Creating effective and inexpensive customer acquisition strategies can be challenging.

It is well known that acquiring a new customer costs seven times more than retaining existing ones. But there is the possibility of getting new customers without needing a large investment. The key is to use the power of existing customers to attract new ones. Research shows that consumers truly trust recommendations, up to 92% when they are recommendations from friends, 88% trust online reviews, 64% of marketing managers consider Word Of Mouth the most effective marketing formula. For retailers, product recommendations are especially valuable as they help shoppers find answers to what they want more effectively, providing personalized information at the right time.

Already in our study “The sex of brands” we saw that the brands that attract us the most are precisely the ones we recommend the most.

How to get a recommendation?

    1. Understand where and how the brand is being talked about

It’s critical to understand what circumstances lead people to make these recommendations, including deciphering the literal language they use when they make a recommendation.

    1. Build a story to tell, storytell, and plan a communication plan

The brand story brings sentiment to a business-centric model. It tries to emotionally convey why we are important, how we do what we do, and what it is that we offer. Developing a plan will maximize the impact of shared messages.

    1. Resorting to the third-party multiplier effect

The radius of expansion will increase by detecting and engaging the right influencers , i.e. those people whose recommendations influence purchasing decisions.

    1. Applying the 90/10 Rule

90% of the time spent on communication channels: listening, informing, entertaining. The remaining 10% is dedicated to actively sharing brand messages and inviting participation.

Ours is a country of conversationalists and we know that everything that emerges in a positive way in a talk, serious or light-hearted, becomes a reference that we are going to share later. If a brand comes out well in a conversation, it has a good chance of succeeding in our own opinion. But you have to think that the same rule would also apply the other way around.

The Spontaneous Recommendation

The great achievement of a brand is the spontaneous recommendation, the one that comes from someone close to us whom we admire for their knowledge in the field or because they simply deserve our trust. Brands can reach a higher level of attractiveness if they are truly differentiating, if they have an added value that engages people. The problem is that it is very difficult to have really different, unique products. Then the need for a powerful identity, a unique personality, an interesting style, innovative communication, complicity… All of the above owns brands much more than the product, making them more attractive, sexier. In the end, the ones we would recommend the most.

The Suggested Recommendation

When spontaneous referrals are slow in coming, running promotions that encourage user-generated content can be a big help. There are many ways to address it, a more than effective one is to activate contests on social networks. You can use Instagram or Facebook as a channel by asking customers to upload photos and videos that promote the brand through their products or services. Within a certain period, the post with the most likes or comments is chosen and a prize is offered. As a result, the brand will be exposed to people who follow customers who participate in the contest and indirectly recommend the brand to a new audience.

 

The recommendation, the word-of-mouth, the WOM, has impacted business for as long as commerce has existed. Especially nowadays, with the dominance of social media, a brand’s products and services are a reflection of what customers say about them. That’s why, now more than ever, it’s crucial for brand management professionals to understand and harness the power of authentic relationships with their stakeholders. Becoming a highly recommended brand doesn’t happen by accident.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó
CEO of Branward

 

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