How referral marketing increases customer acquisition for professional services

How are professional services firms looking to generate new business?

Professional services plays host to a variety of industries including management consulting, accounting and financial services, integrators and technology development to name a few. The common factor among professional services firms is that it is hard to differentiate and break away from the crowd.

But why is it so difficult?

In the last 20 years the challenges and needs of business have dramatically changed as the buying cycle has become customer controlled and new technology has developed. This resulted in business’s needs changing at such a rate that it often outpaced the rate at which professional services firms could fill that need. This mean that the professional services firms have to stay at the top of their game to be able to provide the ever developing services that business require and stay top of mind with customers.

Recently, Hinge Research Institute gathered responses from 530 professional services firms to document current challenges and how this sector is meeting them. Of that number 72% said their greatest challenge was generating new business.

This study found that in order to grow revenue the majority of the professional services firms interviewed (61.9%) were turning to referral marketing.

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This makes sense because even though business needs continue to change, current customers, partners and employees can testify to your ability to adapt with the changing ecosystem and provide innovative services and strategies.

But like the varying type and large number of professional services firms that inhabit the professional services sector, the features required to efficiently acquire referrals for your firm can be just as highly numbered and varied.

So how do you go about initiating a referral program?

How to increase professional services’ revenue with referral marketing software

It has become common practice that marketing initiatives now need to incorporate personalization and relationship oriented approaches in order to reach target buyers in this loud and crowded ecosystem.

Referral marketing software harnesses the power of customer, partner, and employees relationships. They do this by introducing your services to their personal and professional network as a trusted advisor.

Unfortunately, firms often don’t have the resources to develop a new initiative like a referral marketing program, no matter how much business growth it can provide. They have to prioritize the needs of current customers over future customers.

Therefore, it’s natural that Hinge Research Institute found the majority of services companies looking to generate referrals (47.8% out of the 61.9%) are deciding to do that with outside resources, aka referral marketing software.

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By outsourcing the development of the referral program, professional services firms are able to ensure that they have a referral program that not only integrates with current software, but avoids breakage.  And when a program is targeted at such an important group of influencers, it is critical to provide features that keep each group of advocates (customers, partners and employees) engaged and referring repeatedly. Plus, marketers need the ability to obtain detailed insight to optimize the program, and empower sales to register advocates and generate referrals.

With a referral marketing program that enables those actions, professional services companies can go beyond their goal of just generating referrals, but also reach goal two (increase brand visibility of your firm), goal four (increase the visibility of your experts), and goal five (make existing clients more aware of services you offer).

What results can professional services expect from referral software?

As advocates share your brand it increases the visibility of your professional services firm. And because it is coming from a trusted source, the referrals are going to gain more attention than a PPC ad would.  That’s why studies have proven that referrals convert 4x more than marketing leads (emarketer).

In terms of goal three, some of your best experts on your company and its offerings are current customers, partners and employees. By galvanizing this group you make their positive opinion of your brand visible to greater numbers of your target buyers. By having your advocates share their expertise with their personal and professional network it increases a prospect’s likeliness to buy by 400% (Nielsen).

And by having a referral program that rewards advocates by offering cash incentives, discounted services, or training, you keep current customers informed and excited about engaging with your business and the services you offer, increasing lifetime value by 16% (Harvard Business Review).

It’s no wonder that so many professional services firms are planning on adopting referral marketing programs to push ahead of competitors. It delivers incredible results by taking one of your most valuable unutilized resources (customers, partners, and employees) and utilizes them for an average conversion rate of 35% from referral to purchase (Amplifinity).

To see how referral marketing software can grow your revenue and deliver remarkable ROI, try the ROI calculator now.

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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!

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Originally published on Marketo.com

How to engage your 3 different advocate bases when asking for referrals

How asking for referrals extends your network reach and identifies new business opportunities

As one who has spent much of my career in the world of sales and marketing, I’m constantly tracking the changes in the sales ecosystem. In the last few years, I’ve seen how the paradigm shift from traditional selling strategies to informed buyers seeking out businesses has caused companies to become increasingly innovative in order to keep up with a more competitive sales ecosystem. This includes developing cutting-edge tools and strategies that empower companies to get in front of the customer like marketing automation, PPC, and SEO. But recently, I’ve noticed another paradigm shift that is further shaking up the sales ecosystem. The B2B informed buyer has transcended, becoming even more independent as a self-qualifying buyer.

More often than not the B2B buyer is qualifying your company instead of a salesperson qualifying the buyer.

