Which channel is more effective for new customer acquisition: referrals or influencers?
The majority of marketers believe the latter – but the numbers disagree.
Our latest report, ‘Referral Marketing: Are You Creating Customer Advocates?’ (created in conjunction with the Data & Marketing Association (DMA)) reveals marketers are underestimating the power of referrals for new customer acquisition.
37% of consumers discover new products and services via recommendations from family and friends, compared to 3% via influencers. Yet just 23% of organisations currently have referral programmes in place for customer acquisition.
Interestingly, two in five marketers believe word-of-mouth recommendations are one of the best ways to build trust. But this hasn’t yet translated into referral marketing programmes that transform happy customers into brand advocates – essentially creating free promotion from a valued source.
And, as our CEO Andy Cockburn explains, it’s not just referral marketing being overlooked.
“Interestingly, many brands also misunderstand what matters most to consumers,” he says. “As presented in this report, marketers frequently overlook the brand values and ethical behaviours their customers really care about, instead focussing on the push marketing and brand loyalty often disregarded by target audiences.”
Rachel Aldighieri, Managing Director at the DMA, adds: “The power of customers backing your brand and recommending it to friends, family and beyond is a sure-fire way to drive more engagement and new customers. It creates a cyclical pattern, as these customers are more likely to refer, purchase more frequently and, according to our research, have a higher average spend with a brand.
Rather than trying to use influencers or asking customers to review your products and services, a good strategy lies in combining the two. Why not ask your customers to be your influencers?”