Don Matheson, CEO of Matheson Marketing & Consulting, has been involved in marketing and sales for more years than he can remember, but he does remember the days before the Internet and the personal connections marketers made.
Matheson said, “In my early days in the industry, because word of mouth was considered the king of generating highly targeted new prospects, we wanted 80% of business to be generated by referrals. Since we didn’t have the Internet back then, those referrals were often the spoken word. Although the Internet has made that process more impersonal, we have developed methods to make marketing seem like a friendly referral.”
Matheson likes the referral aspect of marketing. “As my friend and very successful real estate agent in the DC area, Trish Corvelli says, “A referral is sending someone you care about to someone you respect, and it is the greatest compliment you can give”, Matheson says.
Two other marketing experts bolster that concept. Kern Lewis, Forbes contributing author wrote, “You cannot receive a better lead than one that has been sent your way with a strong referral.” Mark Copeman, owner of the popular email survey company, Customer Thermometer, titles one of his articles, “Leads And Referrals Are The Lifeblood of Any Business.”
Matheson adds,”Before the Internet, we used to refer people to different businesses through word of mouth. Now we have expanded the reach of our voice to hundreds of thousands if not millions of local consumers by building the right business presence on the Internet.”
“Our goal is to present each business as more than another ‘me too’ in their industry. Almost every attorney or doctor or plumber has their bona fides, as reflected in the schools they attended, the degrees they acquired, chamber memberships and more. But that doesn’t resonate with a savvy consumer anymore. They want to know that the business understands their issues and can be depended on to follow through in helping get them resolved”, Matheson explains.
His clients that we spoke to back him up on this. Todd Stephens, manager of Mr. Tire, a local tire and car repair shop told us, “This is a big military town. Lots of soldiers have to leave their spouses here to maintain the household on their own. A good mechanic that won’t rip them off is very important to them and we take that very seriously. Don puts that out there and it makes our phone ring.”
Craig and Heather Jones, owners of Carolina Planning Insurance, echo that sentiment, “Potential customers searching online tend to lump all insurance companies together, so it makes things difficult. We want them to know we are different and Don’s company helps up demonstrate that.”
Matheson said, “That is how many of my clients see it. They may not understand or even be interested in the technical aspects of Internet Marketing, but they all like the fact that it makes their phone ring.”
Now when the phone rings in one of the physical locations of Matheson’s clients, it seems to be the beginning of a rewarding relationship for all concerned.
Learn more about Don on LinkedIn