One major resource that self-empowered buyers are using to help them is their personal and professional network. The good news is that these networks often include your current customers, partners and perhaps, even your own employees. Research has shown these one-to-one relationships have the greatest influence in a buyer’s decision because of the inherent trust in the relationship.

Customers, partners, and employees have the benefit of understanding your business and the needs of their peers and therefore are in a very unique position to influence your target buyer.  So rather than hoping your potential prospect connects with one of these key influencers, we suggest companies take a proactive stance and engage its customers, partners and employees by asking for referrals and turning them into advocates for your business.

Since each of these different groups offers a unique value to your advocacy initiatives and have the potential to impact a self-qualified buyer, here are some things to consider as you start asking for referrals:

  • How can their relationship with your business put them in a position to help you find new customers?
  • What makes them willing to advocate for your company when they have the opportunity?
  • What will motivate them to make a referral and actually connect you to a prospect for your business?

By considering these questions you can achieve a clearer understanding of the three different advocate personas and how to leverage your relationship with them by asking for referrals to reach self-qualified buyers.

Understanding your different advocate personas

Customers –Your customers have spent their careers building personal and professional networks that likely include many individuals just like themselves in similar roles within other companies in your target market.  Combine that with the fact that your customer knows your product and the value it’s added to their business, and you have a powerful combination to leverage.

The more value you’ve delivered to the relationship, the more likely they will refer your business when you are asking for referrals. While that value starts with the value your company or product has provided to their business, don’t overlook their personal relationships with you or your teammates (e.g. sales, customer service etc.). Customers are looking for that connection to your company and, in return, they are willing to reciprocate. It’s likely that your customers could be engaging with someone in their network that has expressed similar challenges or needs that your product or service could fulfill.

By proactively asking for referrals from customers you expand their established circle of trust with you to include the prospect, which can dramatically accelerate the sales cycle. Consider formally acknowledging the referral and keep them updated on the status so they can continue engage on your behalf if they are willing and able. Adding a reward that reflects your awareness of their needs can absolutely help and won’t be perceived negatively. Rewards that are specific to your company like bill credits, discounts, or even free services when they reach a certain number of referrals adds value to the relationship and shows that you appreciate their contribution to your success.

PartnersPartners are one of the highest-quality referral sources. Partners have an inherent knowledge of their customers’ challenges and goals in addition to your product or service. They already have a symbiotic economic relationship with you and therefore if you win, they win. Asking for referrals is a natural extension of that.  And because partners have already provided a good business experience to their customers, their customers trust that your brand will replicate that experience. Consider offering an incentive that is authentic to your business relationship with the partner and will improve the value for both parties. These types of incentives could include training credits, exclusive access to new product or features, or incremental discounts on your service or products.

Employees – Employees have a stake in the success of your company. Employees know the ins and outs of your business. This makes them experts when referring family, friends and peers. With this unique position they can emphasize the benefits of your company to the people who trust their opinion and insight. When asking for referrals from them, they are more likely to make a referral if they understand that as the business grows they have a better opportunity to grow within the company. While employees have your best interests at heart, making employees efforts feel noticed and appreciated has become a necessary part of retaining talented individuals and making them want to continue working on your behalf. Consider combing a monetary reward with a public form of recognition so everyone in the company knows that this is a very valued contribution to the business.

While it’s true that leads have gotten harder to reach, these types of challenges make room for businesses to continually innovate and grow. Now, with the advent of the self-qualified buyer, peer opinions, aka referrals, have become a new stop on the buyer’s journey. I believe that by embracing this change through different advocacy technology like referral software, you can continue to have insight and input in this stage of the sales cycle.

To learn more about how to motivate customers, partners, and employees when asking for referrals, checkout the whitepaper, How to Incentivize Referrals: The process of questioning, calculating and structuring incentives.

And if you’re ready to see if referrals are the right path for you, try taking the quiz, Are referrals a fit?

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The best lead generation software you’re not using

How to make lead generation as easy as catching a dodo bird

Every marketer knows that lead generation isn’t as easy as it once was. But imagine if lead generation software could make leads as easy to capture as the infamous dodo bird. The dodo bird is well known for its willingness to be captured, however it wasn’t because it was extremely stupid or suicidal, but due to its lack of survival instinct or reflexes that was a result of it having no predators prior to the arrival of humans in its ecosystem. This trusting nature made them incredibly easy to be caught by Dutch settlers.

