Think you need to incentivize your customers to recommend you? Think again!

By leveraging Zuberance...

  • Chili’s identified a brand army of nearly 1 million strong who published 50,000 reviews on Yelp and shared 320,000 offers on Facebook, Twitter, and email.
  • Each Advocate of Blurb (a print-on-demand publishing service) that recommend the company, brought in 1.6 new customers.
  • 30% of Intuit’s Advocates have written reviews and shared offers with their social networks.

When I tell people what Zuberance is all about and the results we’ve seen from companies energizing their Advocates, here's most common response I get (from marketers and non-marketers alike): “So how exactly do you incentivize people to make these recommendations?”

The answer is simple: We don’t! (As explained by Zuberance Founder/CEO, Rob Fuggetta, here)

The last time you went to an exceptional restaurant, you probably went to work on Monday and raved about the best steak you’d ever had to your colleagues. What did that restaurant give you for the recommendation? What about the smart phone you suggested to your cousin or the bottle of wine you recommended for your sister-in-law? How much did those companies pay you?

So what motivates a recommendation? Take a look:

Recommending brands and products is not a selfish action. However, if you encourage your customers to talk about you by leveraging a selfish motive (such as referral programs), it taints the recommendation. This makes your customer look bad because he’s trying to score some cash or reward points at their friend’s expense; and it makes you, as a brand, look bad because it’s basically telling your customers, “Look, since our product isn’t worth talking about genuinely, how about I give you some rewards points to do it and we’ll call it even.”

Keep recommendations for your brand authentic by going above and beyond to please your customers (becoming “customer-obsessed” as Josh Bernoff put it in a recent Forrester report.) Then, you won’t have to worry about paying or incentivizing your customers to talk about you. Because let's be real, that’s just lame anyway.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

VIDEO: The Marketing Power of Brand Advocates

We recently created this 3 minute video to highlight the marketing power of your best customers (AKA Brand Advocates)- who they are and what they will do for you- without being paid to do so. Check it out:

Some key stats:

  • The #1 motivation for Advocates to recommend is to help others
  • There are 3.5 billion brand-related Word of Mouth conversations each day.
  • 92% of people trust their friends. Only 14% trust marketers.
  • Each time an Advocate recommends on the social web, it reaches 150 people.
  • For the price of one Super Bowl ad, an advertiser could have funded a Word of Mouth marketing program for 20years

Video produced by Kristina Hontalas.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

New Chili's Case Study on Most Successful Advocacy Program to Date

Chili's Grill & Bar has the largest and most successful brand advocacy program to date. They are tapping into the authentic enthusiasm of their best customers, mobilizing them to spread positive Word of Mouth and drive sales. Once identified, Chili's Advocates willingly created reviews, rated Chili's restaurants, and shared offers without any incentive. Chili's Advocate channel has proved to be a highly cost-effective marketing force; one that continues to grow and can be leveraged in multiple ways over time to drive sales. Download the Case Study to learn how Chili's:

  • Identified their Advocates through multiple channels
  • Mobilized Advocates to create reviews and publish to them Yelp
  • Energized Advocates to share offers with their social networks
  • Generated millions of influence impressions via the Advocate channel

Read the Word of Mouth and Brand Advocacy case study now!