Is yours a top-3 strategy?

What determines your marketing strategy? That “gut feeling”? “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Jump on all the latest trends without determining if it’s right for your product, service, or audience?

CBS Small Business Pulse asked small business owners to rank their three most effective marketing strategies. What if those strategies were matched with research? The result either affirms your strategy or makes you question whether it should continue.

62% say Word-of-Mouth is a top-3 strategy. Smart, as 84% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family.

34% say Email Marketing is a top-3 strategy. Wise choice considering for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44.25.

25% say Networking is a top-3 strategy. No data on networking’s effectiveness. Just remember, “nobody gets paid for networking. We all get paid on the results of our networking.” Rob Brown, networking expert.

23% say Social Media is a top-3 strategy. Social networking sites reach 82% of the world’s internet population. But Facebook posts reach just 2% of fans. If you reach them, 43% report buying a product after sharing/favoriting on social media.

14% say Search Engine Marketing is a top-3 strategy. Search engine marketing leads have a nearly 15% close rate.

13% say Content Marketing is a top-3 strategy. Yet 60% of the most effective business-to-consumer marketers have a documented content strategy. Perhaps they don’t trust that strategy?

12% say Direct Mail is a top-3 strategy. 44% of people never open direct mail. (On the positive side, more than half of recipients open direct mail!)

8% say Pay-Per-Click is a top-3 strategy. Just make sure you’re in the top 3! The top 3 paid ad spots get 41% of the clicks on a web page.

2% of small businesses cite TV and radio as a top 3 marketing strategy but 86% of people skip television ads.

Hey, if your marketing ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But if you’ve been scratching your head wondering why you’re not seeing a strong ROI, these findings may help. We also might be able to help. If you need assistance reviewing your strategies and/or determining new ones, we’d love to listen.