The Most Effective Strategy
I think it is safe to say that most of us, if not all of us have attended a movie, purchased a product, or went to a new restaurant because it came highly recommend from a trusted friend, family member, etc. Whether you are aware of it or not, that is called referral marketing and it is every company’s best friend (or I guess it could also be some company’s worst enemy). Because referral marketing costs your company zero dollars in expenses and can spread like wildfire – this is what makes it so effective.
Referral marketing focuses on a different approach than what is normally taught in your average marketing class. Instead of focusing on the 4 P’s, referral marketing suggests you focus on the 3 E’s; engage, equip, and empower.
By engaging, you give your fans the gift of you and all you have to offer. Consumers love being a part of your brand conversation. Nike Support is probably the best example when it comes to engaging with their customers, they constantly respond to their followers on social media. I don’t know about you but if Nike tweeted at me or posted a picture of me wearing my Nike’s to their page, I would definitely talk about it. And it’s that easy for Nike; they spend less money on marketing because their customers do it for them.
Equip just means give your customers something to talk about. Whether it is your amazing product, customer service, incredible stories, or funny disclosures. This is where you really need to know your customers. If you have a pretty serious or professional audience, you might not want to post something funny. It is up to you to figure out what your customers like and want so that you can equip them with the right product and let them do the rest.
Finally, you need to empower your consumers by letting them know that they are important to you. Give them different channels to talk through and listen to what they have to say. In 2013, Lay’s asked its customers to “Do Us a Flavor”. They asked their customers to come up with a new flavor of chips to hit the store shelves. Lay’s had over 3.8 million submissions making it one of the biggest marketing campaigns (Forbes). Imagine if that was you and your company and the kind of traction that would create. If your customers feel like they are making a difference in your business they will remain loyal and continue to market for you. Just think about the guy that submitted the winning flavor, I’m sure he tells people “Yeah that flavor was my idea and Lay’s actually listened”!
By mastering the 3 E’s you are mastering referral marketing. Of course, you need the product or service to back it up so people have something to talk about when they talk about your company. But let’s face it, every company has that one thing they are proud of, if they didn’t they would no longer be in business.
One of the best ways you can start getting your name out there and interacting with your customers is through The Referral Card. Fill yours out today and start succeeding at referral marketing with the best tool in the market!