Two mainstays in lead generation — mortgage and for-profit education — have encountered their share of bumps in the road. But up ahead on the lead generation road looms a market that dwarfs the mortgage and for-profit education sectors.
In an interview at LeadsCon New York, Chris McArdle, general manager of media and advertising at Neustar, said he thinks the health care sector is “the next great frontier” for lead generation, in part because of the Affordable Care Act. Neustar specializes in real-time information and analytics. Industry segments that McArdle puts in the health care bucket include patient care, health insurance, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and senior care.
For lead generators, health care is an “untapped market,” McArdle said. And that market is rich. In the US this year, health care spending is projected to hit $3.8 trillion, according to Forbes.
In lead generation for health care, WebMD, LifeScript, QualityHealth and Alliance Health “are really just nailing it right now because there aren’t that many big players,” McArdle said. “These guys own the market.”
For years, lead generators have largely ignored health care because they’ve concentrated on industries like mortgage and for-profit education, according to McArdle. Mortgage and for-profit education “were big ponds with lots of fish in them,” so lead generators haven’t been fishing for health care opportunities, he said.
One of the market segments in the health care pond is senior care. A Place for Mom is the most recognizable brand — and practically the only recognizable brand — in lead generation for senior living. That could change, though. Bankrate, whose business thrives on generating leads in financial services, recently bought Caring.com, a competitor of A Place for Mom.
In announcing the $54 million purchase of Caring.com, Bankrate noted that the $60 billion senior housing market is half the size of the $120 billion apartment market in the US and growing twice as fast.
Another segment in the health care pond is, of course, health insurance. That segment has been buoyed by the Affordable Care Act, the federal health insurance law enacted in 2010. The law is perhaps better known as Obamacare.
“In terms of health insurance lead generation, there is a clear shift in consumer behavior with most people now looking online for the most affordable health care plan. Almost 169 million US adults now go online to look for health insurance, compared to 99 million in 2005,” according to lead generation company ReviMedia.