By Nancy Price
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association reports that every day in the United States, there are about 2.4 billion brand-related conversations. People frequently talk about the products and services they enjoy, and the companies who offer them. In addition, 92 percent of consumers trust referrals from people they know.
Deb Walton of Southport, owner of Indy City Gifts, has created a program inspired by these statistics to help Hoosier companies connect with their customers in a more personal way. “The shift in my business model as just a gift basket store to a referral gift program is due to companies needing to incorporate more one-to-one relationships with their customers instead of the traditional one-to-many approach,” she said. “Only Indiana is a program where companies can put customer “thank yous” into auto pilot so that they always ensure they thank their clients while letting them know what they support as a company, and as part of the Indiana community.
“Small businesses need to ensure they stay at the top of their clients’ minds and provide a great service or product. Sometimes the gift is so impersonal, cookie cutter and does not separate your company from the pack. We all have boxes of company logo mugs, pens, chip clips, etc. I know most people just throw these away. I knew there was a better way. It’s more important than ever to make an emotional connection with your client. You need to ensure they know, like and above all, trust you. When this happens, your customer becomes your best marketing asset.”
Only Indiana has developed a referral marketing program to touch each level. First, Only Indiana writes the company’s story: the customers are told about why the company started their business, how they started and what the company does to give back. An Indiana artisan gourmet gift box is added, along with the story of the artisans and how they give back to their home state.
“To top it all off, we beautifully package it all up in an Only Indiana scenic box to drive home the point,” Walton said. “There’s no better way to tell your customers they matter, they are a part of your family and that you are all in for Indiana.”
Only Indiana has developed a simple subscription service, starting at $500 a month. Subscription terms are three, six, nine and 12 months.
For more information, go to onlyindiana.com.