Contractotalk.com poll: PPC (pay-per-click) works best

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best marketing strategiesNeither of our polls are scientific, but this contractortalk.com forum poll “Best method of advertising for 2014” provides a somewhat different result than my recent question. The poll suggests the most effective advertising is pay-per-click, which in the constructionmarketingideas.com poll comes in near dead last, just above canvassing and telemarketing.

Of course, the questions in the two studies are framed differently and reach different demographics. The contractortalk.com answers arise primarily from residential contractors, while my readership is much more diversified. As well, in my poll, I lump paid advertising within social media in the “social media” category, while this may be considered PPC in the contractortalk.com poll.

And both of our polls suggest that social media (paid or free) is undoubtedly proving to be an effective option for a significant number of businesses, with 20 to 25 per cent reporting success. The Contractortalk survey poll indicates about a third of responses (seven in all) have found PPC to be most effective, while my  survey gives a more dismal 7.4 per cent success rate.

(Another difference between the polls, I think, is that the contractortalk.com question asks readers to select one option; while I ask for any option that has proved profitable in the past year; allowing more than one correct answer. However, when I set a filter to restrict responses ONLY to residential contractors for my survey, my results didn’t change significantly.)

So, what can you discern from this information:

  • No single magic bullet will be likely to be successful (other than word of mouth/referral and repeat sales).  Even the most successful option in either of our polls shows success for less than 40 per cent of responses. (The most successful method in my poll remains association participation, which extends relationships and enhances the word-of-mouth connections. Ironically, the contractortalk.com survey categories “Chamber of Commerce” or “Rotary” which are closest to the association category in my research, were ineffective for those who responded.)
  • Virtually all marketing methods have some value to some businesses.

This leads to the final conclusion:

  • In deciding on which model to test/expand, allow some time and budget for results to be achieved. You will have a learning curve to make things work. Personally, I would focus on relevant associations and community groups; but I can’t argue with the other survey which suggests that PPC may be effective, as well. And certainly don’t forget social media.
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