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Connect to Convert 2019: 4 Trends in MarTech Market Diversification

October 29, 2019
Serving up meaningful content and conversations around lead generation, Connect to Convert 2019 was one of the best opportunities of the year to connect with partners and other industry leaders. The current climate has encouraged veteran lead generators to consider new verticals. Some higher ed marketers, for instance, have utilized their ironclad EDU marketing compliance frameworks in other sectors with success. This meant many new discussions in session rooms and the exhibit floor in Boston; presentation topics spanned compliance, business intelligence, and even health and wellness.
There were a few key areas that really had conference-goers talking. Here are our four biggest takeaway trends from Connect to Convert 2019.

LeadGen in 2019: Best Revenue & Fulfillment in Years

An especially encouraging trend from Connect to Convert 2019, EDU partners noted the best lead revenue and fulfillment in years. There are many reasons for this momentum. For starters, the marketplace has cracked down on Black Hat lead generators lately. Compliant centers now have a bigger share of the market, which means more allocation. This increase in compliant leads and marketing streams has also led to some buyers returning to the market or increasing spends. MatchMaximizer data has reflected the trend. There has been a 16% increase in lead fulfillment within the last six months, falling right in line with recent changes. Overall, the most successful campaigns include fully transparent lead funnels and utilize software that captures lead consent.

New Verticals: Health Insurance Leads Show Promise

Tapping into new verticals was an overarching theme at Connect to Convert 2019. Many marketers noted success in insurance, debt relief, mortgage, and home improvement leads.
Health insurance showed particular promise with some of the best revenue and allocation rates right now. From changes in one’s personal life to changes in healthcare options, consumers are turning online to find the best match for individual healthcare needs and to better understand short-term plans, subsidies, qualifying life events, and more. There is quite a bit of opportunity for experienced marketers to provide expert insight and guide end users toward appropriate resources.
Rounding out noteworthy verticals from Connect to Convert 2019, marketers showed growing interest into two additional — and surprising — areas: grocery leads and cable leads. These industries have seen some disruption over the last few years and been pushed outside of traditional business models to meet the needs of savvy consumers. From Amazon grocery delivery and streaming services to numerous subscription meal kits, there’s more competition in each space and heightened end-user expectations. Apps and other technology solutions are capturing massive amounts of data in these two respective spaces. Marketers are seeing countless new opportunities to help businesses make the best use of such business intelligence and turn data points into dollar signs.

Compliance Concerns: Vetting Verticals & Prospective Partners

What remains a major focus? Compliance. New verticals can bring new risk. From lead sources to partnerships, Connect to Convert 2019 underscored the need for compliance at every stage of expansion plans.
With blacklists becoming commonplace, the stakes are higher for lead generators looking to build their book of business. Buyers are placing just as much emphasis on how leads are generated — not just overall performance. There are heightened compliance expectations in today’s climate, and for good reason. A cursory look at recent TCPA or FTC cases shows that there is no room for error.
When expanding into new verticals, it is any marketing firm’s best interest to have a deep understanding of associated regulatory guidelines and partner needs. Companies are taking the time to do their due diligence with every client, data source, and more.

Modern Media Mix: A Focus on Social Media Target Ads

In addition to expanding into new verticals, marketers also discussed an expanding media mix. They noted a lesser focus on website builds and traditional call campaigns and more on social media advertising. Strategies centered on capturing target audiences where they are spending the bulk of their time these days: social media. These powerful lead engines offer the ability to target prospects on a granular level and remove many lead-form barriers. In fact, there is often no need to nudge leads toward landing pages in order to capture key data; it is all completed on the respective social platforms. Conference attendees pointed to higher payments and lower scrub rates with social media lead gen.

Connect to Convert 2019: Encouraging Returns and New Opportunities

Marketers are looking beyond what has always been done and where they have always been in lead generation. They are finding new ways to fill the sales pipeline. They are expanding into new verticals. The crux is going to be striking that delicate balance between data and compliance regulations. As always, industry leaders who continue to connect and share best practices will best minimize risk and achieve the greatest levels of market diversification success. Connect to Convert 2019 certainly helped pave the way.

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