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The Most Effective Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
January 21, 2015

Small businesses say good-ol' word-of-mouth remains the most effective marketing strategy, according to a recent report from Infusionsoft.

Some 62% of small businesses surveyed cite word-of-mouth/customer referrals as a top 3 marketing strategy, by far the highest endorsement level of any tactic.

Other strategies considered effective include email (34% rank it as a top 3 tactic), networking (25%), social media (23%), search engine marketing (14%), and content marketing (13%).

Television/radio ads are viewed as the least effective marketing strategy, with just 2% of respondents ranking them in the top 3.

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from a survey of 408 small business Infusionsoft customers (50% B2C-focused; 28% B2B; 22% mixed).

Attitudes Toward Common Business Activities

  • Regarding business-related tasks, respondents say they most enjoy serving customers and developing products.
  • The least-liked activities are administrative, human resources, and financial.

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Beth Wed Jan 21, 2015 via web

    This would be an AWESOME infographic. I'd pin it!

  • by Steve Faber Thu Jan 22, 2015 via web


    Nice post. It echoes what we've discovered , if only in our little slice of the marketing world. We do relationship marketing to a very narrow slice of the technology contracting industry. Our goal is helping contractors to build and sell their number one brand; Their Own!

    eMail to the contractor's existing contact list is our system's foundation. It's not only highly effective, but delivers a stratospheric ROI, due to the very low cost. When we started, many people told us we were nuts, and should focus on social media. They failed to realize, or were selling, the huge commitment effective social media marketing requires. Does it work? Sure, but it's not just throwing up a blog post once a month and Tweeting "Check Out Our Cool Stuff!!!!" 3 times a day with a link to your Facebook page.

    Thanks for the post, and a little slice of validation!

  • by robert Wed Sep 2, 2015 via mobile

    Great stuff

  • by Wilson Thu Jan 5, 2017 via mobile

    Your comments quite inspiring

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