Marketers work towards a myriad of goals – awareness, expanding your company’s reach, establishing a presence in a new market, and more – but all of this boils down to one bigger goal: increased sales. There are various marketing strategies that one could prioritize in order to work towards these goals. But in this crowded, digital world, how can a marketer break through the noise and stand out?
Focus on building trust.
Think about it – when a prospect trusts you, it can be the tipping point between awareness and acknowledgement that they need your product or service, ultimately turning them into a customer. Trust drives awareness through word of mouth, higher engagement, and ultimately increased sales. Whether your goal is awareness, attracting new customers, or reducing churn, it can all be addressed by making trust a pillar of your marketing strategy.
The number one driver of trust between you and your prospective customers? Validation from third parties and existing users. Your reputation is everything, and you have to tap into the perspectives, feedback, and opinions of your users to nurture and build that reputation.
If you have happy customers, that’s great. How can you turn them into powerful (and free) marketing support? If you have just mildly pleased customers, how can you turn that experience into a better one for them, and other, similar customers? Use customer marketing to obtain feedback, improve the user experience and nurture all users into happy referrals for your business.
Still not convinced? Here are 10 stats that swayed our opinion on the matter:
- According to Market Force, 81% of respondents reported that family & friends directly influence their purchasing decisions.
- According to Nielsen, 84% of consumers across 58 countries said that word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family, often referred to as earned advertising, are still the most influential and most trustworthy.
- Results from a BrightLocal survey show that consumers are reading upwards of 6 reviews to feel convinced. And, a greater proportion of consumers are reading more than 20 reviews before they feel they can trust a local business.
- According to a WOMMA survey, 82% of marketers use word-of-mouth marketing to increase their brand awareness, but 43% expect word-of-mouth marketing to improve their direct sales.
- According to the Content Marketing Institute, 89% of B2B marketers claim customer testimonials are the most effective content marketing tactics, while 88% claim case studies are most effective.
- According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 84% of B2B decision makers start the buying process with a referral.
- McKinsey found that word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20% to 50% of all purchasing decisions.
- According the Wharton School of Business, the lifetime value of a new referral customer is 16% higher than your average customer.
- According to Software Advice, more than 50% of people are likely to give a referral if offered a direct incentive, social recognition or access to an exclusive loyalty program.
- According to Gartner, on average, business buyers say that references are the second highest purchasing influencer, only behind direct interactions with the provider (as visualized by HBR below).
Yet even after all of these compelling stats and reasons to consider building trust with customer referrals, only 30% of B2B businesses have a formal referral program. In the weeks to come, we’ll dig in to how you can start to make your happiest customers an impactful part of your marketing program. Sign up below to get first access to more content on this topic.
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