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Hi Chris,

This is an interesting conclusion but there might be a couple of other issues at play in explaining your preliminary findings.

The first is "selection bias" which occurs when the sample is non-random. For example, it may be that firebreathers, or people who are predisposed to becoming firebreathers, are going to find CrissFit without requiring too much persuasion... therefore a casual conversation or a casual exposure to a CrossFit box is enough for them to enroll. But what about everyone else who has heard about CrossFit through word of mouth and did not enroll? It would be interesting to know if those who referred these guys are active Cross Fitters and how they came to find out about CrossFit... did they perhaps see some kind of advertising?

The second issue is that, as far as I can tell, many if not most CrossFit affiliates do not spend a lot of time or money on other forms of advertising so that word of mouth is going to be the predominant form of client acquisition... and therefore perhaps it shouldn't be too surprising that many, if not most, clients including the ones that you have interviewed are acquired through word of mouth. It's a bit like saying worms are the best bait for fishing because I catch all of my fish with worms... oh really what other bait do you use? Nothing just worms. Of course you are going to catch all of your fish with worms.

The third issue is "confirmation bias" which is a tendency of people to favour information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses. Now from what I can tell there is a reasonably high degree of anti-marketing rhetoric associated with CrossFit even coming from coach Glassman himself. And most CrossFit affiliates wear this anti-marketing rhetoric as a badge of honour... "we don't do any marketing all our growth is achieved organically from word of mouth". Your own blog is called Don't Buy Ads...

Now I'm not saying that your findings, so far, are flawed I'm just saying that they have the potential to be flawed.

Chris you might know that my background is in applied science and law and I don't really consider myself a marketing guy but I hope you take me up on my offer to review my report The Lead Box Is Dead...Long Live iPOS: The Humble Lead Box Concept Reinvented For The Twenty-First Century.

I would love to get you opinion as, I think, you are one of the more forward thinking contributors to the CrossFit community.

Cheers Kym

Hi Kym - I don't think I represented this post as if it were a controlled trial, but if I did, then I apologize. Unfortunately, I haven't heard of you, but I WILL take you up on your offer in hopes of learning something that will benefit others.

Hey Chris,

I didn't intend to suggest that you misrepresented your survey or to criticize your survey (I think the sort of enquiry that you engage in and discuss on your blog is important) only to caution the interpretation of their results.

I sent you a e-mail a couple if weeks ago at your catalyst e-mail address offering to let you review my report/manual and got a reply but hadn't heard from you since. Odd?

If you go to my blog at http://accessfit.typepad.com and send me an e-mail from their and I will reply with the details to get a free copy of my report. I look forward to your feedback.

Cheers Kym

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