Unfortunately, your target prospects are a little better at adapting to new circumstances than the dodo. Therefore, it is no surprise that SEO and PPC are harder than ever before due to a combination of it being mined thoroughly and tools like ad blocker which in 2015 grew in adoption by 48% in the U.S. according to PageFair’s 2015 ad blocking report.  Along with this, the flooding of inboxes by email have led to the automatic reflex to delete all and custom and default spam filters take care of the rest. In other words, businesses and consumers alike have developed their own digital reflexes meant to protect them from unwanted interactions.

So how are you supposed to break through these automatic reflexes taking place in the digital space and make leads act a little more like the dodo bird? By using more than just one type of lead generation software.

There has been much talk about relationship oriented selling to break through barriers. In order to be successful at that, your lead generation software needs to have solid connections with each other and be able to take part in each stage of the buyer’s journey. The best lead generation software you’re not using may in fact be four platforms with integrated approaches that cover the whole buyer’s journey. This includes:

  • Digital analytics
  • Marketing automation software
  • CRM
  • Referral marketing software

Four of the best lead generation software systems to use together

Digital analytics software – Digital analytics software keeps track of lead generation metrics that are usually part of the beginning of a buyer’s journey. While there are basic analytics like clicks and downloads of assets, make sure that your web analytic software is tracking more advanced metrics that apply to long-term goals. These more advanced metrics include real-time reporting, SEO keyword analyses, and behavioral traffic flow.  From this insight you can optimize your website and assets for high-quality traffic.

Unsurprisingly, one of the best digital analytics software is Google Analytics. Google Analytics provides you with important data about the prospects or leads who are visiting your digital presence. Within Google Analytics users can capture advanced insight into how visitors interact with a digital presence, how they arrived, and measure the sales and conversions that occur, along with much more.

Marketing automation software – Marketing automation software automates repetitive marketing tasks to help business get found online and provide advanced analytics and insight into all marketing initiatives in order to optimize and personalize them. Two features that provide this value are lead scoring and lead nurturing. They enables marketers to pinpoint quality leads and understand what stage of the buying process leads are at to nurture them accordingly. Marketers can then place them into campaigns that are personalized to their needs. This lead generation software is often most effective in the middle of the buyers journey after awareness but before they become an SQL, although different features can be applied throughout a customer’s lifetime.

Hubspot is a top marketing automation software for small and medium sized business. With goal-based email nurturing and in-depth analytics along with features that enable marketers to manage and leverage their social media presents, a business can generate greater number of quality leads and help convert them to SQLs, opportunities, and finally, customers.

CRM (Content Relationship Management) – CRM are used by sales to manage and analyze lead and customer interaction, and data throughout the customer life cycle to drive closing of leads and increase sales conversions. However, many times marketers assume that a CRM should be used exclusively by sales but this isn’t necessarily true. The value that a CRM can offer a marketer is in its ability to continue the tracking of MQLs and discover what marketing efforts are producing the leads that convert to customers.

Salesforce provides one of the best CRMs on the market. In addition to keeping track and managing contacts, the Salesforce CRM track sales leads, opportunities, and customers with an ever increasing amount of dedicated integrations. Based on their 2015 customer relationship survey, their CRM has increased sales productivity by 44%, increased win rate by 37%, increased sales by 37%, increased lead conversion by 43% and increased forecast accuracy by 48%.

Referral marketing software – Referral marketing software harnesses the power of your current customers, partners, and employees’ relationships with their network by incentivizing them to provide a warm introduction that extends the trust of the previously built relationship to include your brand, increasing the likelihood of them buying by 400%, (Nielsen). Your current customers, partners and employees understand who in their network is in market for your product or service to create a 4X higher conversion rate than typical marketing channels. This lead generation software is a powerful part of keeping current customer and partners engaged and can increases referred customer’s lifetime value by 16% compared to non-referred customers (Harvard Business Review).

Amplifinity is one of the top B2B referral marketing platform that creates a dedicated channel for lead generation for companies with direct sales teams. Amplifinity understands the importance of offering an integrated lead generation approach for the whole buyer’s journey and has a deep Salesforce integration through a managed packaged app that brings sales and customer success teams into the process.

Find the best lead generation software for you

There are many types of lead generation software available to enable your lead generation efforts. When deciding what your next investment in lead generation should be make sure your return on investment makes sense. To decide if referral marketing software should be the next lead generation software on you adoption list tryout the ROI calculator to discover what your personal referral ROI could be.

And to learn how Salesforce and Amplifinity work together to break through your leads’ digital reflexes and close at a much higher rate checkout the page, Premier Referral Software for Salesforce.

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How referral marketing software keeps you proactively selling to the self-qualified buyer

The second paradigm shift: The self-qualified buyer

I recently went on a trip to the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. While there, I happened upon a full service gas station. Being a millennial, this was the first time I had ever seen one. I asked the friends I was with if we should stop there. Unsurprisingly their response enforced exactly what I felt (just like referral marketing software).

