LeadsCon 2019: The Top 5 Trends

By Joe Laskowski

March is always an exciting time at Higher Ed Growth (HEG), as it means the team is heading to Las Vegas for LeadsCon. We always look forward to the opportunity of LeadsCon to connect with other leaders in our industry and learn from one another, gauging where the future of lead generation is heading. Last year, there was a feeling of renewed belief in lead generation coming out of LeadsCon. This year, it is clear that growth and expansion is the common theme in the future of lead generation.

From the Higher Ed Growth Team, these were the five biggest trends and takeaways from LeadsCon 2019.


At the conference, many organizations were discussing expansion into new verticals in the upcoming year. These companies are realizing that their processes and technologies can be utilized across multiple verticals, and are now looking to diversify their offerings to encompass previously unexplored verticals. This growth within organizations can be, in part, attributed to the changes in several industries, and the reactionary decisions that these companies are embracing in order to maintain their edge.

Marketing to Millennials and Generation Z

Much like the new advances that we noted last year in lead generation, the marketing towards Millennials and Generation Z is continuing to evolve. Social media is beginning to play a much larger role in winning over the younger generations and marketers are learning how to utilize mobile to generate and follow through on leads. We can expect to see continued growth in marketing within platforms like Snapchat, SMS, Instagram, and other mobile applications going forward. 

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is also becoming more widespread among the lead generation industry. More and more companies are producing and utilizing this technology to focus on customer engagement through conversational interactions with potential leads. These interactions are not necessarily limited to one application or device, and are being applied to leads on websites, SMS, email, chat, voice calls etc. AI technology is increasingly being used to grow contact rates in call centers and create actionable insights in data.


Unsurprisingly, with the changes and developments to technology that are appearing, automation is also becoming more widespread across the industry. Automation includes uploading recordings, collecting and analyzing data, updating and optimizing campaigns and using IVRs. By using automation, organizations are better able to work through leads and send them in the right directions downstream, streamlining the process within the company and promoting growth within the industry.


Underlying each of the major themes we’ve previously noted is data. Data is now and will continue to remain king. Data is an ever-growing need and want for the successful operation of any organization within the industry. The successful utilization of data within a company allows for the overall success and optimization of their digital marketing efforts, their call centers, and just about any other aspect of their business. Because data is so vital at every stage of the lead lifecycle, companies that utilize and share their data with partners will continue to thrive, while others will fall short.

LeadsCon 2019: Growth and Modernization Lead the Way

In every industry, growth has always been key, and lead generation is no different. LeadsCon 2019 has shown that the industry is going strong. We are taking strides to develop and utilize new technologies and strategies to better the industry overall, exploring new verticals and expanding the ways in which we advertise to potential leads. Maintaining relevancy and evolving with our potential leads is exciting stuff and gives us a thrilling look at the direction that lead generation and marketing is heading. 

Higher Ed Growth Receives LeadsCouncil Award in Excellence

Higher Ed Growth Receives LeadsCouncil Award in Excellence

Recognized for Excellence in Marketing Services

TEMPE, Ariz. — March 13, 2019 — Higher Ed Growth, a full-service marketing agency, announced today that it received the 2018 Excellence in Marketing Services Award, presented by LeadsCouncil.

The LeadsCouncil presented their annual Awards in Excellence during LeadsCon 2019 in Las Vegas. These awards are presented every year to the top lead generators, aggregators and lead technology companies across categories such as customer service, lead generation and marketing. Each year, the LeadsCouncil fields nominations for hundreds of companies for the Awards in Excellence and selects the best organizations for each category presented. The purpose of these awards is to distinguish the superior work of these companies in an officially recognized capacity.

The recipients of the Awards in Excellence are voted on by members of the LeadsCouncil and other companies within the industry, ensuring that the “best” organization in each category is selected. The LeadsCouncil Awards in Excellence make it easier for organizations that utilize lead generation services to discover and understand which companies may best fit their lead generation or marketing needs.

This year there were six categories for the Awards in Excellence:

  • Excellence in Lead Generation Services
  • Excellence in Marketing Services
  • Excellence in Innovation
  • Excellence in Compliance Services
  • Excellence in Call Center Services
  • Excellence in Customer Service (B2B or B2C)

Higher Ed Growth was nominated for four of the six categories this year. Their nominations included Excellence in Lead Generation Services, Excellence in Marketing Services (received), Excellence in Call Center Services and Excellence in Customer Service.

