Before evolving into a marketing executive, R F Timberlake & Company's president began his award-winning media career as a broadcast and print journalist helping the news industry to gravitate towards more in-depth and investigative reporting. Frank Timberlake taught broadcast and advertising, managed numerous political campaigns and operated media outlets with Linda, his wife and business partner. He has never been shy about speaking his mind. Having limited Frank to the subject of marketing, we hope you will enjoy Frankly Speaking, a marcom blog.
PERSONAL REFERRALS STILL ARE THE BEST WAY TO CAPTURE BUSINESS.
We work awfully long and hard to build and to keep relationships with our clients and our media folks. I don't think I can put a dollar value on that time but it yields the highest return.
Frankly Speaking, I'm in a contemplative mood as we put another corporate year to bed yesterday. You know there are the usual questions: "Did I do everything I possibly could to make our company gross the maximum dollars and the greatest results?" We had a very good year.
Without leaving the personal relationship regimen for which we are known, we tried more techno approaches attempting to reach out on the Internet. There will be another whole segment on Google Ads but the hot topic today are the secondary tier of online promotion sites that are supposed to generate leads.
There's a couple like Hotfrog and Thumbtack. The best I can determine if you put all your company information, the specific services or products you offer and your company's expertise in them that's about all you can expect to get, a great listing. Just to test them, we filled out information on several online "business generation" sites. Oh, they were highly recommended in techno marketing publications and other business sources, sort of the new age rage for generating business.
Not true, at least not for our company. Hotfrog has failed miserably. Thumbtack on the other hand has furnished leads. They come in an urgent email headlined with someone's first name and last initial.
There is no indication what kind of project or work "the alleged client" wants. There is a choice of whether to "give a quote" or to "decline." No intelligent business person would even think about responding to "I'd like to drum up some business." However, if you do submit a quote then you have to pay a fee. We paid a $4 or $5 fee once for what appeared to be a good lead and were supposed to be contacted in 48 hours or supplied the client company phone number. In your dreams. Then the leads start to pour in. But are they really leads? Are they real? We've seen no evidence of them being real.
When we received this latest urgent lead notice, we took one look and declined. It's my opinion that in what many call a desperate economy, companies like Thumbtack pray upon those who have bought the techno revolution unconditionally, without at least a little contemplative distrust. And although one day, the majority of a company's business leads may be Internet service generated but for me and for now I will stay old school.I used to teach college level broadcast communications and I really tried to instill in the students that if they sought to do the job well, the money would come, but if they only sought the money, it would eventually disappear because the job wasn't done well. We have added new clients this year. And Frankly Speaking, we are proud that those new clients came to us because of client and media referrals, and those are the best kind!