The Three Best Methods of Marketing

The three best methods of marketing include education, referrals and involvement. Unlike advertising, marketing is a human contact sport. If you truly want to expand operations, there are no other more effective methods than educating the customer, getting referrals and getting involved with the customer.

This article introduces the reader to these three forms of marketing. Later articles will go further in-depth in describing and illustrating each of these three respective forms of marketing.

Education

This is by far the most effective large scale form of marketing available. It is often used by professional organizations to gain trust and loyalty from clients/customers. Once a client is informed about his situation, they are more accepting of the need for the product or service provided by the business.  Examples include:

  •  Medical practices educate their patients about the services and/or options available so the patient can make a more informed decision. Many hospitals offer free education for their patient pool including maternity care, rehabilitation services and various medical procedures.
  • Professional services from accounting to legal; many of the professional services educate their clients prior to recommending a strategy.
  • Lowe’s and Home Depot run weekend project training sessions
  • The American Red Cross uses its education based programs to further their mission. I have attended their CPR class about 4 times in my lifetime. My CPR card shows I completed the course just over two years ago; of course it is only good for two years. But the key is that when you think of helping others, The American Red Cross is one of your first answers. Anytime there is a national or worldwide disaster, I go online and donate to the American Red Cross. 

Based on research, customers are up to 25 times more likely to purchase the product or service if educated about the value of the product/service.

Referrals

Referrals are often used to expand the number of clients or customers for a business. According to the New York Times, 65% of new business is referral generated. The most common source of referrals is your existing customers or clients. Other sources include suppliers, vendors and professional organizations. There are even business groups designed solely to provide referrals to each other. A great example of this is Business Networking International. For more information about BNI, go to their website: BNI.

Referral based marketing is achieved via your existing customers, employees and cross promotion with other businesses. 

Involvement

Customer involvement creates a long lasting bond between the seller of the product or service and the customer. The most common types of involvement are suppliers and vendors having a relationship with their customers. Other examples of involvement with the customer include:

  •  Subcontractors and the contractor working together to build a project.
  • Goodyear sells their tires to NASCAR, but often tests the tires on the various racetracks etc. Representatives are there at the races to listen to the concerns voiced by the crew chiefs and make modifications to the design or materials used for those tires at that racetrack for the following year.
  • Insurance companies selling life and retirement products require their agents to gain a full understanding of their customer’s needs prior to selling an insurance contract or an annuity. Often, there are several meetings between the agent and the client so the agent has a full understanding of the client’s issues. 
  •  Mary Kay Cosmetics does a great job of getting involved in their customer’s hygiene and presentation. Often, a representative spends time understanding the customer’s needs and personal habits prior to recommending products. There is constant follow up. Over time a bond develops between the representative and the customer.
  • Dairy Queen uses a particular formula for their soft serve ice cream. Dairy Queen has a confidentiality agreement with their suppliers whereby the formula is kept secret. In addition, many of the franchisees have a supply agreement whereby if the store gets too busy, a simple phone call to the supplier gets new product in the store quickly. The drivers make sure the product is rotated upon delivery ensuring the highest and freshest quality for the ultimate consumer. In this situation, the Dairy Queen franchisee is the customer and the dairy is the seller.

In general, customer involvement is more commonly found with the more expensive, low frequent types of purchases such as a home or automobile. Typically real estate agents go to extreme measures to find the best home for the buyer given the buyer’s needs and family circumstances. 

Summary – Marketing Methods

There is more to marketing than just a simple handshake. Each form of marketing has a different value basis and serves a purpose: customer acquisition, customer retention, and customer goodwill. Depending on the nature of your business, use the most appropriate form of marketing to achieve overall success. Act on Knowledge.

Value Investing

Do you want to learn how to get returns like this?

Then learn about Value Investing. Value investing in the simplest of terms means to buy low and sell high. Value investing is defined as a systematic process of buying high quality stock at an undervalued market price quantified by intrinsic value and justified via financial analysis; then selling the stock in a timely manner upon market price recovery.

There are four key principles used with value investing. Each is required. They are:

  1. Risk Reduction – Buy only high quality stocks;
  2. Intrinsic Value – The underlying assets and operations are of good quality and performance;
  3. Financial Analysis – Use core financial information, business ratios and key performance indicators to create a high level of confidence that recovery is just a matter of time;
  4. Patience – Allow time to work for the investor.

If you are interested in learning more, go to the Membership Program page under Value Investing section in the header above. 

Join the value investing club and learn about value investing and how you can easily acquire similar results with your investment fund. Upon joining, you’ll receive the book Value Investing with Business Ratios, a reference guide used with all the decision models you build. Each member goes through three distinct phases:

  1. Education – Introduction to value investing along with terminology used are explained. Key principles of value investing are covered via a series of lessons and tutorials.
  2. Development – Members are taught how pools of investments are developed by first learning about financial metrics and how to read financial statements. The member then uses existing models to grasp the core understanding of developing buy/sell triggers for high quality stocks.
  3. Sophistication – Most members reach this phase of understanding after about six months. Many members create their own pools of investments and share with others their knowledge. Members are introduced to more sophisticated types of investments and how to use them to reduce risk and improve, via leverage, overall returns for their value investment pools.

Each week, you receive an e-mail with a full update on the pools. Follow along as the Investment Fund grows. Start investing with confidence from what you learn. Create your own fund and over time, accumulate wealth. Joining entitles you to the following:

  • Lessons about value investing and the principles involved;
  • Free webinars from the author following up the lessons;
  • Charts, graphs, tutorials, templates and resources to use when you create your own pool;
  • Access to existing pools and their respective data models along with buy/sell triggers;
  • Follow along with the investment fund and its weekly updates;
  • White papers addressing financial principles and proper interpretation methods; AND
  • Some simple good advice.

Value Investment Club

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