“We are so thrilled to receive this recognition amongst so many well-known and respected nominees,” said Joe Laskowski, Managing Partner and CMO of Higher Ed Growth. “The timing of this award is perfect as we expand into other industries with our new multi-vertical brand, Inquir. I’m extremely proud of our team and their enthusiasm to carry that reputation to new heights.”

Higher Ed Growth was also nominated in 2017 for Excellence in Customer Service and Excellence in Lead Generation.

About Higher Ed Growth

Higher Ed Growth (HEG) is a full-service marketing agency where innovation, experience and technology are merged together to deliver targeted prospects to clients. As a company, Higher Ed Growth endeavors to surmount market challenges through the application of intelligent technology solutions. Higher Ed Growth strives to observe the principles of the LeadsCouncil by adhering to industry best practices, upholding their belief in maintaining a strong association with vendors, buyers and sellers, sharing information across the industry and maintaining and delivering high ethical standards and self-regulation of compliance. For more information, visit www.higheredgrowth.com

Infographic: The State of Trade School Enrollments

Enrollments in trade schools and apprenticeships have had a positive outlook in recent years. Trade schools (also recognized as vocational colleges) give students the skills and education required to succeed in a specific career. Apprenticeships, on the other hand, combine on-the-job training with schooling.  These forms of education are important since there are currently millions of jobs vacant that require technical and vocational training.

Higher Ed Growth has analyzed trade school enrollments for the Fall 2017 – Spring 2018 school year from its postsecondary education partners. We’ve identified some of the top programs for enrollment, along with their career outlook.

Read our latest infographic on The State of Trade School Enrollments. Click the infographic below to enlarge.

The State of Trade School Enrollments

2017 Event Calendar

Higher Ed Growth is excited to be participating in the below 2017 conferences and expositions:


LeadsCon Las Vegas
The Paris
Las Vegas, Nevada
March 20-22, 2017


CECU Annual Convention
The Mirage
Las Vegas, Nevada
June 6-8, 2017


Comply 2017
New York, New York
June 7-8, 2017


Call Center Week
Mirage Hotel & Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada
June 26-30, 2017


Connect to Convert
The New York Hilton Midtown
New York, New York
August 21-23, 2017


BMO Capital EDU Conference
New York, New York
September 14, 2017

Core Principles for Successful Student Development

Higher Ed Growth’s Joe Laskowski on Compliance as the Game-Changer

By Shahnaz Mahmud for LeadsCon.com

Just say the word “compliance” and it’s enough to elicit woe-is-me looks from executives across the board. However, for Higher Ed Growth, it has essentially changed the way the company does business, all with the goal of sustainability in mind.
Higher Ed Growth is a sponsor of the upcoming LeadsCon Las Vegas Conference in mid-March. The company, which works to boost enrollment for colleges and universities, shifted its business model in 2013 after seeing the industry experience a major transformation to primarily call-verified prospects. They deployed proprietary and third-party technology solutions to ensure compliance and to provide a level of transparency to their clients that they feel was unprecedented.

“Today, we generate prospects for over 400 EDU brands via call center and Web forms using our end-to-end solution called Call Comply,” explains Managing Partner and Chief Marketing Officer Joe Laskowski. “We have the ability to customize each campaign based on the goals and attributes of the school. No two media plans look alike, and that level of customization makes for a better user experience and ultimately a better outcome for both the student and institution.”
The Uncertainty Factor
Legislation has called for greater compliance, and that continues to be the main challenge the lead gen industry faces or more to the point as Laskowski says, “the uncertainty that surrounds it.”

“We fully support a set of rules or guidelines to better police the industry, but it seems as though it is being driven entirely by those that do not understand the implications or for political gain,” he says. “As more and more governing agencies start to get involved, it becomes clearer that there is a lack of understanding about the overall industry and too much emphasis on a few bad apples. Let’s continue to focus on student outcomes and job placement, but let’s do it together. Cutting out the subject matter experts that are doing things the right way seems quite shortsighted and will ultimately hurt students.”

Laskowski joined Higher Ed Growth in 2011, which by all accounts was a happy accident. The conversation began as to how to potentially work together as business partners and ended with an offer to become a partner.

