Growth Hacking

Applying smart marketing tactics to B2B prospect lists

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.”

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.

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.

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:

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.

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”.


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 ) 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.

On Networks and Individuals – a vital shift for the corporate mindset

One of the most forward-thinking actions a large entity can take in 2013 is designing programs through which small and medium sized entities may become affiliates. To say this again: see your prospect list as a list of networks, NOT as a list of individuals. And begin now to study these networks, to segment the individuals within these networks and to devise scripts, business plans and strategic alliances with each and every one (where it makes sense).

Seeing individuals as networks is perhaps the most important mind change for the C-Suite. In a world of social networks and social business, such a leap is how large corporations will stay alive. As Peter Economides, a leading market strategist, has said, “Mass is the aberration, one-to-one is the convention.” We have to get back to the mindset of the neighborhood shop, the hyper-local one-to-one way of business. This is how economies will flourish again, and why large businesses should begin to invest cash into lucrative local pools of affiliates.

When a corporation receives access to social networks through its staff, when the C-Suite is introduced into these networks, the initial questions have to do with practical application. An employee seeking to demonstrate the practical application of social business need only pick up the old rolodex on the desk of his/her CEO. That rolodex, that little black book, IS the central symbol for clueing the C-Suite into the practical application of social networks. And the entity that started in 2007 to build online rolodexes, to segment these into lists of prospects, future employees, affiliates, vendors, and competitors, has already streaked out ahead of the entity just entering social networks.

Eleftherios Hatziioannou, Principal at Peopleizers, captures the dilemma for corporate leaders: “Marketers and the organizations behind them need to stop thinking in quantitative metrics only and add some deeper/relationship-based success factors to their strategies. However, these are more difficult to scale, because it takes one relationship at a time. This puts many businesses off. They think: How am I supposed to answer every single question out there? Isn’t it more efficient to just keep interrupting people with our messages the way we did in the past decades?”

Corporations wishing to succeed in social networks will have to divert a percentage of advertising & media spending towards a new “Relationship Marketing” Department, populated with customer-service minded folks — the mindset in this department ought to be more like the real estate agent vs. the call center “cold caller” who has to get through a specific number of calls before lunch. In this new Relationship Marketing Department, it’s about quality contacts and quality networks derived from research followed up with highly customized customer-service flavored sales — solutions-oriented sales leading to a long-term relationship.

The Relationship between Marketing Communications and Sales

The Ideal:

The key to long term success is to have Imagination, Persistence, Compassion.

Fostering a deep, real and fruitful conversation between marketing communications AND sales is one of the most important tasks for senior managers nowadays. The marketing department is working with product development on a lovely garden. And sales is out there hunting, hunting, hunting to bring “eaters” to the garden. Market researchers see who the potential “eaters” are from a distance and, ideally, marcoms aids sales with extremely accurate messaging to lure the “eaters” into a rich and beautiful experience.

Joan Damico writes, “Marcom (Marketing communications) tends to operate from a longer term visionary / brand perspective. This often leads to a content clash with sales, which must meet monthly and quarterly revenue targets. There’s opportunity for marcom and sales to reach a happy medium between content that is visionary, such as thought leadership, and tactical content that is more immediately useable, such as ROI calculators and product comparisons.” (SOURCE:

Damico’s excellent observation pinpoints the need for accuracy within the marcoms-sales relationship. Ideally, the two silos come to an understanding and are able to work together. The process of market research, content development and “message tweaking” can seem endless to the Sales silo. Salespeople want it “right now”. This is why it is wise of senior managers to start specific marketing programs six-twelve months PRIOR to attached sales initiatives. In fact, a deep market audit can inform a far more accurate sales process and marcoms can provide the sales teams with incredibly accurate and effective messaging due to the research. Likewise, sales can communicate their on-the-ground experience with customers to marcoms. That’s a very rich conversation and planning approach!

Seth Godin writes, “Valuable marketing campaigns are the result of time and user experience, not media and more media. Social media is a marathon, a gradual process in which you build a reputation. The best time to start was a while ago. The second best time to start is today. But turning it up to 11 isn’t going to get you there faster.” (SOURCE:

When a marcoms team has been given a realistic lead time, their contribution to the sales silo will be very valuable. More managers have to realize the differing pace of marcoms and sales. And need to plan accordingly.

Growth Hacking Lessons: A list of links related to measuring viral loops, customer retention, engagement, and lifetime value

“Growth hacking is acquiring, retaining, and monetizing users more effectively. A growth hacker is an individual who can, from end-to-end, collect data, ideate, plan, execute, and deploy the necessary tactics and strategies to hit goals.” ~Matt Humphrey

On Growth Hacking:

How to Measure Viral Loops (and, more interestingly, predict how people will travel through time to outcomes):

How to Measure Customer Retention (and, more interestingly, grow your seduction abilities):

How to Measure Engagement:

How to Measure Expected User LTV: