If you own a business or work in marketing you probably struggle with getting the best bang-for-your-buck when you're trying to get your name out there. You probably even struggle with this on a personal level if you're trying to get a promotion or a new job.
You always have to be thinking about what you can do to generate word-of-mouth for your business. It is the cheapest and most cost effective form of marketing that exists today.
When people talk about you or your business to their friends, you not only have a sales force working for you and your business, but the people your customers are talking to usually value the person they hear it from, and trust their judgment.
You immediately jump to top-of-mind positioning with your future customers, for very little cost. If you want to pay for referrals or generate more buzz, then do so. But don't just offer money. Develop something creative to get people talking. I friend of mine sells insurance and offer a monthly and yearly drawing for big prizes. You are automatically entered to win a flat screen TV at the end of the year each time you refer someone to him. That would get me talking.