What I learned about Performance Marketing in Exchange 2018

What a difference a decade makes! In 2008, Facebook had 58 M users (18M less than MySpace), now 2.3B (with an estimate 86M fake profiles), adding (still) 400 users a minute. IoS apps started with 500, now over 2M. Mobile only reached .5% of consumers, now 50.3%, with on average an hour a day spent on smartphones. Meanwhile Blockbuster locations went from 6,000 to 1 (Bend, Oregon). Steve Yi from MediaAlpha started us strong in Exchange 2018, September 20, 2018 in Austin, Texas.


Maxwell Luthy (TrendWatching) showed us 5 consumer trends with great examples:

  • TRUST: Greenfield does not sell meat on Mondays.
  • FORGIVING by design: Curve credit card allows you to go back 2 weeks to change the card you made the purchase on.
  • ASSISTED development: to help young adults, Loftium gives home deposits in exchange for AirBnB rentals and partners with Fanny May to recognize rental income on your rent application.
  • PERSONALIZATION: Nike Plus personalizes the experience so much it reserves before-launch products for its members.
  • SIMPLICITY: Fizzy triggers your airline contract as soon as the delay exceeds the limit and claims your compensation for you.


Colin Colburn (Forrester) showed that consumers no longer find a website mostly through  organic search (34%, down from 73% 5 years ago) but also from Facebook (30%) and brand emails (24%). For discovering retail brands, seeing the product in store (22%) still beats Amazon (17%), but research on the most recent purchase has Amazon (20%) before a search engine (18%). Amazon will soon be the third largest online advertising platform, allowing e.g. BMW to target Prime members throughout the Web. Likewise, marketers should move beyond Google to connect with customer looking through other channels and increase penetration and reach, not just last click and conversion (higher for branded search).


Ellen Carney (Forrester) took a deep dive into the insurance industry: despite millions spend on differentiation marketing (over $1 B for Geico), most consumers believe all insurance companies are the same. For instance, as we are spending much on the ‘mobile experience’, only 5% of Americans download branded apps. Lemonade is a great newcomer, giving left over money back to customers. Number 1 in customer experience is USAA given the compatibility between its user base and employees (military).


Leslie John (Harvard) discussed the privacy paradox: because it is so hard to imagine what privacy is worth, we often give it up for minor tangible rewards. In a series of experiments, she showed people share more after more intense questions and on poor quality websites (Acquisti et al. 2012, John et al. 2011). Moreover, people who disclose information, even about bad behavior, get trusted more than people who refuse to do so. Transparency begets trust also in field experiments, such as showing the consumer your cost structure. It made us all wonder: how much private info should you give up for a cookie?


Overall, a wonderful lineup of company and university speakers on performance marketing in acquiring new customers and retaining them throughout the journey:


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