Living Stone blog 3

 

 

All Posts

What is reference marketing and when do you need it?

For certain types of consumer products or services, brand ambassadors play a key role in spreading the word.Companies that sell products like vodka, headphones or makeup, or organizations promoting events build buzz with brand ambassadors who interact with selected demographic groups. To succeed, these ambassadors must be credible, authentic and trusted by their audiences.When it comes to B2B marketing, the goals are similar – building awareness and credibility, moving to relationships and sales – but a stylish spokesperson alone can’t do the job. Because most B2B products are complex – and often represent a big budget commitment for purchasers – their stories must be told with much more detail.

Customer reference marketing is the art of telling these stories in a dynamic, compelling way, showcasing one customer’s experience with your product. This helps other prospects and customers learn more about your product, and the capabilities and benefits it provides. The customer you choose to showcase is in effect your brand ambassador.

Telling a B2B story is a lot more complex, though, than recommending a flavor of bourbon or a nightclub. But when it’s done right, it’s one of the most powerful ways to build awareness and sales.
Some organizations manage large reference programs, producing dozens of reference cases per year, in multiple languages. Reference programs can also be quite small – just one or two reference stories per year can be very effective.

We will expand on this topic in a series of articles on customer reference marketing. Watch this space for information on how to launch a customer reference program, how to maintain one, how to select customers to profile, and lots more.

Want to see a customer reference case in action? Read about Storeganizer here, and the launch of its innovative, flexible solution for warehouse storage. Storeganizer’s small management team recognized a need for marketing strategy and support, so they looked for a marketing partner to give the launch the lift-off it required.
The results: 18 qualified leads in 17 days. Now that’s a compelling story! 

 

whitepaper winning customer reference program

Anne-Mie Vansteelant
Anne-Mie Vansteelant
COO | Managing Partner at Living Stone

Related Posts

Your customer in lockdown has never been so close

In-person meetings are an integral part of the face-to-face sales process in many B2B environments, but they’re not really possible in these lockdown times. As a result, sales and marketing professionals have had to find ways to gain the attention of their prospects and customers from a distance. At Living Stone, we’ve put our focus on digital go2market strategies to help our clients stay close to their customers and target audiences.

Maximize the value of your webinars with a webinar hub

Even before COVID, webinars were a key tool for marketers. And for good reason: according to a study conducted by GoToWebinar, 73% of B2B marketers and sales leaders believe that webinars are one of the best options available to generate high-quality leads.i Now, due to the pandemic, the use of webinars has skyrocketed, with organizations using them for everything from new product launches to professional education. At the same time, people are realizing that webinars offer a lot of benefits – mostly relating to time and cost savings – that will continue to resonate, even after the coronavirus abates.

Build trust and authenticity in B2B marketing with user-generated content

We know that peer recommendations are vitally important in B2B. Customer testimonials, use cases and references are a key part of the sales process. But there are lots of ways to expand on the power of peer recommendations, and boost trust and relationships, with user-generated content for B2B.