Why referral marketing is the best channel for organic acquisition

Organic acquisition – kind of an oxymoron. Executives see the word “organic” and they think “free”.  Marketers see the word “organic” and think “a helluva lot of work”. Both know that it is the highest quality, but achieving it at scale has largely been a pipe dream.

The problem is that organic acquisition has always been a ‘Field of Dreams’ exercise. If you build it, they will come. And if you nail organic search with the right content, that does occasionally happen. I highly recommend that you keep up the great work in SEO, but the world of organic acquisition just got bigger!

Accel Partners, has created a unique visualization of the marketing technology space at Growthverse.com. Each circle is a subcategory and the size of the circle represents how many technologies are available.

growthverse

Zooming in on Organic Acquisition, you’ll note that SEO is now joined by SOCIAL and INFLUENCER/ REFERRAL MARKETING. In fact, both categories are larger than SEO. What this means, is that there are new ways to go to market for organic acquisition of new business.

growthverse2

A Breakdown of Organic Acquisition Technologies

Looking at these three subcategories of Organic Acquisition, it is clear that there are some interesting new ways for marketers to take more control over how they leverage organic marketing to drive demand.

SEO: This one is pretty well understood. There are technologies out there that help you win the Google search game by pointing out opportunities to optimize your content and get more traffic. This is a very valuable effort for marketing to focus on as organic traffic converts higher than other types of traffic.

SOCIAL: If you think about it, social media has given us additional search engines. In fact, after Google, YouTube is the second most used search engine. That’s why it makes sense that there are tools that can help you optimize the content you post on social sites in order to drive the most engagement and click through to your website.

INFLUENCER/ REFERRAL MARKETING: This category is the fastest growing of the three and for good reason. Technology that can help you to connect with your influencers or advocates in a personal way, at scale, is very appealing. In fact, it gives marketers control over organic acquisition for the first time ever!

In both B2C and B2B companies, they are establishing programs for customers, employees and even partners to advocate on behalf of their brand. The most valuable to those responsible for customer acquisition is referral marketing. The opportunity to have advocates drive a steady stream of new business into your pipe without having to use traditional paid channels is a very exciting prospect.

Now, take a moment to revisit what you are doing to optimize your organic acquisition efforts. Lead generation and customer acquisition marketers may be missing opportunities to drive high quality demand with an organic price tag that executives covet. Discover if referral marketing is the right organic acquisition channel to generate leads for your business by calculating how much growth revenue your business can achieve with an ROI calculator.

Best referral program

Care to continue the conversation? Tweet me at @Trishawinter

Originally published in Customer Think