Even in the era of digital marketing services, many companies operate under the old fashioned belief that referrals are pretty much all they need to promote their business. We certainly agree that there is still a place for traditional word of mouth as part of any marketing mix, but over-reliance on referrals is very limiting, especially in this day and age.
If there is one word we most associate with over-reliance on referrals, it is complacency. In our area of specialisation as digital marketers, we see examples of this all the time. They might include:
- A poorly designed website that resembles a relic from the late 90s.
- No call to action on any of the website’s pages.
- A site that takes too long to load.
- Sites that are not mobile-friendly.
- No social media presence.
- A social media presence but no engagement with prospective clients.
In our experience, these are all symptoms of a business that is too content to rest on its laurels and wait for the referrals to roll on in. However, this approach ignores the fact that the way we shop, and the way we market ourselves, is now very different. In a digital marketplace, what will generate positive feedback is the online experience that a business delivers to its potential customers. Companies that fail to acknowledge this new reality and keep faith in old fashioned methods that worked in the past are skating on thin ice. They can’t see how digital marketing will generate new business and help them control the conversation. In the 21st century, that lack of awareness is concerning. It consigns them to “also ran” status especially against competing businesses that have taken the initiative and invested in professional digital marketing services.
As we’ve already said, referrals are great. Until they dry up. By incorporating them into a comprehensive online marketing strategy, you’re not relying on one thing alone to promote your business and increase conversions. What will get people talking about you these days is a fantastic online presence. The better it is, the more referrals you’ll generate anyway – but you’ll be in charge of the process, instead of depending on others. That’s why it’s time to put any complacency aside and accept that the new way people will hear about you is largely online. Get in touch with us and we’ll ensure you’re heard clearly.