“It was a perfect match,” says Laskowski. “Four years later, myself and the other three working partners have a great relationship and all bring something different to the table. Together, we have grown revenue 10 times and catapulted our brand to one of the top EDU lead generators in the space.”

Beating to a Different Drum
Great relationships should be a no-brainer to the success of most businesses. But in an industry that sometimes can be transactional in nature, that is not always the case. Laskowski feels Higher Ed Growth beats to a different drum.

“I want to understand our clients and their business,” says Laskowski. “I want to collaborate on challenges and encourage mutual transparency. I want a partnership that breeds mutual success. Probably one or more times a month I pass on a campaign because we are being forced to run it in a way that we know will not work. Three months later we have cashed a few checks, and the client is not happy and moves on. No one wins. I’d rather not do that deal if our opinions and expertise are not considered.” This, he stresses, is the company’s philosophy – one that defines Higher Ed Growth and its culture.

This is something Laskowski hopes LeadsCon attendees will come to understand about Higher Ed Growth. Now in its fourth year of sponsorship for the conference, the company will be on hand to talk about their products and philosophy (and will have a caricature artist in its booth!). Higher Ed Growth will be showcasing its SAAS product, EduMaximizer. “This tech has really revolutionized the way call centers can manage multiple clients as well as how schools may interact with and manage multiple affiliates they may use to generate their prospects,” Laskowski explains. So educate yourself on Higher Ed Growth at LeadsCon Las Vegas.

LeadsCon.com Article Link: http://www.leadscon.com/higher-ed-growths-joe-laskowski-on-compliance-as-the-game-changer/

2016 Event Calendar

Higher Ed Growth is excited to be participating in the below 2016 conferences and expositions:

Innovation Education Summit
Hotel Terra
Teton Village, Wyoming
Jan 25-28, 2016

LeadsCon Las Vegas
The Venetian Resort & Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada
March 15-17, 2016

APSCU Annual Convention & Exposition
Rosen Shingle Creek
Orlando, Florida
June 5-8, 2016

Comply 2016
Dream Downtown
New York, NY
June 8, 2016

Call Center Week
Mirage Hotel & Casino
Las Vegas, NV
June 15-19, 2016

LeadsCon New York
The New York Hilton Midtown
New York, New York
August 22-24, 2016

BMO Capital EDU Conference
New York, NY
September 15, 2016

EduMaximizer Video

How to Achieve Positive Student Outcomes by Leveraging Big Data

Student outcomes have remained a topic of significance within the higher education industry in recent years. The benchmarks for success have shifted beyond graduation to metrics such as gainful employment and student loan repayment.

Schools are being held accountable for student success, and the bottom line for students is now the bottom line for schools. Higher Ed Growth has been working to examine big data with the intent of better understanding student outcomes and the role higher education institutions play in achieving them. Let’s look at four metrics that can assist in redefining the priorities of student outcomes by leveraging big data:

1. Pre-Enrollment

Prior to student enrollment, schools can be proactive in performing a competitive analysis to discover its strengths and weaknesses compared to similar schools. In examining data, if a student is more likely to enroll when they have been matched to one competitor versus another, schools can optimize their campaigns accordingly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also provides data that can help analyze and update current programs to better fit job demand, both nationally and regionally. This includes developing new academic programming and removing those that are no longer relevant in the workforce.

2. Enrollment

Data transparency between partners is necessary during all points of the student lifecycle to understand success events and factors. The student lifecycle extends beyond contact and enrollment to graduation and job placement; schools should use a customer relationship management (CRM) system to track all touch points of the student journey. In exploring this data, schools may find surprising trends to help with their marketing efforts, such as a difference in enrollment rates when comparing prospects wishing to change their career versus those hoping to advance their career. This data will help both schools and partners target their efforts toward high-intent prospects.

3. Graduation

Schools should be constantly improving their programs to increase graduation rates among their students. To do this, the student education lifecycle should be tracked via a learning management system (LMS). This data should include information from student participation, credit hours, student profiles, student success, and course quality. Schools should measure and analyze this LMS data as a tool for student outcome modeling by creating a predictive model for success events, such as graduation rates or student loan repayments. This predictive model can help in identifying patterns of success, which schools can use to adjust and improve curriculum.

