Ineptly brilliant marketing: Word-of-mouth at its best

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Sheldon Melrose
Sheldon Melrose's marketing -- Would you hire this contractor? But . . . word of mouth marketing works well for him.
Sheldon Melrose
Sheldon Melrose’s marketing — Would you hire this contractor? But . . . word of mouth marketing works well for him.

This morning, in our driveway, a neighbour observed about the progress of her home renovation. She enthused about the renovator’s work quality and said she would recommend him for other work. She invited us to look at his work.

We asked her how she selected him. “He has worked for my lawyer, and done three jobs for him,” she said. “They were great.”

Wow!  Word of mouth at its best.

So I decided to look up the renovator, whose name I had never heard about through my network of industry association contacts. (I participate with the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association renovation council, and publish Ottawa Renovates magazine.)

And that ad you see above is what I discovered. Google name search the renovator and the only mention you find are, well, rather incredible Kijiji free classified ads.

What is happening here?

I doubt Sheldon Melrose has read the marketing advice books (including mine), and it is quite likely he will have trouble scaling his business beyond a very small organization without some major changes in his marketing methodologies.

However, if he really causes homeowners to rave enthusiastically about his services, he probably doesn’t need to do much more, especially if he is happy to run a very small business. (I suspect he is also under-pricing his services, and with a little care, could increase his yield and profits.)

There’s one rule underlying all effective marketing. If you create a situation where you can generate positive word-of-mouth by the way you provide the service/value and experience to your clients, you will find that the smart marketing you do beyond the natural word-of-mouth has magnificently positive impact.

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