One size fits all

What is the best marketing method?

Published:  24 April, 2015

By Andy Vickery

This is a question I get asked time and time again, like there's a single way or method to generate customers and I wish I could provide the answer so many seem to think exists.

There's a great response to this very question that a well-known marketing guru, Dan Kennedy, once said and that was: "I don't know one way to get a hundred customers, but I know a hundred ways to get one customer". And this pretty much gives you the answer.

Another misnomer is that so-called 'old-school' methods of marketing are redundant and that all efforts should now be focused on the internet and email. I often get hit with this remark from small business owners and when I reply that this is not the case and that direct mail is not only effective but extremely cost-effective too when it comes to local marketing, people look at me as if I'm a throwback to another era.

So, how redeemed did I feel this week when I received a direct mail letter, along with an offer from none other than one of the biggest online companies in the world. Yes, Amazon addressed me personally. Not only this, but whilst reading the newspaper over the weekend, I was confronted by a full-page advert in the colour supplement for none other than Facebook! I think I've even seen TV adverts in the past for eBay.

Now, why would these companies resort to such old-fashioned methods of marketing? Could it be that after a few years of existence, the internet and email has become so overcrowded that marketers are beginning to realise that promotions delivered electronically aren't perhaps getting so much attention anymore? Personally, I do think this is the case. Why else would two online behemoths be using offline methods of marketing?

It's almost like the honeymoon period is over; so many companies are fighting for online attention the internet and our email have become overcrowded - often full of junk and irrelevant rubbish.

But that's not to say the internet and email should be written off. Like any method of marketing, they just shouldn't be relied upon in isolation, or in place of any other marketing method. Email and the internet are just tools of marketing and shouldn't be seen as replacements for any other method.

The secret is in the mix. Direct mail, newsletters, adverts, events, promotional giveaways, the provision of helpful advice and information, customer conversion methods, along with email and the internet need to be delivered to new customers, existing customers, lapsed customers and referrers - all working together to make your marketing much more powerful and effective.

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