When it comes to generating business and bringing in new clients, a company’s best advertising tool may be its current customer roster. Ninety-two percent of consumers in a 2012 survey by Nielsen said they trust “earned media” — like word-of-mouth referrals and recommendations from friends — above other forms of paid advertising. That’s an 18% increase since 2007.
At b2be Sports & Wellness, a high-end fitness studio in Chula Vista, California, Emmanuel Corona is looking to capitalize on this trend. The marketing executive has re-designed the way his company’s loyalty program operates, and partnered with Perkville to reward customers for referring their friends. “Most of our new clients come from word-of-mouth and from referrals,” said Corona.
These platforms also produce a measurable ROI. Corona doesn’t have to wonder whether the benefits of his efforts outweigh the cost (a concern he’s had when running media ads in the past) because Perkville puts the data right in front of him. At any point, Corona can see how many new referrals have come in through clients in the Perkville program, and he can compare the amount those new members are paying in monthly gym fees to the amount he’s paying in monthly fees to Perkville.