There are times in life when the most simple and obvious option is the most effective – and this maxim certainly rings true when it comes to B2B marketing.

For all the effectiveness of expensive, carefully thought out and detailed marketing strategies, sometimes just simple word-of-mouth referrals can be equally successful and not to mention, cost-effective, as this method is 100 per cent free.

Providing excellent service and maintaining quality relationships with clients on your B2B mailing lists is a good way to improve your image in the eyes of people you are doing business with, and increases the likelihood that they will extol your virtues to their associates.

Don’t forget, however, that referrals resulting in profitable sales leads should always be well rewarded to encourage more word-of-mouth recommendations.

As marketing guru Rohit Bhargava advises on his Influential Marketing blog, providing significant rewards for referrals such as gift vouchers will make clients more inclined to share referral links “far and wide with others”.

Mr Bhargava, who is senior vice-president of strategy and marketing at Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence, also urges companies to promote their products and services using top-quality editorial content.