Word-of-mouth referrals ‘your ultimate marketing campaign’

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Encouraging happy customers to share their experiences with others can be the best way to promote a brand, an expert has noted.

According to Joe Hirsch, chief executive of YellowHammer, word-of-mouth referrals are the "ultimate marketing campaign" for an organisation.

However, he told B2B Marketing that they can only reach this point if they consistently provide value to clients and give them a top-quality service offering.

Mr Hirsch pointed out that gaining new clients is "just one part of the equation", as time and resources also need to be put towards keeping them.

This, he said, is because it is likely that another company provides similar products or services and does it just as well or maybe even better – and possibly at a lower cost.

Businesses were advised that if they want to win word-of-mouth referrals, they cannot "settle for the dollar value". Instead, their focus "needs to shift to the business value that yields more long-term results". Sure, saving your customers a few pounds is nice but it shows it also takes a real commitment to the mutual relationship.

"If your clients won't go to bat for your quality, your quality simply isn't good enough," Mr Hirsch commented.

Nevertheless, he said there are ways in which organisations can ensure they provide good value to clients.

For instance, Mr Hirsch stated that they can set realistic targets and expectations when they are constructing a narrative for their clients. As a result, they will be in a position where they can "beat the numbers" rather than fall below what was expected of them.

Mr Hirsch also suggested that brands align their interests with those of their clients and communicate openly with them. He argued that being honest and straightforward about how their budget is being used can help to build trust between the two parties.

"If you care about your clients, they’ll care about you," he remarked. As 2015 rolls out, this couldn’t be more true. Customer loyalty and word-of-mouth were not as important when access to information wasn’t as easy as it is today. Of course, it does take a lot more time and effort to win your customer’s trust, but in the end, when your customers take care of your marketing for you, it starts paying off.

Mr Hirsch added that businesses need to define their leadership and each person's respective roles, so it is obvious to everybody who is responsible for what.

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