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BizReport : Social Marketing : August 20, 2015

Tradespeople need to keep up with the times and embrace digital

For many tradespeople, traditional methods of finding new customers continue to be the mainstay of their marketing, such as word of mouth or print ads in local publications, or maybe a YellowPages listing. This, says IronmongeryDirect, needs to change as more people rely on digital resources to find tradespeople.

by Helen Leggatt

I recently came across a fantastic resource, here in New Zealand, that enables consumers to post up projects they need doing - such as plumbing, renovations, building or landscaping - to which tradespeople can reply to quote.

It's called, amusingly, BuildersCrack. The concept is simple "instead of chasing tradespeople, tradespeople chase you". Having spent weeks calling around local tradespeople, with varying (if any) responses, I posted up my projects on BuildersCrack and within ten minutes had several tradespeople contacting me asking to quote.

These switched-on tradespeople are embracing technology in a world where, increasingly, people are looking to the Internet to find people to complete work they need doing.

Yet, according to a recent survey of 10,000 tradespeople by IronmongeryDirect in the UK (via Digital Marketing Magazine), a whopping 92% still rely on word-of-mouth to find business, of which 60% said they felt it was the most effective marketing method.

Just 39% of tradespeople said they saw the benefit of having a website, but when it came to activities such as search engine optimization or Twitter, few thought these could help raise awareness of their services.

According to Wayne Lysaght-Mason, managing director at IronmongeryDirect, "it's important for tradespeople to recognize that more customers are moving online to find the services they require and spending an increasing amount of time on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately the study highlights that many tradespeople who run their own business are still to realize the opportunities that social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter present when it comes to passing on recommendations. The tradespeople who are not harnessing the power of social media or who haven't yet invested in a good website will be missing out on opportunities to those companies that are embracing digital marketing."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: digital, marketing, tradespeople

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