How to beat Dunbar’s Number with MarTech

You might be familiar with Dunbar’s Number, but I bet you never realized how it affects your B2B marketing strategy. Robin Dunbar, a British anthropologist, found that there was a correlation between a primate’s brain size and the average social group size they were able to maintain. He discovered by accident that for humans, the magic number is 150 people. This means that, according to Dunbar’s Number, the number of stable relationships you can maintain is 150.

Think about all of the people in your life: family, friends, teachers, doctors, dentists, coworkers, etc. That’s probably getting close to 150, which doesn’t leave much space to stay meaningfully connected with your prospects. Luckily, Dunbar’s Number can be beaten both personally and professionally with help from the right marketing technology (MarTech for short) like marketing automation, CRMs, and referral automation software, which work together to manage and nurture prospect and customer relationships to build a trusted and significant connection with them.

MarTech tools can save the day (or quarter) for you, so you don’t need to worry about overlooking valuable relationships. Here are three key MarTech tools that can help you beat Dunbar’s Number and stay meaningfully connected with all of your prospects and customers:

1. Marketing Automation

A marketing automation platform is critical for building and maintaining relationships with your prospects and customers, and it’s one of the key tools that you need to expand your number of relationships with them beyond Dunbar’s Number. Whether a lead is at the top of the funnel and just engaged with your company, an MQL who’s interested but not ready to purchase yet, or a new customer that just signed, your marketing automation system lets you track and analyze their behavior throughout each stage of their journey. By tracking their behavior across all of your channels—be it on mobile, social media, or your website—you can segment them into the proper campaigns to send them targeted content (that’s valuable to them) and nurture them over time.

Marketing automation helps you keep your brand top-of-mind for your buyers. You certainly don’t want them to forget how important your product is to their business growth, especially when they’re getting close to making a purchasing decision. Simultaneously, it helps you keep track of the right buyers and automates your processes so that you can nurture them until they’re ready to purchase without having to actively keep tabs on them every day.

2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

A CRM works in conjunction with your marketing automation platform to manage your leads. It integrates with your marketing automation system to keep track of your leads as they flow through your marketing funnel. Then, when a prospect or customer performs an action that indicates that he is finally ready to buy or upgrade, your sales team will know right away when to reach out. Furthermore, your customer success team will have access to information that’s critical for ensuring your customers’ long-term success, such as how long they have been a customer, products and services they have purchased, and conversations that have taken place. When a customer upgrades or purchases an additional product, your customer success team will have the information they need to make the onboarding process smoother.

This type of information empowers your customer-facing teams to prioritize and maintain relationships with your prospects and leads. This way, you don’t miss out on developing and nurturing valuable relationships, defeating Dunbar’s Number and increasing the number of stable relationships you can maintain.

3. Referral Automation

Referral automation incentivizes customers, partners, and employees to facilitate a warm introduction between your business and their network, while tracking their referrals on the back-end to attribute them back to the advocates. While most people think of referrals as a consumer marketing tactic (e.g. DIRECTV or Uber), forward-thinking B2B marketers are also leveraging customer, partner, and employee referrals, and it’s not hard to see why. Studies have shown that leads generated from referrals convert 4X better than marketing leads, according to eMarketer.

Many SMB and enterprise companies use a referral automation platform in addition to their marketing automation and CRM platforms to automate the process of capturing and closing referral leads. Referral automation software gives you the ability mine your customer, partner, and employees’ 150 meaningful relationships and extend the trust they have created to your business.

So how exactly does this work? Once a referral is accepted by the invitee, it gets routed into your lead flow, where your sales team can follow up and close the business and the “inviter” gets rewarded. From there, you can continue to prioritize them and nurture them by integrating your marketing automation, CRM, and referral platforms together to create a seamless lead management experience from first touch to final signature.

Dunbar may have been onto something, but with so many valuable tools at your disposal, it’s easy to beat the odds. People have a lot of choices, and sometimes, a decision to go with one vendor over another comes down to a rapport they have or don’t have with them. Fill up your 150 limit with personal relationships and leave your professional connections to MarTech that does the heavy lifting for you.

Discover how referral automation increases your ROI by expanding on Dunbar’s Number with the ROI calculator now!

What other technologies have helped you beat Dunbar’s Number? Share them in the comments below!

