For years, the lead generation industry has been attempting to improve transparency—but it has never truly been achieved. Lead buyers lose confidence, clarity, and trust in what they are buying. Legitimate sellers scramble for coverage and have to work harder to find opportunities. Illegitimate sellers gain momentum because there is little to stop them apart from services such as lead-scoring, which I know from my time within the automotive industry, presents it’s own set of problems.

A recent article featured on InsuranceThoughtLeadership.com offers a great recap of the history and the evolution of lead generation in the insurance market. This history is similar for lead generation in other major-life purchase (MLP) markets. As the article concludes, we’re now in times of change where technology and data have pushed business models to evolve. Lead generators have the ability and option to share more data and insights than ever before, allowing all parties to fully benefit from behavioral insights.

We have the opportunity to ensure this evolution from lead generation to customer generation happens in the right way—with trust, transparency, and relevancy for brands, their lead generation partners and, ultimately, the customer. With this shift, we ensure lead generators and performance marketing agencies get the recognition they deserve for the very important role they play in customer generation.

Deeper Connections

Marketers are hungry for more and more behavioral data to ensure stronger engagement with their prospects and customers. In MLP markets, lead generators possess a unique perspective of the customer journey that is much wider than the typical brand. Connecting this behavioral data to brands expands relationships and adds value to the relationship between the lead generators, their brand customers, and the end consumers.

Deeper connections create more opportunities for organizations to acquire, retain, and grow their customer base. Ultimately, it’s about activating the right data at the right time to best engage with consumers throughout their shopping journey. Done right, organizations ensure a better customer experience that increases conversion rates as well as brand reputation.

My colleague Dan Shapiro sums it up nicely, “The goal is simple: help marketers put the right message in front of the right consumer at the right time and by doing so, creating value for brands, publishers, and consumers.”

Customers Will Continue to Comparison Shop

It’s clear the role of lead generators is growing and maturing. Customers will continue to comparison shop during major-life purchase events and place tremendous value on the ability to see what considered brands have to offer. Further evidence of this from a recent study identified one car shopper who had over 900 digital touch-points while researching and buying a new vehicle. These interactions with consumers are what makes the ever-changing role of lead generators and performance marketing agencies as important as ever.

Jornaya is fortunate to have a relationship with the majority of these companies that give us a unique, broad view of MLP markets. We see the impact and influence these firms have on consumer shopping decisions and we continue to be bullish on the value delivery to brands and their customers.

Lead generators aren’t going away, they’re continuing to evolve in how they add value to and benefit a brands’ acquisition and retention efforts. Look for our upcoming series of research reports diving deeper into these trends later this spring and plan come join a great collection of industry thought leaders in Philadelphia at our Journey Summit in late April. It’s an excellent opportunity to participate in lively discussions and presentations on an incredible shift within MLP markets.

Karl Swanson is Manager, Publisher Partnerships at Jornaya.