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In the increasingly competitive local on demand economy (LODE), building relationships and lifestyle should come before traditional “selling.” This according to Porch VP of Marketing Joanna Lord, who kicked off BIA/Kelsey NOW in what many believed to be the highlight of the day (full video below).

This community building strategy is at the heart of on-demand services because of the trust required to make two-sided marketplaces work. It’s also critical in an increasingly crowded LODE space, where relationship-building differentiates winners from losers, and recoups loss-leading customer acquisition costs.

“Getting your supply side on your community platforms and showing their stories and showing their smiles and their faces and their life is really critical for this,” she said, “because we need to know who’s coming into our lives.”

Creating the sense that the company “gets” customers and provides information related to their needs is essential, rather than is trying to sell constantly, Lord said. Consumers are forming daily habits around on-demand services and don’t want to be marketed to.

“They don’t need that,” she said. “I need to earn the right [as a marketer] to be part of people’s everyday habits.”

Useful features can include things like  community connections and personal content around successful home project workers. These are all part on-demand user expectations and need to be prepped with care, she said.

Porch is living out these principles, including many examples Lord walks through in her keynote. Other industry examples include Postmates’ treatment of its couriers and Uber’s work with Mothers Against Drunk Driving — a refreshing and contrarian take on Uber amidst lots of mud slinging and bad PR.

Contrarian sums up much of her presentation in addition to compelling and entertaining. Check out the full video below and stay tuned for lots more conference footage and coverage.


Incidentally, social media alerted me that today is Joanna’s birthday. Happy birthday Joanna.

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