B2B social media marketing and the niche of one

Peter Thompson is working in a really interesting book about B2B social media marketing. He’s posted the outline on his blog.

In what he describes as the “most controversial” chapter he proposes a “niche of one” model for social media campaigns to influence a single business decision maker:

creating a dossier of their online habits, to writing blog posts optimised to their personal interests and even creating targeted advertising addressed to just one person. For most companies this would be wastefully over focussed, but for B2B enterprise sales where a single sale can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, then the time taken to gently influence one person online is time well spent. This is a delicate art and the risk of spooking the prospect is so great that this chapter also covers etiquette, ethics and maintaining anonymity (when appropriate).

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In a sense, this is what every social media programme should be about – one-to-one conversations and stories that can scale. This was a theme that emerged in the Nokia social media strategy paper we published at Brilliant Noise earlier this year.

There could be a case for starting every social media programme with a clutch of programmes based around individuals and small groups and scaling from there as the programme earns attention and gets them engaged and sharing content and conversations. It Could keep the programme very focused on individuals and what they want, rather than slipping into lazy generalisations about “consumers”, “the community”.

Via Mat Morrison.  

  • http://twitter.com/PeterJThomson Peter Thomson

    Starting with a target of one is also an interesting tool for innovation. Steve Jobs, Frog Design and Ideo all shared an obsession with designing for a “meaningful specific instead of a wandering generality”. I think we’ll see more and more specific consumer profiling applied to all marketing. I only hope that it makes companies more aware of who they serve and more humble about serving them.

  • http://ryanskinner.tumblr.com Ryan Skinner

    Love it. Years ago, when I was working with big energy companies, I had the same idea but for offline. For example, if you’re a oil services company wanting a big energy company’s business, you give a ridiculous sum to the big company’s boss’s neighbor to talk up the company at a number of “accidental” meetings. You buzz his house with a blimp. Hijack his radio signals. Humorous, but – in the end – kinda creepy.