1:1 Social Advertising in B2B Marketing

1:1 Social Advertising in B2B MarketingImagine a world where B2B Marketers could target specific decision makers in specific companies using Social Media ads. Think that sounds like the future years from now?

Think again – it happened to me last week! Read on …

Last week the clever folks at G.1440 targeted me with a personal ad on Facebook that was aimed at just one person – ME. Think about it – its totally possible to take some public attributes from someone’s Facebook profile and create a Facebook ad campaign (shameless plug – I am in the middle of writing my 3rd book – Facebook Advertising for Dummies – due out this fall by Wiley – which is why this is so exciting to me!)

Tim Kassouf the Director of Marketing at G.1440 wanted to get in front of me to tell me about his interactive firm. As an experiment he had tried targeting his girlfriend (now fiance!) with a Facebook ad just for her and it worked. Now he turned this idea on his B2B prospect list (which included me) and with a few clicks he was able to target me precisely. By choosing 5 publicly available attributes: US, Male, Married, Avaya and Grateful Dead (ok maybe I saw a few Grateful Dead shows) he was able to send an ad to an audience of “approximately less than 20”. His rationale – “if I don’t hit Paul I will get someone in his organization that will know him and forward it to him.” But he didn’t have to – he targeted me perfectly with an ad as unique as my fingerprint.

Its interesting to note that the ad first appeared with my profile picture and I totally missed it – so he changed it to a more obscure photo of me in my home in Greenwich CT and I was immediately drawn to it and clicked through to the personalized landing page explaining what his firm offered (and about this experiment)

So how much did this targeted advertising cost you say $100, $200, $1000?? Try $1.94 – he set up the ad to be CPC with a $10 cost per click and within a few days I was dialoging with him and setting up a time to talk.

Think of the possibilities here – a good friend of mine Mark Wilson from Sybase targets decision makers with what he called Provocative Marketing – this would make a perfect adjunct to that program where you could target a whole bunch of decision makers with personalized messages. Also think about the possibilities for Recruiting as well!

This is the kind of innovative techniques marketers and agencies will need to be honing over the next few years. They took a sound marketing idea (targeting prospects) with a unique concept (1:1 Facebook Ads) combined with data (from my Facebook profile) and created a conversation that was hard to ignore. Now that’s the future of contextual advertising!

25 comments to 1:1 Social Advertising in B2B Marketing

  • This is the type of targeting that one-to-one marketing advocates have been looking forward to for a long time.

    It fits neatly within the one-to-one marketing concept of “treat different customers differently” — and it’s economical, too!

  • @Cliff – I know its quite exciting to see this type of true 1:1 ads come alive

  • We’ve had a lot of fun with this concept. Recently, we’ve also started to use this to market to our existing customer base, too. It’s a very low cost way to keep our brand in front of our customers.

    Think about that – keeping your brand in front of your customer base isn’t new. That’s just good marketing strategy… Using Facebook ads to place positive messaging in front of our customers specifically is just a new way of doing that.

    Creative application of good marketing strategy using the tools that make sense. That’s what we’re all about!

  • Tim, another example of the fine work you continue to bring forth in your field. Great to hear the story, read the outcome and imagine the future as you apply this to your overall marketing strategy. By all indications, Paul Dunay was pleased to see this in your developing plan for G1440

  • Danica Mutari

    What a crafty way to get someone’s attention. Great use of social media and targeting specific audiences. Good work!

  • Matthew DeVille

    very cool use of social media!

  • @Matt/Danica – thanks for commenting

  • Leigh Horton

    Very creative and insightful- the Grateful Dead attribute adds a nice touch! This just proves that there are endless possibilities using social media marketing.

  • Shela

    Sneaky very sneaky… 🙂

  • Nora

    Impressive how someone can be targeted at such a low cost and with so little research. In a world where it’s difficult to get a first meeting amongst a sea of options, this is an effective tactic to get the message across.

    Also an innovative approach to using a social networking site for business.

    Can this technique be used in a way that assures the target that the ad is not an attempt by someone to spread a virus or spam your inbox like so many ads?

  • Sally Ayres

    Not at all surprising to see that Tim Kassouf is once again a leader with creative marketing strategies. He’s been on the cutting edge with great ideas for as long as I’ve known him!

  • @Nora – I know I was surprised by the light amount of data as well!

    Can it be used for more draconian measures? – I guess so but I haven’t seen it happen yet
    I would imagine you could entice someone to click on your ad for some free software then when they get the download of the free software there is a virus attached to it

    But frankly Facebook is very sticky about what is allowed to be downloaded off their site and what data you can collect so I don’t expect to see this any time soon


  • Joanne Mossburg

    Sounds like very creative advertising by a very creative person. Sounds like it worked like a charm.

  • Ioannis Giannaros

    I opened up my email today and I found an article from eMarketer that further supports this post. Thought you might enjoy it!


  • @Ioannis – thanks for sharing

  • […] Facebook, Twitter, and the like, because people are spending more time there.  And it means that ads will now need to be more engaging to capture interest.  Smart marketers know that brands and markets and consumers are starting to […]

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  • Michael White

    What an innovative way to us Facebook ads. This gives “Direct Marketing” a whole new meaning.

  • Stephanie A. Drummond

    Wow! how marketing has come so far in such a short amount of time! As a marketing/events/advertising professional, I am very excited to read about G. 1440/Tim Kassouf’s experiment with Paul. Its creative, its personal, and its direct..which is what every company & adverstiser wants. Gone are the days where social networking sites were blocked by companies because it was seen as a way to ‘waste time’ and goof off at work..now it IS the way to reach people. Very good article. I’m excited to hear more about this!

  • Stephanie Speranzella

    Great idea Tim, so excited to be apart of the G.1440 fam!

  • Matt C

    Pretty interesting stuff from G1440. It reminds me of Minority Report, where every ad from every advertiser was customized for the individual. I have a hard time resisting the urge to order a pizza when I see a Domino’s sign on the side of the road, so if this kind of thing gains steam I am pretty sure be penniless shortly after the personalized ads start hitting me.

    There’s an outfit in New York called Pontifix that got its start with Obama campaign and is working in this area. They find ways to create highly targeted social media ads which focus on people who can be readily converted into leads for buyers/ advertisers. They have some sort of adverting model where advertisers only pay for people who opt-in to a particular service – so it’s kind of like buying friends on Facebook (except these are real consumers who will spend real money). They call it CPL – cost per lead

    Seems like it could be a holy grail for B2B – pay only for quality, vetted leads that have actively expressed an interest in hearing from you.

    At any rate, not unlike what G1440 has done, these guys have some sort of secret formula that lets them get super detailed information on targets – although I suspect they (like G1440) are just using public data in clever ways (and some hard work) to get good results

    Anywho, interesting stuff

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  • There’s absolutely no doubt that this type of creative application has huge possibilities for web marketing. Kudos to the G.1440 team!

  • This would be a great tactic for job seekers. Great way to reach out to potential employers!

  • @Stephanie – totally agree!

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