CTA_ROI_calculator_v2

Originally published on Marketo.com

Share the wealth with referrals

Lately I have a new hobby

My spare downtime has been dedicated to reading a lot of blogs and checking out a lot of library books about investing because, well, I like money, and I want more of it! With a topic as important as financial future, I of course also looked for the advice of my network.

Crowdsourcing for advice

One of my favorite resources came to my attention after I posted on Facebook a general question about mutual funds. I asked if anyone who considered themselves informed cared to talk to me about them. Soon afterward a friend of mine messaged me and referred me to this awesome blog, called Mr. Money Mustache, that he was following. He told me it was written by a man who was able to retire in his 30s and live happily with his wife and child by living frugally and making wise investments. My friend loved the sound of this, and being 24, he was on the path to his own early retirement by following MMM’s advice on  “early retirement through badassity”

Well, I’m afraid early retirement is too late for me. Since I spent my 20s and half of my 30s as a stay-at-home mom, I have only begun to contribute to a 401K.  At this point I am hoping to be able to retire on time! But I was intrigued so I checked it out.  MMM pretty much verified everything I had been reading about in regards to investing your money, he endorsed putting your most of your money in an low-cost index fund like Vanguard and just let compounding work its magic. Albert Einstein, who is considered to be a kind of smart guy once said, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.”

Real talk

As I cruised through his site I found a page where he listed all the organizations he uses and likes so well that he refers them to his readers. Some were affiliate sites where he received a kickback for bringing in referrals, and some were just businesses he felt were worthy of brand advocacy, we all have brands we love and tell our friends about.

And then it hit me, again, the power of referrals at scale, 1:1 and 1:???. First of all, my friend referred me through a Facebook post to this website, and then the website is chock full of great information and referrals to bring your retirement goals to the next level.

The world has grown smaller with social media and the ease to which you can receive quality referrals from people you trust. I can’t image this is a trend that will recede, but instead grow.

Best referral program

Want to further the discussion? Tweet me @krysiahepatica

Referral advocacy is the new demand generation

As a marketer, I understand your brand has a lot of choices when it comes to diversifying your marketing mix and creating demand generation. There are a lot of tech companies vying for your attention, promising their methods are the best. So, I thank you humbly for your undivided attention and promise to use your time wisely!

Our marketing team came up with an infographic featuring a few stats from analysts and third-party organizations who you trust. The following statistics get right to the heart of what we do, and you can determine the value for yourself.  A common theme we hear from salespeople is it is hard to get past the gatekeeper when prospecting for leads, why not help out your sales team by using referral software to keep their leads hot?Referrals and demand generation

 

If you are like me and love stats like this, be sure to follow us on Twitter @Amplifinity. Questions for me? Tweet me at @Krysiahepatica

 

What is brand advocacy?

 

How to lock-down your brand advocates

User generated content. Brand Ambassadors. Brand Advocates. Terms we see daily in our Twitter feed. The trend in marketing is still to look closer to “home” to generate more leads. Social media has made personal connections more important to business in every aspect from recruiting and hiring, to selling your product or service, or finding a new job. Research shows people trust their friends and networks when it comes to making a purchase in all areas of their life. Referrals in the B2B or B2C world are no different.

Your employees or brand advocates have a network that trusts them already. That part is done. The tricky part is turning that trust into new customers, which is how Amplifinity can help you. Our closed-loop, referral platform software has thought through all of the steps in this process so you don’t have to.

What should you look for in a referral program? After interviewing our very successful customers, we wrote a white paper on the topic.  Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to help your business prosper.

What you need to know before starting a referral program.

 

What is brand advocacy?

 

Amplifinity’s blog provides best practices in advocacy and referral marketing

ANN ARBOR, Mich. May 29, 2015 — Amplifinity today announced it is relaunching its popular blog to focus solely on best practices in referral and advocacy marketing. The goal of the relaunched blog is to provide original content that will help demand generation, customer and partner marketers to find new ways to create value for their companies.  Content draws from experiences of large, fast-growing enterprises in industries like software, telecommunications, financial services, consumer products, B2B, insurance, education, healthcare, energy, and utilities.