No, they’ll just charge more for things we don’t want or need and can do ourselves.

Thinking about this I found it paralleled the shift in power from brands dictating what the buyer needs to the informed buyer taking control and dictating what a business needs to provide them.

We’ve heard time and time again how the informed buyer has changed the selling strategy. But this doesn’t mean that B2B buyers are just doing extra research before interacting with sales teams. Instead, B2B teams in charge of buying are obtaining a high-level of understanding about the service or product to match that of a sales team. Naturally, this has led to an increase in the level of expectation buyers have in order to ensure that they’re financial resources are being spent responsibly, creating a much more competitive B2B ecosystem.

But the evolution of the B2B buyer hasn’t stopped there. Buyers are now not only coming armed with solid information, but starting to self-qualify themselves before they ever reach a salesperson. In other words, buyers are becoming more likely to qualify businesses as opposed to businesses qualifying buyers. This means that even if your PPC ads and prospecting emails reach the right people at the right time, unless you have the resources that qualify you as a high-quality provider that has the potential to fit the organization now and as they grow in the future, you’re disqualified before the buyer ever comes in contact with a salesperson.

This second paradigm shift means that more than ever before B2B buyers are looking for information that doesn’t only inform them on the importance and benefit of a product or service, but the integral benefits and drawbacks on the business itself in order to determine its current and future fit for their organization. However, the type of content used for this qualification isn’t business driven, but customer driven through reviews, and even more powerful, peer opinions, otherwise known as referrals.

It was Laura Ramos, a principal analyst at Forrester that said at INmarket, “The next great stage of business innovation is not coming from back-end business optimization, but from an empowered B2B consumer.”

While it may feel like you’re only losing more and more control over the sales process, that doesn’t have to be the case. Referral marketing software is one strong strategy that keeps you proactively selling to the self-qualified buyer.

How referral marketing software can help you take back the sales cycle

With this second paradigm shift it is more important than ever before to galvanize your current customers and partners to work on your behalf. Referral marketing software allows you to take control of that process. Referral marketing software harnesses the persuasive power of your customers’ peer relationships in addition to partner and employees’ peer relationships to incentivize them to warmly introduce your brand while testifying to your qualifications.

By employing referral marketing software you can make sure you don’t miss out on any referrals. Automatic tracking and attribution allows users to trace referrals to their source in order to contact the customer or partner who referred them and qualify the referral while ensuring that the referral’s qualification of you is positive.  Along with that, referral marketing software gives you the ability to measures each advocate’s individual success to optimize your nurturing strategy and get the most ROI.

And with 83% of customers already willing to refer, but only 29% actually following through, referral software is a highly effective way to capture the full 83%, (Texas Tech), and make referrals your most successful form of demand generation as companies like ADP have.

In fact, with referral marketing software, referral initiatives:

  • Have a 4X higher conversion rate than typical marketing channels (emarketer)
  • Increase LTV by 16% compared to non-referred customers (Harvard Business Review)
  • Decrease churn by 18% compared to non-referred customers (Harvard Business Review)
  • Increase a leads likeliness to buy by 400% (Nielson)
  • Create a 35% conversion rate from referral to purchase (Amplifinity)

To learn more about what goes into automating referrals listen to the webinar, How RingCentral automated referral marketing.

And to discover if referral software is the right way to reach your self-qualified buyers, try taking the quiz, Are referrals a fit?

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3 ways to incorporate brand authenticity into your referral marketing strategy

How authenticity breaks through the marketing noise

Marketers often ask me what causes referral marketing to be successful and more specifically what motivates a Customer to refer a product.  The most obvious answer is satisfaction with the product or service purchased. Without that, you can’t expect someone to refer.

The next factor I mention often surprises Marketers.  But in addition to customer satisfaction, it’s perhaps the most important factor in getting referrals. That factor is brand authenticity.

At its heart, authenticity is about practicing what you preach, being totally clear about who you are and what you do best. When a brand’s message gets out of sync with Customers’ actual experiences, the brand’s integrity and future persuasiveness suffers.

Customers are drawn toward brands with an original story, an engaging and powerful identity and an unwavering and visible commitment to deliver on their brand promise. Think of fast-growing brands like Google, Apple, Salesforce and Uber and you’ll realize they all have that level of authenticity at their core.

Authenticity speaks volumes. Brands that tell a genuine, honest story resonate with people. People believe in honest brands. That belief leads to their willingness to communicate with others about the brand and the product and yes, refer it to others.

