It’s still early going, and the results are nowhere near large enough (or gathered in the correct manner) to assert scientific validity. Nevertheless, the early results of my survey of profitable supplements to word-of-mouth (referral) and repeat business for marketing effectiveness still give the highest vote tally to social media (free and paid).
We all know that most of our business (if we are doing things right) will arise from repeat and referral (word-of-mouth) clients. The challenge is that, while this data indicates that we should allocate significant marketing resources to programs to nurture and maintain the repeat/referral business, it doesn’t tell us much about what other business development methods are best to supplement/support these resources. The survey, I hope, will provide some useful insights.
Notably no-one has voted for pay-per click advertising, but virtually all of the “old” marketing methods, including conventional media advertising, publicity/media relationships, shows, and even telemarketing/canvassing have received some votes. (You can receive the results real-time by completing the survey yourself, which takes just a few minutes.)
You can select as many categories as you wish, provided they have provided profitable results for your business in the past year. This data does not try to assert one method’s total contribution over another, but that it is profitable. Indeed, several responses have selected more than one category.
With some more data, we may be able to discern which marketing methods may be worthy of testing/evaluating more closely. In early results, social media tops the list but the other methods (other than, perhaps, pay-per-click advertising) should be given consideration, though lower priority.
Of course, we need to take these early results with some very large salt grains. The sample size is way too small and participatory self-selection could skewer results.
However, I’ve covered some of the bases by asking a few other questions, namely to assess the size and type of your business, whether it focuses on residential or non-residential markets, and allow for comments. Right now, most responses are from general contractors, but the business-size cross-section is quite balanced. We will also need to look at geography. All of these results will be enhanced with a greater sample/participation size.
That is why you can only learn the detailed results if you complete the survey. It takes just a few minutes.