It's an ongoing source of amusement and occasional irritation between my wife and me that I'm a classic introvert and she, a hard-core extrovert. On Saturday, after a particularly tough week marked by the death of a relative, we both needed to decompress. I took my camera and went to a wildlife sanctuary to watch the sun set over the wetlands. She drove into the city to be around a lot of humans, drink her double tall, half caf, nonfat Latte and watch the sun set over Newbury Street. We work because of a mutual respect for different styles and because we know we're often better together than we are apart.
My business relationships follow the same model. The ones that work best are the more personal ones in which we are partners, not vendors and the combination of our ideas results in better outcomes. I do "relationship marketing" because it's in my nature. I'm energized by one-on-one communication or interfacing with small teams. It's why at first the mass deification of social media seems like a mass intrusion into my comfort zone. When every event, conversation and even my SPAM hypes social media as THE way to build meaningful relationships, my first inclination is to dial down the blablablab. But when I get over myself and the antipathy towards the mainstream and massive hype, I'm starting to experience aspects of social media as a pretty perfect way for an introvert to exchange ideas with many people and engage in more informed conversations. That is what I hope to do here. Call me slow, but there it is.
As a marketer with mostly B2B clients, I've observed some companies with internal teams twittering away merely to stay north of the relevance line and often with no apparent relationship to other marketing initiatives. I'm finding that after this grueling year that quite a few marketing departments are stretched like a rubber band with the collective tension one would expect. One of our partners, Lois Paul & Partners, a PR firm in the high tech space, is one of the few I know who are seriously leveraging social media successfully for B2B firms. This case study is a good example:
If you have B2B social media success stories, please feel free to share.
Photograph: Paul Regensburg