Today is a good day for me. For a long time, my company, Leads360, has been collaborating with Google on their Comparison Ads product. Today we were given permission to announce it.
I understand that there are several companies with announcements like Leads360's pending. In order to go to market in a high quality way Google wanted relationships with pricing engines and lead management platforms. There’s been quite a lot of publicity about Mortech’s pricing engine partnership with Google because of the law suit that allegedly erupted when LendingTree got wind of what Google was doing with their pricing partner (Mortech). I guess Mortech got lucky with free publicity but the truth is that Google seems open to multiple partnerships as I'm guessing may be evidenced by several announcements by Mortech’s competitors today.
So how do Google’s partnerships fit into the Comparison Ads ecosystem? The usefulness of integrations with Lead Management Software like Leads360 are pretty straightforward. Once a lead (or customer initiated contact) is created in Comparison Ads it ian be sent to the mortgage company/bank’s lead management system so that the the lead can be followed up on and managed properly.
On the pricing side however, the partnerships that Google has in place are a little more difficult to understand. The first thing that is really surprising to some, no doubt, is that as a buyer of Google leads, you do not have to be a customer of any of Google’s pricing engine partners. As a customer of Google Comparison Ads you are not required to pay a cent to any of the pricing engines. Essentially Google is utilizing the pricing engines to validate that mortgage companies are approved to offer the rates they claim that they are e.g. ABC Mortgage Inc. is allowed to sell Wells Fargo mortgages at Wells Fargo wholesale rates. However Google is not, as some people have thought, using pricing engines like Mortech to actually do the number crunching when a customer makes a loan inquiry on the Comparison Ads platform. Clearly Google is far more capable of crunching the data required to do the loan comparison and then presenting back the relevant quotes with the light-speed responsiveness that is seen on Google Comparison Ads platform.
In the long run it remains to be seen which of Google partners will be the big winners. However, Google coming into the market will no doubt attract the larger banks that have, up until now been reluctant to buy Internet leads, to experiment with this important and growing marketing medium. Growth in the universe of lead buyers has to be a good thing for not only lead management software providers but the industry as a whole. As I said, it’s a good day!