Ben Dixon serves as NaXum’s CEO, serving dozens of referral marketing companies inside the direct selling space with software, apps, and platforms to thrive in the clients niche.
Each year Ben compiles a list of the top trends the team has seen in the space and shares with the Direct Selling Executives Forum. To download a full copy of the 2022 Direct Selling Trends Report, download the report here.
#1 Rise Of Predictive Platforms
With COVID-19 continuing to change the way business is done across the globe, Referral Marketing businesses everywhere are faced with how best to support their members when the majority are no longer leaving home like they used to.
Creating platforms that ‘feel like’ a top leader sitting next to the newest person on the team:
We have seen incredible innovation in 2020 and 2021 that has pushed companies to look deeply at the experience they are offering their members. With members no longer attending live events weekly and getting out to meet people in regular day-to-day life, companies have been forced to put platforms together that ‘feel like’ a top leader sitting next to the newest person on the team, suggesting what to do next.
Whether modeling how to connect with a friend and invite them to your website via text message, or giving your member a compliant selling system for engaging new contacts on social media, predictive apps and marketing systems have become a critical cornerstone of every company’s strategy.
Predictive platforms engage every new team member with the daily habits and little things they need to do that compound daily into building a real business. Because massive amounts of members are actually adopting predictive platforms, the companies who have deployed predictive technology are receiving data they have never had before.
The insights from the success and failure of the predictive content become the guiding light to a companies’ content strategy moving forward.
#2 A Cause Bigger Than Yourself
In our last report, we highlighted the trend of tastefully tying causes to your direct sales company as a must to ‘Engage for Good’. Causes continue to be catalysts for viral participation and enhancing the story of direct selling companies across the globe.
Companies today are tying causes into the experience of being a member in UNIQUE ways:
Some are rewarding their members with points for taking the simple daily actions of watching training videos, prospecting, and sharing on social media and allowing members to cash in their ‘points’ for gifts that go to causes they care deeply about. Imagine the reward of telling your field that regardless of the sales they make, if they do the work to share your company, you will support the causes they care about!
Others are tying causes to loyalty by giving gifts to foundations every time a customer purchases or at different benchmarks of the lifetime of a retail customer’s subscription.
#3 Customer + Loyalty Rewards Programs
Compensation plans are no longer only for the members promoting as a direct seller. Startup direct selling companies and relaunches are consistently deploying customer rewards programs as a regular part of the company’s culture.
Popular Rewards Programs:
– Receive your subscription at no cost when you refer 3 (in some cases 2) friends who also purchase a subscription of the same value or higher.
– Enter the lottery for a guaranteed reward for sharing your product experience story with a #hashtag on social media.
– Subscribe for 3x months in a row and receive a reward. Tiered rewards for 3 months subscribed, 6 months subscribed, 12 months subscribed, and more.
#4 Pricing Trends
The old paradigm of giving your members as promoters the ‘best price’ on the product instead of the retail customer is dying. Companies everywhere are setting up pricing structures that remove ANY incentive for a regular consumer to want to become a promoter only on the basis of getting a ‘better price’ for the product.
The New Golden Rule:
The trend we are seeing across the board is allowing the retail customer to have access to the same ‘best price’ that a promoter would have. Companies may have retail prices for one-time purchases, discounted subscription prices for retail customers subscribing, and even further discounted prices that loyal retail customers can achieve based on specific rules. Across the board, companies are moving away from creating any incentive that would move a person to want to become a promoter just to get a discounted price on products.
We also see companies continuing to charge administrative fees to the promoters to recover costs of platforms that support the promoter experience and clearly differentiate who is a retail customer versus a promoter. There is a trend favoring annual admin fees for promoters over monthly fees at this time.
#5 Compensation Trends
Compensation trends are moving beyond rewarding sales to rewards-specific behaviors that lead to sales. Weekly contests to give bonuses to the top 10 sales people that had the most prospects attend the webinar, rewards for members with the longest daily streaks of winning their daily goals, and rewards for members who complete ‘micro-actions’ that contribute to your culture.
Paying The One Who Does The Work
Regardless of the price the retail customer pays for a product, you’ll see a trend where direct compensation is being made to the actual promoter who did the work in direct sales, MLM, and party plan compensation plan.
Older commission plans at times ‘cut out’ the retail commissions (that were meant to pay the person doing the work) when a retail customer chose subscription pricing. This trend is going away as companies work to incentivize promoters to focus on retail customers who subscribe to services.
#6 Data Trends
Insight tools are changing the way companies plan, iterate, and execute throughout the year.
Deploying Platforms To Maximize Leading Indicators:
For decades, many direct sales companies have been stuck in the predicament of needing to plan, iterate, and execute on programs while only having transactional historical data to base their decisions on. This means that it may take 90 days to know if your programs or changes are having any effect at all.
Companies today are deploying predictive platforms that track the text messages, social media posts, and calls the members make to get daily data faster on the response the marketplace is having to specific content and initiatives. The insights predictive platforms bring to the table become the guiding light to monthly, weekly, and even daily decision-making.
Which posts are your members willing to make on social media? And out of the posts they are willing to make, which posts actually get their friends to your shopping cart?
What hook is the best text message to send to your friends in Spanish to start a conversation about your product?
Which training videos are the promoters actually finishing in onboarding?
What is the best way to handle objections that come in from prospects?
All these questions can now be asked, tracked, and reported on.
Ben Dixon loves referral marketing. His family found direct sales back in 2006 and had success using technology to create home-based businesses. Since 2010, Ben has focused on serving referral marketing, party plan, mlm, and direct sales companies across the globe with the technology they require to empower their passionate fans to virally grow their businesses.
To see episodes from the direct selling executives forum, visit the youtube channel.
To request a tour of the NaXum platform, visit Naxum.com