Below is an abridged transcript from our conversation with him. Links to listen / watch the full podcast can be found at the bottom of the page.
Vince, could you intro your background in lead buying?
Vince Venditti: Sure, I’ve been in the home improvement industry for the better part of a decade. I joined a small gutter guard company back in 2014 that did around $35 million in sales. Fast forward to 2022, that same company did around $1.7 billion in sales. Lead aggregators were a big part of it, like any business. It was a great time for me and bought me to my current chapter as CMO of American Residential Services, which is one of the nation’s larges HVAC companies.
Let’s get on the same page with vernacular. What do you mean by aggregator leads?
Yeah, I think that’s a great question because I use some of these terms interchangeably and I don’t always know I have the right definition. I think I better sum it up as partners. When you think of Partner leads it can be an aggregator lead that is specific to a specific industry.
You can think about it as affiliate marketing where it could be through a platform or partnership that you work on, but really what I think it comes down to is first or third party brand representation by not the brand directly itself.
So you’re relying on the vertical intent of the user? A bit like the way estate agent stuff works when they’re collected in a portal then driven to the end destination?
Yeah, I think it can be a number of things. My introduction to it - though I didn’t know it at the time - was when you used to have to call to update your cable or phone bill and at the end they would always say “Do you want to hear special offers from our partners?” That was my first real experience as a consumer to partnership marketing.
I think that is one version of many different versions of affiliate or partner or aggregator marketing.
Why do lead buyers need to become more professional?
From my perspective, just in the least five years, there has been a ton of professionalisation insofar as operations. It’s actually become a role, in a way. If you look at the traditional agency structure, whether it’s in-house / hybrid / 100% outsourced, there have always been some key roles.
You’ve basically got your data person, your idea person, your project manager, your pay person - your hands on the keyboard placing bids person - but there is this new person who has a seat at the table who is very much the aggregator, partner, lead buying person who is working with these external agencies and external partners.
That, I think, has become a very vital part of the success of any marketing organisation because it allows you to hedge your marketing mix.
What makes a good lead buyer?
The way marketing is heading you have to be very data driven, and I pride myself on being a marketer who doesn’t just use one buzzword after another so I’m gonna try and keep this real. Look, personally I’ve experienced purchasing upwards of a million leads a year in my professional history, not all aggregator, affiliate, partner leads are created equal. That’s very true to say. But I think that’s true to say amongst all leads in general.
So I think what it comes down to is understanding the funnel for each one of those unique partners or sources and making sure that you’re optimising the full funnel and not necessarily looking at that one point in the funnel and saying “these leads don’t work.” It’s really an exciting opportunity to take multiple partners and create a bit of a marketplace for your company and have them, to some extent, compete against each other.
Why not listen to the whole podcast with Vince below? Or watch it over on Databowl’s YouTube Channel.
Daniel HopewellHead of Marketing
Daniel has worked with huge brands all over the world, in the Fashion, Music, and Tech industries. He specialises in creative direction and helping cool brands grow. He is the co-host of the B2C Lead Gen Podcast where he aims to give the show structure and orchestrate topics of conversation; he largely fails at this job as the podcast tends to meander all over the shop…
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