the three – anyone else actively participating in these three areas?

1 Response to LeadsCon 2008

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Joe Davison

May 28th, 2008 at 1:47 am

Hi Ahmed-

We’re seeing these three things converge with Storage.com.

It’s a fascinating space and I think you’ll see Electron making a bigger play in it as a follow-on to what we’ll do with Storage.com.

Joe

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