 

Because Amplifinity provides automated referral software that powers advocacy programs for some of the world’s biggest companies, Amplifinity experts are among the most experienced in the industry. Recent posts written by Amplifinity experts cover a diverse but pertinent range of topics like how the CAN SPAM Act affects referral marketing, why banks struggle with referrals, the perils of pixel tracking, the challenges of in-house referral programs. Amplifinity has also partnered with referral selling expert Joanne Black  to create content that is exclusive to Amplifinity’s blog, and Amplifinity plans to continue to publish posts by internal and external experts.

 

“We have very engaged customers who are hungry to learn what they can to maximize the value of their referral channel,” said Trisha Winter, CMO at Amplifinity who spearheaded the relaunch of the blog. “Referrals are clearly the best demand gen strategy out there, but there isn’t a lot of new and engaging thought leadership on the subject. We hope to bridge that gap and inspire marketers with new ideas for meeting their demand generation challenges.”

About Amplifinity

Amplifinity’s referral amplification software turns customer, employee and partner advocacy into revenue. Our platform provides complete referral tracking and management with 100% accuracy so none are missed. Enterprises like ADP and DirecTV trust Amplifinity to enable high-quality acquisition while providing an engaging, fully-branded experience for their advocates.

Amplifinity launches next generation referral amplification platform

ANN ARBOR, Mich. March 3, 2015 — Amplifinity today announced it is dramatically changing how businesses drive customer acquisition and demand generation through the delivery of its new referral amplification platform. The new Amplifinity platform is an enterprise SaaS referral automation engine that powers advocacy programs for some of the world’s largest and most well-known companies.

The next generation of the Amplifinity platform was developed in response to the unique challenges faced by sales and marketing organizations attempting to influence buying decisions. In today’s marketplace, customers have access to unparalleled volumes of information making it difficult for marketers to reach buyers directly with their message. The new Amplifinity platform provides enterprises a powerful capability to engage its existing customers, partners and even employees and allow them to become advocates. Advocates can act as an extension of an organization’s sales force, referring business based on their positive affinity towards the brand.

Amplifinity turns these advocates into an “always on” channel for leads and new acquisition. Research has proven that these channels deliver leads that close at double the industry average rate, close faster and, once closed, will churn 18% less and have a 16% higher lifetime value (source: “Do Referral Programs Increase Profits?” published in Marketing Intelligence Review).

Amplifinity provides a powerful, closed-loop automated workflow engine that acquires and nurtures advocates, empowers their ability to share and engage their network, attributes new sales to advocates that generated them, and rewards advocates for successful transactions.

Amplifinity has extended the referral amplification platform to offer powerful capabilities to meet the needs of enterprise-level brands including:

  • Touchpoint Recognition: Brands can execute advocacy programs across all the places it engages with its customers and partners. This includes online techniques like email, social and web, but also offline channels like call centers and in-store. Amplifinity tracks advocacy success across all of these channels permitting enterprises to tailor their marketing strategies to maximize the effectiveness of their program efforts.
  • White Labeled: Brands can now leverage their digital investments to create 100% authentic advocate user experience across desktop, tablet and mobile devices. Keeping users in their same, familiar and branded environment increasing advocate activity and successful referrals.
  • Control Room: Amplifinity provides the control of advocacy programs to marketers without the need to engage IT. Control room enables marketers to enhance and adjust programs in areas such as campaign creative, reward structures and workflow to optimize program performance.
  • Enterprise Integration Layer: A rich set of file-based integrations and connectors to key internal systems in the lead management value chain now makes the entire process scale efficiently and effectively. This includes leading Marketing Automation Platforms, Sales CRM’s and Preference Management Systems.
  • Business Intelligence Engine: Amplifinity tracks all advocate actions providing a rich data set for brands to learn how their best customers are engaging with their networks. This data allows digital marketers to re-market to their advocates in a targeted manner.

“Our platform has proven it can drive material increases in demand generation and customer acquisition,” said Larry Angeli, Amplifinity CEO. “It simply works and it works at scale. For the first time, enterprises truly have the ability to make the world into their sales team.”

About Amplifinity

Amplifinity’s referral amplification software turns customer, employee and partner advocacy into revenue. Our platform provides complete referral tracking and management with 100% accuracy so none are missed. Some of the largest enterprises in the country trust Amplifinity to enable high-quality acquisition while providing an engaging, fully-branded experience for their advocates.