At Buyapowa, we see many digital marketers wondering what is the difference between affiliate, influencer and referral programs and which is best to help boost sales via word-of-mouth. All of these can be genuine forms of word-of-mouth marketing (although affiliate marketing may have nothing to do with word of mouth, and can be can be click arbitrage or other forms of marketing) but differ from each other in a number of ways. For retailers just starting out, the terms can be easy to mix up. Even experienced marketers can struggle to understand the best time to implement such a program and the relative benefits of each. Which program is best for new businesses?
1. Seven marketing trends for this holiday season
‘Tis the season to spend big money, and marketers and retailers are out in force. Starting in November and running well into January, the spending frenzy will continue. But there are some crucial trends to bear in mind as you make the most of the avid consumer this holiday season. A great deal of focus has been placed on customer journey and experience, moving beyond a previously singular focus on seasonal discounts and product launches. Now, there’s also been significant investment in online and in-store customer experiences, loyalty and referral programs, personalized messaging, and other previously under-utilized marketing tactics. Check out a breakdown of this holiday season’s top marketing trends. Full story
11 ways to build an effective referral marketing system
We all know referral marketing is savvy marketing. Recruiting new customers from satisfied, existing customers is just good business. However, building the most effective referral marketing system can be a challenge. So what are the key objectives to keep in mind when building or revamping your referral marketing system? Set expectations upfront; let customers know that you want their feedback or will ask for it in the future. Transparency is vital for building customer trust. Second, analyze before you implement. Put simply; make sure your customers are satisfied before rushing to them for reviews and referrals. Otherwise, no one’s happy. Next, create multiple referral paths for customers. No two customers are the same, so it’s always a smart idea to communicate with customers in a way that is simple and efficient for them. With a few small changes, your company could be well equipped to build a successful and sustainable referral marketing program. Want more detail? Click the link to read more.
The problems with 5-star rating systems and how to fix them
Does your business rely on a 5-star rating system for feedback? New research suggests you might want to rethink this approach. The truth is that 5-star systems are good at weeding out very low-quality businesses or products, but they make it hard to separate the good from the great. Why? Well, the 5-star system has built-in selection biases. Without incentives to rate businesses or products, most customers who leave feedback have either had a very good experience or a very bad one. Also, some businesses inflate their ratings system, meaning that 4.8-star average score might not be as exceptional as you think. The solution? Show customers an average rating for products or suppliers in that sector. Or, adjust user ratings based on differences in their reviewing behaviour. Follow the few easy tips laid out here to make your rating system more meaningful.
Employee perks at a 12-year low
The total number of people receiving taxable job perks from their employer fell 600,000 to 3.6 million in the last year, the lowest point since 2007. The reason? Corporations are cutting costs as a response to the threat of economic uncertainty from the 2008 crisis and, more recently, Brexit. Confusion around which of these perks are tax-exempt has also likely pushed a lot of small businesses to leave employee perks in the past. When done right, employee perks can slow turnover and encourage staff performance. However, it looks like many businesses are viewing the cost and hassle as too high to justify the gains.
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What do you get when you decide to work with Buyapowa? Well, you get unprecedented numbers of valuable new customers, acquired via the world’s leading refer-a-friend platform. You get unlimited support and guidance from our team of advocacy experts, plus a fully-managed service which makes launching and refining your programme a breeze. But, most importantly, you get to come to the annual Buyapowa Client Summit – just like these wonderful people did this week:
As always, it was a blast – and it turned out to be every bit as enlightening as it was fun, thanks to absolutely fascinating guest presentations from Bulb’s Jenny Zhao and SMARTY’s Ian Buckley, plus a panel chaired by ecommerce legend Matthew Tod and featuring Vodafone’s Daniel Thomas. From our side, we were delighted to announce several brand new features coming soon to the Buyapowa platform, and to explain how our clients can use some whip-smart psychological hacks to supercharge their referral programmes.