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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Different roads for different folks

That's me, getting ready for my ride through the Malibu Canyon to visit Bestline Plumbing in Gardenia (Los Angeles). Not everyone likes sportbikes, and not everyone needing plumbing services is middle-aged or older. You need to define your niche and demographics in setting your marketing goals.

Leonard Meglolia at Bestline Plumbing in Los Angeles says he finds virtually none of his business from the Internet, and virtually all of his clients are middle aged or older. (The older client demographic has remained consistent from the start of his business, he says.)

Accordingly, for him, the website doesn't serve much marketing purpose, and if his salespeople are going to provide images of what needs to be done, they will print and give the photos right to the homeowner.

Is this the only way to go? I think not. Just as some people drive Buicks, and others prefer sportbikes, still others believe motor vehicles are gas guzzling environmental headaches, and prefer the bus or bicycle. The right marketing approach depends on many circumstances, including your target market. (Bestline may not find younger clients profitable, but surely homeowners in their 20s and 30s also have plugged drains, failing pipes, and wish renovations including new bathrooms and kitchens.)

As well, it is interesting that Leonard Meglolia engages in communications in online forums like and uses his website to connect and provide resources for other contractors.

You might also note how Meglolia is willing to try new things, and in the process, discovers ways to make his core marketing methodology -- flyers -- even more effective. He tried a canvassing strategy, and developed a new kind of flyer offering free services to support the canvassing initiative. He is shocked by the huge response to this new flyer. The natural question to ask is: Why not just use the new flyer (modified to correct some flaws he developed) and forget the canvassing process? In other words, the enhancement to his core business method has occurred when he tried something different.

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