Economic uncertainty is causing end users to look for reassurance that they are choosing the right supplier through customer references, according to market advocacy business inEvidence.
The firm’s recent Global Advocacy Survey 2009 revealed that 81 per cent of respondents expect an increase in demand for customer references, despite declining marketing budgets.
The survey targeted global marketing and customer reference professionals from large IT firms, including vendors Citrix, Dell, HP and Microsoft.
Robin Hamilton, global account director at inEvidence, said: “The rise in demand for references is no surprise.
“In times of economic uncertainty, customers are looking for reassurance that a purchase is going to do what it promises and sales need all the ammunition they can find to provide competitive advantage.”
The rise in social media was also pinpointed as a key area for change in 2009, with 68 per cent of respondents believing the improvement of technology such as blogs and social networking will change the way businesses approach customer advocacy.
Companies also indicated that they plan to invest more in this area.
Hamilton added: “Our experience with sizeable technology companies is that customer reference programmes cost less than one per cent of the value of business closed directly with reference programme assistance, even ignoring all other non-measurable business and marketing influence.
“When you add the fact that potential customers trust companies less and are demanding third-party endorsement, references are definitely no longer an optional extra.”
Watford-based Hills Components ceased trading last month and its current inventory will be auctioned off
Robots, predictive analytics and selling without a salesforce: Where the UK's leading MSPs think the market is heading
MSP bosses to share their thoughts on the future of the managed services market
Distributor on course to hit £20m revenue this year
In an interview with CRN, Wendy Mars says Cisco and its partners are no longer having to arm-twist customers on the need for digital transformation