I’ve recently suggested there might be better ways of measuring the appeal of a network marketing company & their opportunity. Most new network marketing members I know make the decision to join a particular company based on emotion, typically fueled by questionable information. But when a distributor is looking for a new opportunity, shouldn’t they be most interested in a company’s momentum – their recent and ongoing growth?

Why Growth & Momentum?

If a distributor joins with a company whose market share is shrinking, they’ll find it increasingly difficult to win team members, make sales and otherwise succeed.

So, I decided to look at growth & momentum. Since no network marketing companies regularly publish audited revenue numbers, we can’t use those. Plus, revenue lags momentum in this industry so it would be a late indicator.

How to Measure MLM Growth & Momentum

I think the best indicators of most trends today are found in online data. Here’s why:

  1. Most people use the internet to research products & companies they are interested in.
  2. There are very reliable 3rd-party services that monitor website and search traffic over time.

Every online data source has some flaws, but intelligently combining reliable sources provided me with some interesting findings. I wanted to see which MLM companies are experiencing momentum built on long-term growth.

The Results

The results might surprise you. First the chart with companies in alphabetical order:

mlm-momentum-comparison1

MLM Company Momentum Comparison

And here are the results sorted by rank:

nutritional-product-companies1

Methodology

First, to ensure I was comparing apples to apples, I had to focus my scope of companies to the largest segment in network marketing-namely those companies marketing primarily nutritional products. So I didn’t include those focused on technology or broad consumer product lines. I’ll try to find a good way to tackle those segments later. I chose 15 popular nutritional product MLMs.

I looked at website and search traffic growth over the past 3 months. You wouldn’t want to measure just 1 month since a lot can happen online to cause only a momentarily spike in a site’s traffic. But 3 months gives a good view of immediate trends = momentum.

Besides just immediate trends, it’s important to look at what companies are growing overall. A few companies I looked at were actually decreasing over the past year so their short-term growth looked more like an element of recovery than momentum building on long-term growth.

Reaching back to my past statistics training, I combined the 3 month and 1 year website traffic & search data for each of the 15 companies by standardizing their growth percentages and then giving a slightly higher weight to the 3 month score. I used data from the following services: Alexa, Compete Inc, and Google Trends.

Conclusion

I’ll admit, I was fairly surprised at the results. At the top you have some more established companies like Xango and Shaklee generating buzz and building momentum, next to, and sometimes above, newer companies like Vemma, Zrii and Agel. I wonder why.

Could it be new product launches, company marketing & support, the elusive “critical mass?” What do you think? Like any research, there is more to dig into here. Maybe I can expose the drivers if I look at search engine keywords, traffic patterns, product launch activity, etc.

Whatever the drivers happen to be, this seems to be the type of data I’d be relying on if I was considering joining an MLM company and building a successful network marketing business – partly because it’s the sort of market growth data that successful traditional businesses rely on when they launch into new markets.

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