Magazine article CRM Magazine

Marketers, Start Your Engines: Customers Can Extend the Reach of Your Marketing Campaigns-But You Have to Know How to Motivate Them

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Marketers, Start Your Engines: Customers Can Extend the Reach of Your Marketing Campaigns-But You Have to Know How to Motivate Them

Article excerpt

Would you like an army of unpaid workers to help you build brand awareness? Would you like to do away with outbound marketing and traveling salesmen? Well, according to John Jantsch, a marketing and digital technology coach and the author of The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself, motivating customers to voluntarily participate in your marketing campaigns is all about strategy. His advice for those who want to build a highly referable business? Dispense with conventional wisdom and rethink your current marketing strategy. CRM Editorial Assistant Juan Martinez spoke with Jantsch about generating--and benefiting from--referrals.

CRM magazine: Your book seems to embrace a new vision of marketing. What elements of yesterday's marketing are dead and buried?

John Jantsch: I suppose there are a few tactics that may be dead, but what's really dead is the approach of broadcasting and hunting for leads. Lead generation has now become much more [about] being found, educating, and building trust. It's more work than buying a list and blasting.

CRM: Why do people make and take referrals?

Jantsch: People make referrals for many reasons. Some like to help, others like to be seen as "go-to" people, and some realize the practical nature of building social capital for what it may mean in return. As far as taking referrals--it can mean great [return on investment], more educated and qualified leads, and leads that aren't as price-driven.

CRM: What product characteristics typically incite positive referrals?

Jantsch: The best characteristic is something that surprises and practically forces someone to talk. This can be a great deal, an over-the-top guarantee, elegant packaging, or even a purchase process that exceeded their expectations.

CRM: How do you generate referrals beyond creating a good product?

Jantsch: Actually, a good product is usually an expectation. The thing that creates referrals is some sort of emotional connection. This can be to the people selling the product, the fun experience of purchasing the product, the attitude of the service personnel, or the response when the buyer had a problem. The experience is as important as the product.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

CRM: What's "the accidental referral"?

Jantsch: It's a term I use for the referrals that happen for some firms even though they never seem to ask [for] or promote referrals. It's a good sign if you're receiving them, because it points to the fact that you're already doing something that's referable.

CRM: Other than word of mouth from friends, where do people get referrals? …

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