CONTEXT & PROBLEM:
Recently, I sold a list of 500 prospects to a mid-sized trading company based in Europe. The executives at the trading company were puzzled by the individuals I had selected from our internal data set of roughly 65,000 GCC-based business people. Expecting lower income-level individuals, the executives at first reacted with dismay, as though possibility and opportunity would be limited.
My email in response to the executives was simple:
“Yes, in my experience, forming relationships with such individuals is extremely lucrative. I am happy to show you what I mean. Typically, the traders you refer to are temporary quick revenue at a small level, whereas relationship marketing and content marketing aimed at peers results in much higher, long term revenue. Again, I am happy to send you very specific, step-by-step methods for doing this type of marketing.”
CONCEPT RELATED TO THE PROBLEM:
The concept of B2B relationship marketing to peers within one’s own industry remains foreign to numerous executives. The notion of collaboration in B2B settings, even with one’s previous top competitors is very difficult to unpack in more conventional settings. But today, this is where the real value and wealth of networks resides. The Network Archetype is critical to understand here.
HISTORY OF THE NETWORK ARCHETYPE:
Although networking seems like a modern action linked to career growth in the media age, its roots go back to the ancient world. Networkers expand influence by forging alliances and making connections among vastly different groups of people, and can be traced back to the intrigues of the Middle Ages, Greece, Rome, and ancient China. Networking would also have been an integral part of any military alliance as well as all social and clan confederations in prehistory. In its positive aspect, this archetype helps one develop social flexibility and empathy. This flexibility and empathy enables the archetype to find commonality with others who might not at first seem to be potential friends or allies.
SOLUTION FOR THE EXECUTIVES:
The executives referred to above asked me to send the proposed strategies and tactics, along with email/phone scripts and actual examples of how I had effectively run B2B marketing campaigns. Below are the exact steps I sent to the executives:
METHODOLOGY – STEP 1 – THE PRIMARY PROSPECT:
1. We discovered his (the Primary Prospect’s) social links through our social business intelligence tools.
2. We discovered his contact info by exploring the WHOIS database (using his registered URLs).
3. We listened to him and researched the companies he helped start.
4. We studied his resume at LinkedIn.
5. We studied his personal life at Facebook.
6. We studied his specific interests on Twitter.
7. We condensed our findings into a singular goal – a strategy weaving his goals and our goals
into a collaboration.
8. We wrote a personalized, targeted email that can be sent to the prospect.
METHODOLOGY – STEP 2 – THE PRIMARY PROSPECT’S NETWORK:
1. We downloaded every one of his followers using Simply Measured Pro or SocialBro Pro level account.
2. We sorted these followers in Excel by “Listed”, by “Klout Score” or “Kred Score“, and by “Time Zone”.
3. We Filtered these followers’ bios with specific keywords to narrow the scope.
4. We discovered more of these followers’ social links via Klout and FlipTop.
5. We discovered common keywords amongst these followers and researched other influencers surrounding
those keywords within Brandwatch. In this way, we built series of segmented leads lists based upon interest.
6. We then spent significant time listening to the current and ongoing conversations PLUS we studied the conversations in the past. We also made intelligent guesses about conversations from the Future via Recorded Future.
7. We created tweets to “test” the different lists via non-branded Twitter accounts, to see what types of content gains momentum and “purchase”.
8. We created every form of content at the Content Grid 2 to “test” the different lists via numerous communication channels, to see what types of content gains momentum and “purchase”.
SPECIFIC CAMPAIGN IDEAS BASED UPON THIS METHODOLOGY (crafted for the CURRENCY TRADING industry):
1. LINKEDIN COMPANY PAGE – MAKE IT A COMMUNITY (PRO CONNECTIONS): We would like to build out THE COMPANY LinkedIn company page. The idea is to target your updates, services and products on LinkedIn to specific market segments (decide on this from looking at the included spreadsheet of “Types”). We want to craft a message and a presence specific to agreed-upon audiences (“Types). If someone comes to your Company Page from the financial, legal, medical or marketing industry, we can customize the message to speak directly to him or her. We would need to set up a specific type of LinkedIn account to do this. Not only that, but we can create “click-through” banners at your LinkedIn page to entice the chosen target markets over to your website, sales page, commerce site or other social media sites. The goals is to make the COMPANY LinkedIn company page THE most interesting page about forex in LinkedIn. Bulk it out. Follow prospects in LinkedIn. Post regularly in LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a growing and HOT network. Be in the industry groups in LinkedIn and in the conversations in those groups. Start new groups around specific topics and invite prospects with large networks into those groups.
2. BECOME THE WIKIPEDIA OF FOREX & TRADING (EDUCATIONAL APPROACH): Let’s make you guys THE Wikipedia of the forex and trading Industry. When people feel a website is a true “go-to source” for information and answers, they’ll keep coming back—again and again and again. Think: BabyPips, TradingFloor, DailyFX. Become a true teacher (Wikipedia) within the forex industry. The golden rule of marketing is this: They ask, you answer. In other words, if a consumer has ever asked a question about forex, you should be answering it on the COMPANY website. And considering most industries have literally thousands of potential consumer questions, content should always be growing, evolving and added to. MahiFX is doing this very well on Quora, for example.
3. IN-THE-FLESH (PROSPECTING IN PERSON): Identify people in THE COMPANY to become “champions” around specific topics. Then assign them the task to spend 12 months simply meeting up with industry influencers in person. Some of the strongest online connections and relationships have developed because such “champions” took the time to connect in person. Either by organizing a “meetup” or “Tweetup” with a group, going to a conference (such as the recent http://ifxexpo.com/ ) where they knew the people they wanted to meet would be or even just connecting one-on-one through Skype. We highly recommend taking some of these online connections offline to make a deeper connection. As an example, the SVP of a leading social media monitoring solution personally emailed me when he was in NYC and asked to meet up, simply to shake hands and show what his company was doing. I started using his solution regularly after that. Be the first forex entity to actually meet its customers and prospects in person regularly and make the social marketing department a leader in this “in-the-flesh” personal revolution.
4. LIKE & FOLLOW YOUR CUSTOMERS AND PROSPECTS (SOCIAL MARKETING APPROACH): Instead of asking our consumers to like COMPANY on Facebook or to follow us on Twitter/LinkedIn, why don’t we start liking/following them? Most brands use Facebook as an extension of their traditional and mass-marketing initiatives. But what about following/liking and getting to know your customers/prospects personally. The social media department is the “human” side of the business and not just a reactive PR silo. Go out and forge relationship by following/liking/subscribing to your prospects. Then start answering their questions and participating in their discussions.
5. SPEND ON HOUR A DAY SIMPLY LISTENING (ON-GOING BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE WORK): Spend one hour every day simply listening to your customers/prospects AND these prospects will empower your business with knowledge about what your markets really want. Use BrandWatch to do this — it is THE best social media-monitoring tool. Also look into SocialBro, an up and coming Twitter service for discovering specific communities and individuals. This is crucial for your business to grow and achieve high customer satisfaction. Customers like businesses that listen and respond to them. Sun Chips, for example, returned to their old packaging after customers complained widely on the Internet that the new biodegradable packaging was too noisy. Be THE forex entity that is tapped into the latest trends in conversation AND THEN lead those conversations.