Blogs, Referrals, & Vegas

I’m sitting at my desk writing my latest rant and avoiding the stack of paper work that I need to do. First, thank you for your constant avid enthralled readership. As you can see by the title of this Rant, it’s going to be a weird one, but as many of you know that’s the way my mind operates.

Last weekend, I went out to Vegas, for what some of you may believe is my 42nd time this year. And like everywhere else I go or visit, I’m always looking at the way things are marketed, and how technology influences our daily lives.

I booked my trip online, changed my assigned seat online (no way do I want the middle seat, I like the aisle seat, see Diet Coke ref.), and printed my boarding pass online. I successfully avoided all human contact with US Airways personnel until I had to board the plane; with a sigh I grunted a “hello” since I couldn’t text the flight attendant hello.

Anyways, now on to the power of a referral! As business owners/marketers, we all covet the referral, the power of the word-of-mouth referral-the cheapest and best form of marketing (although, I think pay-per-click advertising is getting close). So I ask you my loyal readers, what do you do to garner referrals?

Here’s how the word-of-mouth referral system works in Vegas: Money! Yes, I know, shocking! Here’s the great system they’ve set up. Taxi drivers! Taxi-drivers are the best word-of-mouth advertising ever (but just not the most honest). Enter your average tourist couple to Las Vegas, we’ll call them Andy and Ellen. Andy and Ellen exit the airport and enter a cab. On the ride to the hotel:

Andy asks, “Where’s the best place to eat in the city?” Cabbie says “Oh I’ll tell you a hidden secret café called Chez Thomas, but there is a real long wait there, so take my business card and hand it to the hostess and she’ll get you a table ASAP!”
Ellen asks, “Oh thank you, what about nightclubs?”

Cabbie says, “Best place to go is Kevin’s Club, here’s a couple of free VIP passes”

They arrive at the hotel and Andy gives him $10 tip for the good service. The cabbie smiles and pulls away, and will later swing by the restaurant and club to pick up his referral fee.

Now, I’m not saying to start bribing people to give you referrals or to start a marketing campaign based on bribery… probably not a good business plan for the Midwest. But what are you doing to actively gain a referral or to develop a referral campaign? Send me your ideas and I’ll feature it in a future blog.

Oh yeah, forward this blog on to someone, and if they sign up…well you get the idea.

And thats my rant for the day,

Ryan

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