What is referral marketing?

Do you know someone who knows someone?


Like content marketing, referral marketing – also known as recommendation marketing or reputation marketing – is not a truly new invention. If you used to ask your neighbour, colleagues, family or regular table for a recommendation for a product or service, you turn to the swarm knowledge on the Internet in our modern world.

Today, however, the reach of the ratings submitted there is much higher than the recommendation of the best friend of that time. Thus, one has the opportunity to experience the assessment of many other, foreign people with the same need. And in return, he can share his own experiences with a wide audience. This is invaluable for the purchase decision and a powerful tool in marketing.

Applicant marketing, the so-called employer branding, depicts the “other” side of recommendation marketing, but goes hand in hand with it and is also an important cornerstone in the marketing strategy. But more on that point. Here kununu and glasdoor are particularly highlighted as an application platform.


What is the benefit of referral marketing for my company?

A big one. And in several ways.

  1. Good reviews create trust.
  2. Appropriate criticism gives the company the opportunity to meet its customers on an equal footing.
  3. Each evaluation is a way to get in touch with the customer and improve processes/products.
  4. Ratings can be wonderfully integrated into the company’s content marketing strategy.
  5. Your company is talked about anyway. So be there to take a stand.

However, it is important to never react emotionally or inappropriately to criticism or disgruntled customers, but rather objectively and substantiatedly and with the indication that one is seriously working on an improvement. But don’t forget! Praise words also need feedback. A short thank you is the least that a customer deserves that speaks positively about you. After all, he has invested the time to evaluate you.


Concern about unjustified criticism

A personal argument, an unfair customer, an unloved market companion or simply a dose of malice: there are many reasons for unjustified criticism.

In everyday work, you can see again and again that google suddenly tears down outliers among numerous 5-star reviews, usually without or only with a short comment.

Yes, that’s not nice. No, this is not the end of the world. And certainly no reason to turn off the Google ratings, which are managed via the Google Business platform and are particularly prominently positioned in the search results! Quite the contrary!

So what to do?

Take the wind out of the sails of unjustified criticism in reviews! Was the author of the criticism really your customer? Did everything happen as he describes it? If he only gives a 1-star rating without comment, ask specifically! If it’s a massive attack on your corporate reputation, there’s still the ability to write to Google and intervene.




How to get good reviews?

Quite simply by being good ;). Fun aside. Of course, you can only get positive feedback if customers are satisfied. Therefore, do not complain and actively ask your customers to give their opinion about your company, product or service. Not penetrative, but clear. By stand, in the flyer, as a binder in the e-mail or in your cover letter. Satisfied customers are happy to comply with the request, especially if you take the time and respond to the positive feedback.

Don’t forget to include the reviews of the most popular platforms on your own website, so that prospects can get a direct impression of how customers rate your performance. You should also make it easy for your customers to express their opinion by implementing appropriate buttons to the platforms on your site.

Conclusion: More chance than risk

Trust your company and its services and face the feedback of your customers! Praise from satisfied clients will spur you and your team. Encourage justified criticism to get even better!


Some rating platforms at a glance


Trusted Shops Spain/Trusted Shops Germany

Google My Business

Amazon Customer Ratings

Opiniones verficadas






This is just a small excerpt. Supplements are welcome and will be inserted here!

Would you like to learn more about referral marketing? Write us!