A new report from Gigaom Research on digital acquisition highlights referral marketing as a “digital marketing dark horse,” saying that “brands that invest in referral can gain a competitive advantage over those which are investing elsewhere.” The segment of marketers using referral marketing find it a top-three tactic for both customer acquisition and conversion — and close to half of the marketers who use it acquire more than 35% of their new customers with it.
“If you are not spending on referral marketing, you’re making a mistake,” the report concludes.
Based on a survey of 300 U.S. digital marketers across industries and company sizes, the report reveals the tactics marketers are using and how they’re spending to see results across the funnel, from awareness to acquisition to conversion to retention. Respondents rated acquisition as the most important of the four priorities, with 57% calling acquisition extremely important. Marketers are spending: nearly 60% of companies said they are going to increase their digital marketing spend. Only 4% said they will reduce it.
The survey shows marketers draw on a variety of digital tactics regularly, topped by email marketing, then by social media marketing, SEO, and content marketing. Drilling into specific funnel areas:
- Email is the digital workhorse. Marketers say it’s particularly effective for retention.
- Social media is best used for branding and retention but marketers may be buying it largely on faith. Over half of marketers said, “It is difficult to prove ROI for social media marketing.”
- Almost a third of marketers who use referral marketing say it drives over half their customer acqusition.
- Content marketing shines most brightly for awareness and retention.
Want to find out more about how digital marketers are meeting their needs today? Download the complete report now for free.
*This survey was conducted by Gigaom and underwritten by Extole.