4. Post Graduation

The focus on student outcomes means that schools are now looking beyond graduation to factors such as job placement and loan repayment to measure student success. This information, however, is currently not being gathered by enough institutions. Schools should focus on gathering this information through government and third-party resources. This data can also be obtained by maintaining relationships with students after graduation. Accessibility to greater data sets gives both schools and partners the ability to improve upon the student lifecycle, from enhanced marketing efforts to helping students find jobs in their desired career after graduation.

Schools and their marketing partners need to focus on defining, measuring, optimizing and predicting student success. Institutions should define what a success event looks like and gather and measure data to determine success at each stage of the student lifecycle.With that data, optimizations and enhancements can be made, and eventually, a model that predicts success at any stage of the student lifecycle. By utilizing external sources and consolidating data, schools and their partners will contribute to redefining student outcomes and the overall education infrastructure.

LeadsCon Article Link: http://www.leadscon.com/achieve-positive-student-outcomes-leveraging-big-data/

Educating Clients through Transparency

Educating clients about your developmental process is vital to success. At Higher Ed Growth, our process puts schools, data providers and call centers on the same page with the shared goal of increasing transparency. In our industry, transparency can be demonstrated in several ways, such as providing accurate information to consumers, clients and partners.

Here are five key points that can help you reinforce transparency in your business:

1. Share Your Process

Sharing your lead generation process with clients demonstrates your qualifications while building trust. Trust is of the upmost importance when it comes to managing partnerships. When sharing information, it is imperative to stay in constant, open communication when setting expectations. Outlining important points such as how you gather, call, transfer and optimize data allows your clients to understand what is involved in your process.

2. Focus on Data

Providing data to clients exposes significant value to both parties. Detailed data allows companies to improve upon marketing methods in order to deliver quality, high-intent leads that will convert. Data sharing is a two-way street – just as you would expect clients to share conversion data with you, share your findings and optimizations on that data. Furthermore, sharing conversion data at a campus, program and lead level is invaluable to showing you are a respected partner.

3. Provide Recordings

Make 100% of recordings available to your clients; this allows both parties to work together to enforce compliance. Ensuring your client knows that these services are easily accessible increases transparency. A compliance-focused process reduces errors and keeps all parties effectively communicating on expectations and outcomes. Access to reporting, from contact to enrollment, assures your clients that you are fully compliant with sharing information.

4. Disclose Landing Pages & URLs

You should be prepared to provide information about where your leads are coming from. Whether it is short forms or landing pages, clients need this data so they can audit for compliance as needed. Any landing pages and URLs that are used to generate leads should be shared with clients to confirm your sources are valid and compliant. Tracking prospects throughout the entire lifecycle on the web also adds value for optimizations.

5. Stay Client Focused

New clients may not know about your industry, so explaining your process in detail will set realistic expectation for both parties. Existing clients might be familiar with your current process, but continue to share updated procedures and improvements with them. Use your distinguished skill sets to better serve your clients, and encourage and invite feedback to embed transparency into a natural and seamless process.

A successful and productive partnership is composed of many elements, but the most important is delivering honesty and openness. Establishing trust and confidence will set the foundation for a long-lasting, successful partnership. When everyone is transparent, problems are solved more efficiently, higher performance levels emerge and together companies improve upon current business practices, benefiting everyone.

LeadsCon Article Link: http://www.leadscon.com/educating-clients-transparency/

A Look into the Status and Impact of the Higher Education Act

Despite needing to be updated every five years, the HEA expired in 2008. Since this expiration, the 2008 HEA has been extended while Congress works through amendments and changes to the Act. To date, there has not been consensus on the reauthorization. Why is that and what is the current status of the HEA?

CallMiner: Aspects of Improvement Within Call Center Regulations

By CallMiner Call center regulations are complex. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), for instance, requires debt collectors to disclose the purpose of their written or oral communications at the start of every contact (the mini-Miranda). Additionally, the FDCPA has strict requirements that stipulate when, where, and with whom a debt collector may communicate […]

LeadsCon 2019: The Top 5 Trends

By Joe Laskowski March is always an exciting time at Higher Ed Growth (HEG), as it means the team is heading to Las Vegas for LeadsCon. We always look forward to the opportunity of LeadsCon to connect with other leaders in our industry and learn from one another, gauging where the future of lead generation […]