A large majority of tradespeople are still using traditional methods of attracting customers, such as word of mouth, and are not recognising the potential of digital marketing, according to a new study.

IronmongeryDirect invited 10,000 tradespeople to take part in an annual study which examines the marketing habits of trade businesses across the UK.

The research found that 92% of tradespeople are relying on word of mouth recommendations when it comes to boosting their business, and 60% of respondents still felt that this was the most effective way of bringing in new customers compared with other methods of marketing.

The study did show, however, that a growing number of tradespeople are spotting the potential of having a good website (39%), but when it came to more technical methods of digital marketing, few were aware of how this could help their business. Only 7% thought that pay per click or search engine optimisation could help to raise awareness amongst potential customers and just 4% saw Twitter as a valuable tool for their marketing.

Wayne Lysaght-Mason, managing director at IronmongeryDirect, said: “It’s great that tradespeople are still able to gain new business through the traditional marketing method of word of mouth, which clearly shows that they must have a good reputation amongst their customers.

“However as we’re now living in a digital age, it’s important for tradespeople to recognise that more customers are moving online to find the services they require and spending an increasing amount of time on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

“Unfortunately the study highlights that many tradespeople who run their own business are still to realise the opportunities that social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter present when it comes to passing on recommendations. The tradespeople who are not harnessing the power of social media or who haven’t yet invested in a good website will be missing out on opportunities to those companies that are embracing digital marketing.”

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