Our ongoing survey/poll about “what works” may provide you with valuable clues about where you should allocate your marketing dollars. In the survey, I specifically exclude word of mouth and repeat/referral clients — because the goal here is to see which of the other marketing tools and resources available to you may be most effective.
Notably, in the ongoing results, the two highest and best forms of marketing are “Trade/community association participation and relationships” at 38.5 per cent and “Social media (paid or free) including LinkedIn, Facebook, Houzz, Google Plus, Twitter, and others” at 28.6 per cent. The results in these and other categories are not exclusive — you can check as many boxes for marketing methods which have been profitable for your own business.
The survey isn’t large nor granular enough, to break things down by business size and industry sector. Conceivably the ideal marketing methods may be different for a small residential contractor and a large general contractor specializing in government and institutional projects. However, (unscientifically) I think these models and results reflect most business lines, with social media probably being more valuable for residential/consumer contractors and trade association membership and participation being more relevant in the ICI sector.
These models, of course, also co-exist and support/are backed by the repeat/referral priorities. For example, if you’ve conducted good business with a member of a trade association and you are actively involved in that group, it is quite likely you’ll obtain high-quality and natural referrals from within your association membership.
Also, note that while my data indicates about 70 per cent of your business will arise from repeat and referral clients, the social media and associtiation options — and the others on the list — provide much less certain results for many contractors and professionals. Yet virtually all have merit and value for some. These choices are guidelines, not dogmatic demands.