Revolutionizing lead generation as well as the insurance marketplace
Zach Robbins is the CEO of Leadnomics, a digital lead generation and marketing company that leverages the latest media technology and data science to deliver scores of high-quality customer prospects to agents, carriers, and other members of the insurance industry. The company also applies its unique lead generation platform to meet the needs of leading advertisers and publishers. In 2011 and 2012, the company achieved rankings in the top 50 on the Inc. 500. Additionally, Zach is the CEO and founder of Margo Insurance, a venture he started last year. Margo aims to revolutionize the insurance marketplace by providing customers with more transparent pricing while advocating on their behalf. Both Leadnomics and Margo are based in Philadelphia, with presences in New York City. Aside from executive functions, Zach is also a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC).
OFFIT KURMAN: Can you give us an overview of Leadnomics?
ZACH ROBBINS: Leadnomics is a customer acquisition technology platform. We specialize in vertical areas such as insurance.
So you were initially involved in search engine marketing?
Well, in 2007, me and my co-founder were actually still in college. Early on, at the very beginning of the company, our efforts were 100% geared towards managing Google search. campaigns, display campaigns—way before content marketing and things like that ever existed.
Were you always interested in insurance?
We didn’t wake up and one day say, “let’s be an insurance lead generator.” It was a sequence of events that really got us into this space. It started with us managing paid search and financial service protocols. We noticed how large the auto insurance space was, we saw that there were a lot of marketing dollars in the industry, and we realized that our skills directly applied to the need the clients had for growth.
Do you focus on different clients or verticals here versus in New York?
We have clients all across the country. The clients can be a national insurance carrier, someone like Allstate or Progressive, or it could be someone who is using some of our self serve technology that has a 4 person shop—and that’s somewhere in the Midwest.
Where does Leadnomics fit into a company’s overall marketing approach?
Within marketing techs, there’s plenty of marketing technology, marketing automation platforms that sell the promise of either marketing and automating processes for your business or your service. The distinction with Leadnomics is that we’re actually working with advertisers or insurance carriers where we’re only compensated on a performance model. Insurance, for example, is one of Google’s largest categories. GEICO may spend up to a million dollars a day on just search advertising. So, there’s a lot of marketing dollars to go around for auto insurance, and carriers need to sustain their growth.
Would you consider Leadnomics to be a marketing agency?
We don’t have an agency model, but at the end of the day, a lot of the services that we offer for our clients are agency services; we’re just doing them on a different pricing model. It can be anything from display, media retargeting, email, social, search. Affiliate marketing is one of our core competencies and something that we really built the company on. To this day we still maintain an affiliate network.
Can you tell us what motivated the decision to expand out of Philadelphia and into New York City?
We’ve been in Philadelphia since 2008, shortly after the inception of the company. At the time, during college, we were trying to decide where to put the office we were looking at Silicon Valley, Philadelphia, New York, but when we did the math and looked at available talent we realized that Philadelphia was just as good an alternative. Philadelphia has the KOZ—Keystone Opportunity Zone—program, where if you’re located in the zone you have tax incentives. When you’re starting a business and you are trying to figure out how you’re going to generate income, tax was very important to us.
How important is that prior experience?
A. I think that one of the things that really make us successful is that we’re built around being very lean and agile, and being able to execute on priorities as they come up.
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