Referrals vs Influencer Marketing

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Automated qualification of leads from your website and social campaigns...

Referral vs influencer marketing

Lucep is technically a click to call tool for website marketing, so we write a lot about that. But apart from the application itself, we also want to talk about all the things that are important to our users and website audience. For instance, one of the things that is very important is your lead sources. The number of leads you generate, and the conversion rate for these leads, is largely dependent on the lead sources and how you target them.

You will find many articles on Lucep about targeting referrals, email marketing and other such lead sources with higher conversion rates.

Are you missing out on these valuable sources of B2B leads?

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To take this one step further, influencer marketing is one of the things that we do as a means of targeting and reaching the right leads at scale. So we bring sales experts who are influencers of our target audience (CEOs, sales managers, and other decision makers involved in sales) to talk on this blog about key aspects of your sales process such as cold calling, sales acceleration, sales tools, etc.

Now these are typically looked at as two different things – referrals and influencer marketing. But there’s also some overlap between the two. Is an existing customer who talks up your business and product on social media a referrer or an influencer? When someone who has the power to influence your customers gives you a positive mention on social media, is that a referral if this mention helps generate leads for you?

This interesting differentiation of referrals vs influencer marketing was one of the things that came up at a ‘Sales for Startups’ event recently organized by Lucep.

The video clip below shows Lucep Co-founder and Director for Marketing & Sales Zal Dastur asking a question about influencer marketing to Mangal D. Karnad, founder of PR and marketing firm FableSquare. Mangal’s answer, using three different examples from her own experience, clearly show how influencer marketing works, how you can get more referrals, and how to convert more of these referrals into customers using influencer marketing.

Zal Dastur, Lucep: One of the interesting things about what your company currently does is influencer marketing. Right now this is a relatively new sort of phenomenon, probably brought about by the Facebook, social media kind of generation. And I think, you know, when people hear this kind of thing they think – Oh, getting a cricketer or a movie star to be out there and be promoting the product. But what can startups do to to engage with these type of influencers. Is there any advice that you have for some young startups that want to do this type of marketing?

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Mangal Karnad, FableSquare: I hope to be able to do that, I hope to be able to do that. Influencer marketing, the term or the name given to this kind of marketing is new. But, I believe we have lived with influencer marketing for a long time. For example, the company where I used to work earlier, Tally Solutions, have a very famous product called as Tally. It’s an accounting solution. And Tally has been always bought, purchased, right. That is the ideal situation for any business, that there is a pull in the market. And how did that happen? My belief is also one of the factors for that, is the whole lot of CAs in the country. There’s about 60,000 CAs, Chartered Accountants, who have been recommending or referring Tally, because, at the end of the day, the CA’s work becomes easier if the client is using or the customer is using Tally, right. Because there is a seamless working possible for the two of them.

How to Get More Referrals From Existing Customers

Mangal Karnad, FableSquare: Now let’s take an example which is more closer. Tally is a big, big company, right? Now let’s look at mine and your life, or any one of our lives. I was just talking to a friend today whom I have referred to a physiotherapy center where I had gone about 5 or 6 years back. Now, I was referred to this physiotherapy centre when I had a back ache by a colleague of mine. I have referred, subsequently, the same physiotherapy center to both my kids who are football players, so you can imagine, and also to this friend of mine and to his father-in-law, right. Now from one customer or one patient who was happy and saw the value of this particular physiotherapy center and the doctor, I have referred him to 4 or at least 5 people and each one in turn, I am reasonably sure, have recommended them to others. Now what are we creating? We are creating a ripple effect or a network effect which is the most powerful mode of communication.

Now do you all use this in some way or another in our lives? When you have to buy a phone, what do we do? Most often, we go online and look for reviews, right. Now what is that? That’s the social proof a customer who is satisfied has left on the world wide web, right. There could also be negative feed back. So you are doing, anybody who today buys, makes some substantial investment, will do their own research. They could probably ask their friends or they might probably go online and check. Now a smart marketer or a smart salesperson will use all these tools. They will probably use the social media to do a little bit of research about the customer whom they are going to pitch to, or talk to the customers who are already happy and then probably get them to recommend, you create case studies, you create testimonials, videos whatever, whichever is convenient and whichever is more accessible by your target audience, and put them up there so that people can use it.

How Influencer Marketing Can Increase Sales From Referrals

Mangal Karnad, FableSquare: I always like to talk about, how, why I bought. I am an avid reader, and over the period of last couple of years, I have accumulated quite a number of books and which is a nuisance to everybody at home. And every shelf is overflowing, now it’s gone into my children’s rooms also. So recently I was browsing for a book, not recently, about 2 years ago, and my husband started yelling saying that you are buying one more book, don’t tell me, why don’t you go for Kindle?

And I am not, I am very, you know hands on, I mean somebody who likes a book in my hand. So I refused and obviously ended up in a slight fight. But as I went for a walk with my friend, with whom I go for walks every day, she asked me, what’s up? What’s wrong? So I said this is what happened. So she said, hey but you must buy Kindle, you know I am using it. I said okay. I left it at that. And then the same week I went for travel to Delhi and my boss, whom I have known for a long time, who is also a book person, carrying a Kindle and I was influenced.

So these are some things I wanted to share. How do you, no matter how good your product or service is, invariably the customer has some feedback to give you, some inconvenience or something that he has enjoyed. Take the feedback about the inconvenience to strengthen your product or your service, and take the positive feedback to spread the word.

By Zal Dastur

January 31st, 2017

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