When I say this to my marketing friends, the response I often get is, “Sure, but I’m not Google or Salesforce so what can I do to be more brand authentic and generate referrals through referral marketing?”

Here are three key considerations for generating referrals by staying true to your brand’s authenticity.

The when, how and what of keeping referral marketing authentic   

1)   When to ask: Make it a natural extension of the customer’s experience

Once you have engrained brand authenticity into your user experience, try to identify when the most effective time is to ask for a referral. One company that excels at asking for a referral is Lyft. Lyft incorporates authenticity at the core of their business by making sure their drivers keep true to their slogan, “My friend with a car.” Because of this, Lyft has identified the opportune time to ask riders to refer Lyft or even a specific Lyft driver–at the end of a pleasant ride. Once the ride is over and the rider rates the driver, the app gives the option of referring while the ride is still at the forefront of the rider’s mind.

But leveraging the user experience to generate referrals isn’t just relegated to the ecommerce world.  If a primary element of your go-to-market model is a field sales team or an inside customer service team, you can ask for referrals in person.  The key is doing it at the right time. Highly engaged field teams that deliver great value to Customers are absolutely part of your user experience.  Therefore, why not have them ask for a referral after they have provided a positive experience to a Customer.

RingCentral is one brand that successfully extended their selling strategy to customer engagement in a brand authentic way to include their referral program.

Currently, RingCentral employs a relationship-focused selling approach. For RingCentral this often pays off when pursuing a company that has more than one location. RingCentral noted that the relationship-focused selling approach opened the doors for a Client to test out their product in one location, and when it succeeds, fully implements RingCentral. This period of success also made these Customers highly likely to refer and open a door to other Customers by simply asking for a referral at the right time.

From this approach, a referral marketing program was a logical next step to take their relationship-focused sales approach to the next level.

To reproduce these two referral marketing successes, ask your Customers or Partners for referrals immediately after your service or product has had success or has created a positive experience.

2)   How to ask: Be true to your brand’s voice and image

Along with knowing when to ask for a referral, understanding how to ask for a referral is equally important with referral marketing. An essential part of this is sticking to using brand authentic format, creative and voice.

Frontier Telecommunications is one company that has done an excellent job at extending their authentic brand creative and voice to include their referral marketing program. As an extension of the name Frontier, the company embeds their mascot, Frank the buffalo, into their brand and creative. The humorous voice and creative of Frank the buffalo was extended into their referral program.

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Along with the above email and social media posts, Frontier included their brand voice and creative in their referral program through bill inserts and on the web. By sticking to their authentic brand creative and voice, the familiarity of the messaging and format contributed to the success of their referral marketing program.

DIRECTV is another brand that has become experts at understanding how to ask for referrals. Video is one of DIRECTV’s most popular vehicle for their promotional efforts. Their brand authentic creative is humorous and irreverent, so it was only natural that this brand authenticity format and voice extend to their referral program.

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And since DIRECTV’s double reward strategy offers a $100 bill credits to the referral (prospect) and the Customer who referred, this format allows them to speak to both demographics at once and increase the number of new Customers generated by their referral program.

 3) What to offer:  Understand what customer’s value

Authenticity is also a key factor in determining how to reward for referrals.  At Amplifinity, we’ve learned to first understand the relationship our brands have with their customers and what the customer values before recommending an incentive model that will drive referral behavior. There is considerable research on what motivates people to refer and the short answer is that there is no one right way. Monetary motivation, social sharing and ego can all play a role. But finding the right method starts with understanding your customers, their relationship with your brand, and what will cause them to make a referral during an interaction with others in your target market.

ADP is one company that has created brand authentic referral rewards. ADP knows that their Customers and Partners highly value their services and have developed their rewards from that knowledge. For each of the first three successful business referrals ADP gives $100 off their services. On the fourth successful referral ADP gives the business one year free payroll, a highly valued reward for any customer or partner. Because the forth referral reward is valued so highly, it engages Customers and Partners in way that enhances their connection to ADP.

The trigger that causes us to refer a product is engaged when the reward is genuine and consistent with the relationship that we have with that product or service. To apply this practice to your referral program, find a reward that amplifies the benefits of your current relationship and you’ll greatly improve your results.

Bottom line – Referrals with brand authenticity leads to higher revenue growth

When you project brand authenticity in your referral marketing initiative your program will succeed because it’s recognizable and reflects the reputation that the rest of your brand projects.

If you are looking for more best practices on launching a successful referral marketing initiative, check out our resources page to help your referral marketing flourish.

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