I’m a big fan of Seth Godin—and especially his book “Tribes” which explores how to create relationships with groups of people who are interested in you (or your company) because of common interests, passions, and needs.

If you think about it, you can see tribes everywhere on your site. In your industry marketing areas. Zones that cater to visitors by company size. Navigation that parses click streams by business objective or need.

But the one tribe that eludes most companies on the Web is the most important one. Managers and executives who either make or influence major purchasing decisions. Much like the elusive Yeti, these purchase power brokers are hard to observe in the wild and even harder to capture on the Web.

Much like the elusive Yeti, these purchase power brokers are hard to observe in the wild and even harder to capture on the Web.

Enter the IBM Software Group, which is executing what we think is a moment of strategic social media brilliance. They are marrying their cult of personality strategy with LinkedIn to showcase their experts and allow them to create their own tribes. Once formed, IBM can reach, identify, listen to, and nurture purchase influencers and decision makers that were once anonymous lurkers on the IBM.com site.

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