Seattle-based RealSelf.com founder Tom Seery recently wrote a guest post at TechFlash addressing the success of new Web 2.0 sites focused on specific professional groups like doctors, lawyers, real estate, and teachers.
Seery says the one of the reasons behind their recent success is that “their target customers are extremely information intensive buyers, thus benefit from discussions with experts and in connecting to others who can relate to similar experiences. People considering elective surgery, suing a contractor, or buying a downtown condo often lack familiarity with the purchase process and are making an emotional, expensive, and potentially life-changing decision.”
He also points out that doctors “are getting a low return on investment from Yellow page providers. They can’t measure the results from print media ads. And they have found that online lead generators produce poor leads.”
We agree, and have found the quality of paid online directories and lead generators to have declined steeply over the last year. Our philosophy is that any marketing initiative you try should have a good ROI, or you shouldn’t be doing it.