By Andrew Neitlich

An easy way to determine the best marketing strategies

By Andrew Neitlich

Here is an easy way for you to determine the marketing strategies that work best:

Take a look at the professionals you’ve hired recently, and figure out how you ended up hiring them.

In my case here are examples:

– Physical therapist for tennis elbow: Referred by a tennis buddy who raves about him.

– Production for website: Radio ad followed by referral from someone in the industry.

– Boxing photographer: Referral from someone in industry.

– Restaurant: Great review in paper.

– Accountant: Listed on website as Quickbooks expert, then I interviewed him about his other capabilities.

– Pool cleaner: Referred by my in-laws, who use him.

– Hair cut: Referred by my wife.

– Lawyer: Google search for local attorneys along with name recognition from advertising and news about them.

– Financial planner: Met him on the tennis court.

– Web designer: Listed in a marketing book with reference guide to top web designers who know what they are doing in selling info products.

So in my case, I conclude that referrals are key, as are online listings.

Obviously this is a simple and non-scientific analysis, but give it a try and see what you discover. What do you conclude about how you buy, and how you should market?

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  • Gator99

    Well part of the pitch is for the customer to realize that you’re actually performing a professional service. Like the hair cut you mentioned, I’m sure we’ve all got that one very bad clipping from Mom, Dad, Grandma, or some other family member or friend. Same holds true for web design, I’m sure alot of small businesses went with their cousin Billy Bob or Joe’s wife that set up the family’s home page.

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  • Another great tip, Andrew :-)
    Let’s see:

    -Hosting provider: Wow, I can’t remember. I think it was one of those find-your-host sites.

    -ISP: The ISP is very well-known and advertised everywhere in Israel, and we just thought about changing ISPs from time to time to reduce costs.

    -Cable/Sat provider: The cables were just there first, and we’re still with them.

    -Restaurant: It’s just across the street and I like it.

    -Hardware Supplier: A nice, little store whose owner is friends with my dad, and we use them for the last 13 years or so.

    -Office Supplies: Office Depot are just everywhere and their shops are really great, with a large variety of anything. It’s just so convinient.

    -Swimming Pool, Pubs, Online Shops: Referrals from friends and newspapers.

    I think that after a few more people will post their own examples and conclusions we’ll be surprised at the little percent of business-choices made based only on search engine ranking. Friends and habits, with a little bit of marketing on-the-top, for me :-)

  • One could conclude that your analysis is flawed. You are a big proponent of networking and referrals anyway. Therefore by virtue of your marketing/business lifestyle, you meet a lot of people and talk to them. Hence the very people you are establishing relationships with are the people that are returning the favour so to speak. This would naturally bias your results in this test.

    If the only thing I did was to sit in front of the TV, and I bought everything based on TV ads, I would come to the conclusion that TV was the best marketing platform. Not because it any better, but because its where I spend the majority of my time and what I’m exposed to the most.

    Is there something else you can apply in addition to your logic that would remove that bias? I’d be more inclined to increase the sample size to get a better picture. Survey 1000 people with the same question and see what their response is. I’m sure demographic and target market for each service will come into play quite heavily.

    Just because you bought something that way doesn’t mean your potential clients will.

    Hoever, what this technique does give you is a starting point for your testing.

  • mrsmiley has a point, however think of it this way. If you want to get more business — get out there and start networking everywhere you are. Seriously, I’m sure there are people who spend all day in front of the TV, but I’m not one of them (and don’t want to be).

    If you get out there and meet people, you could start getting referrals from contacts too.

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  • Michal Till

    Referrals are key in areas that many people share and it’s easier to differentiate competitors by general quality of product, rather than the real positioning. That’s becouse getting quality is the goal shared by everyone, but other byt other aspects are not.

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