The event was held in the most amazing venue – The Royal College of Physicians. I knew it was going to be a special event before I stepped in because a) the location and b) delegates were greeted with the friendliest of smiles and warmth by the MentionMe team!
We started off the day with some networking, followed by workshop sessions where we learned about the psychology behind referral marketing, that involved topics such as types of incentives, copy and design of a referral campaign.
According to MentionMe, there are four crucial pillars of referral marketing that I believe are worth highlighting, not only if you have referral campaigns live, but for marketing in general.
- Social Capital
It can go one of two ways: the fact that people like to be seen buying from a certain brand and the fact that people genuinely believe that sharing brands and perks with friends will benefit the friends.
Brands want to be associated with frequent triggers that encourage sharing, that will eventually lead to being top of mind.
Brands want to be part of a bigger story that people discuss, have a meaning behind them.
People often talk about emotions and brands want to leverage them.
The afternoon was spent listening to the founders of the company about marketing trends for this year and some Q&A sessions with a few brands they work with, such as Toast and Matches Fashion.
I found the marketing trends talk particularly interesting, as they are something we are all experiencing not only as businesses, but as human beings, including decline of trust, rise of purpose and battle for direct relationships.
- Decline of trust
Consumers trust less and less in things like politics, businesses or brands when they speak about themselves. With that, the marketing and consumer world has seen the rise of referrals and reviews.
“Trust is a confidence relationship with the unknown” (Rachel Botsman). The unknown, in brands, can be minimised by other people talking about it, liking on social, referring, and every touch point on a customer journey is an opportunity to build trust.
- Rise of purpose
People these days are looking for something to believe in and to fight for. And people care about their impact in their beliefs when they buy and consume – the best example nowadays is the environment: people are more likely to refer if brands pay fairly to their workers, get their food from local suppliers or minimise the use of plastic. The brand “Allplants” has a referral system which allows customers to plants trees. https://allplants.com/
- Battle for direct relationships of customers with brands
The big players in the retail space are a threat to brands who want to get customers to go to them directly, so they need to communicate with customers in a way that will create a compelling reason for them to go to them directly.
In summary, referral marketing can help brands build trust, communicates purpose to existing and new customers and drives direct relationships.
By Filipa Portela
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