Have You Ever Considered Word of “Mouth Referral Programs” to Reach the Professional Tradesman?

Sometimes we’re so close to the woods that we can’t see the trees. As marketers, we’re all so busy trying to execute our plans, from using the latest digital options and lead nurturing programs, to doing some traditional direct mailers and participating in a key trade show that we often overlook the obvious – Referrals!

When was the last time you bought something major that you didn’t ask a friend or business associate what their thoughts were on that particular product or the proposed solution you were thinking about.

2 men talkingThe professional tradesman is not different. He will ask another peer or a distributor friend about ways to solve the problem. That’s why word of mouth (WOM) plays such an important part. Here are some interesting stats:

  1. 92% of consumers trust recommendations from their friends (Nielsen).
  2. 80% of all B-to-C and B-to-B purchases involve some WOM recommendations during the purchasing cycle according to Forrester.

I recently downloaded a Referral Marketing Guide from Extole that outlines six steps to take to make sure your WOM program gets results. They not only give you the steps, but practical examples of how to incorporate into your current programs. They also give you case studies.

Here are the six steps they recommend you to follow:

  • Create a compelling offer
  • Promote a referral program
  • Make it easy for advocates to refer
  • Personalize the friend experience
  • Keep referral programs top of mind
  • Monitor and optimize the program

According to the study, WOM recommendations result in a 3-5 times higher conversion than other channels. It makes sense doesn’t it; you value the opinions of others. So as marketers, we need to harness the loyal brand advocates that we have and have them help folks through the selling cycle.

If you haven’t used a WOM campaign to reach those contractors, maybe it’s time you rethink your strategy. After all, we’re all in it to ultimately sell something, and WOM has proven that it will help the customer through the sales cycle by letting others help you sell.

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3 Ways Viral Marketing Can Help Reach the Professional Tradesman

global_network_viral_marketingIt used to be that marketers counted on “word of mouth” to help spread their message to the tradesmen and maintenance professionals. Today, social media takes this to the next level and does it quicker and better.

Since you already know who you’re focusing on by using viral marketing, you can make it easier for your message to be passed on. Viral marketing has gained popularity because it produces results that are measurable while increasing your brand awareness. A recent post by Chase McMichael, The 3 pillars of viral marketing, outlines ways you can put viral marketing on steroids. Here’s an overview of how using these techniques can help you reach the professional tradesman:

  1. Target your audience. Social media makes it easier and faster to reach your target. More people are posting their personal profiles on social networks allowing you to data mine them and identify and rank affinities within specific communities like HVAC -TALK.
  2. Reach your audience. Once you’ve identified your user, you can quickly pinpoint influencers and begin enticing them to become brand ambassadors.
  3. Create the right call to action. If you’re doing your homework by monitoring these communities, you will soon identify the issues that need to be addressed and the appropriate call to action. It might be good to join a great online community that you have or sign up for the latest performance charts of a specific tool or application,

Conclusion: Messages that connect with you target can drive a high degree of brand awareness and acceptance. Practical and simple to access technologies help drive engagement and participation.


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