Before working for Amplifinity, I worked in appliance sales. I quickly became a brand advocate for LG’s line of products. LG’s products boast a modern style and top-of-the-line features. I promoted their appliances to many customers, and referred friends to the brand when they asked.
At that time, a friend of mine was moving into her first home and needed to buy new appliances. I quickly recommended a top load LG washer and dryer set. Several months later, a family member asked me for recommendations for a refrigerator because theirs had gone on the fritz. Guess what brand I recommended?
I became a long-term brand advocate for LG, and to this day I recommend their products and services — but here’s the caveat: I make recommendations only when I know a friend or family member is about to purchase an appliance. In other words, I know what LG probably doesn’t: I know when their prospective customers are in-market or ready to purchase. At Amplifinity, our clients who see the highest percentages of new customer acquisition, tend to view referral programs as a long-term piece of their marketing and advertising mix. Here’s what we know:
1. Brand advocates who make multiple successful referrals, do so about every 3 months. When brands run Amplifinity’s software as short-term campaigns (1-3 months), advocates who would normally and eventually make successful referrals do not get a chance to do so as they would in a long-term program. And the brand loses out.
2. Friends know when friends are in-market. Just like my days in appliance sales, I knew when my friends and family were looking for new appliances long before the brand ever would have known; same applies to your B2B and B2C current customers and employees.
3. Friends’ Referrals = Benefit for the Brand. Research, including that which comes from Amplifinity’s clients’ referral programs, consistently proves that customers acquired through referrals from their friends spend more and are more loyal to your brand.
Short campaigns will increase traffic or encourage advocates to come back, but those campaigns need to be pieces of a larger, ongoing program. Brand advocacy solutions are faster, cheaper, and more effective than traditional customer acquisition methods, and our results prove it. So does the fact that when I see my old customers from my sales days, they thank me for their refrigerator that is still running as well today as the day they bought it.