Editors’ Note: We’ve found one more — possibly the most important — thing to consider when encouraging your customers to refer their friends to you. This blog post now goes to 11. See below for item #11 and learn how to move from affinity to advocacy.
Does One Big Fat Prize Motivate You?
Chances are high that you will have seen some form of email arrive in your inbox over the last few weeks inciting you to take part in the latest sweepstake, lottery or competition for ‘a chance to win…..’.
Before the days of social media – before viral videos and sponsored ads – was the natural social interaction between consumers: the recommendation of a product or service from one person to the next.
Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is the organic communication of information from one person to another about a brand, product or service. It is most often influenced and driven by a positive interaction that an individual has had with a brand. WOMM is nothing new, and has been reviewed and discussed in a number of articles. More recently, there has been strong evidence for WOMM to succeed in the credit union space. With customer satisfaction levels at an all-time high for credit unions, and with 64% of marketing executives believing word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing, customer referral programs just make sense.
Advocate marketing didn’t start in 2010 – or even, for that matter, in 2010 BC. Since the dawn of time, our grunting ancestors would drag fellow tribesmen down to the local fire pit to try the “mega-delish grilled mammoth”. But the modern, digital version of advocate marketing? That really kicked off when Uber launched with a referral programme that saw it rapidly grow into a multi-billion-dollar behemoth.
Airbnb. Dropbox. Slack. We call them unicorns, but the fact that these former startups with $1B+ valuations are becoming less and less rare means that there’s never been a better time than now to take a lesson from their playbooks.
Even better, you can use the same tools they did to build their customer bases and achieve rapid growth.
Over the past several years, social media has evolved and grown into one of the most powerful tools available to marketing professionals. In our digital age, virtually all businesses around the world depend on social media as a marketing tool to some extent. In fact, if a company doesn’t promote itself through social media platforms, many customers or potential clients could very well consider the company to be less reliable and not as professional than other businesses that utilize the power of social media. Along with the explosion of social media, social referral marketing has become an increasingly common and extremely effective means of marketing a business.