The functionality of LinkedIn as a B2B marketing vehicle depends on the capacity the participants have to build an interest group. It can be very helpful for those who decide to use this vehicle to learn from the origins of the Rotary Club.
If you haven’t read Part I of this report we, recommend accessing it at:
An interest group looks for building social influence for the use of the participants in order to build a strong “social capital”.
To do so, it is necessary to foster participation to provide a more influential place that allows sustaining this social capital. But these actions can only be functional if the authority conflicts among the members of the group are avoided.
Closed groups are weaker than open groups to be used as marketing vehicles. Closed groups establish an explicit influence among their members, which generates “antibodies” to marketing activities. The power of LinkedIn is given by the possibility of building open groups based on personal and institutional influence.
LinkedIn as an “institutionalized” vehicle establishes an implicit segmentation of its members. We have identified these segments, which are:
- The action driven segment
- The recognition driven segment
- The trust driven segment
- The optimism driven segment
- The subjectivist segment
A short description will help to give a guiding idea of these segments.
1) The action driven segment
This is the segment of those who participate in LinkedIn to generate added value in the environment. These are innovation driven people whose goal is to generate value without expecting a counterpart. They are not focused on being recognized by others. They are more interested in the deeds than in the opinion on the deeds. They use LinkedIn with a conceptual approach.
2) The recognition driven segment
This segment uses LinkedIn to influence the environment and to be recognized by others for having added value. They are individuals who look for security and also for “likes” of their work. They are diplomatic in the management of criticism of other members and always find a bridge to avoid conflicts. They use LinkedIn with a systemic approach.
3) The trust driven segment
This segment assumes an authoritative role in LinkedIn, which makes them worth of trust. As a result, the relationships they establish are based on mutual trust. They seek for discussing ideas to expand their own activities and the activities of other members. They follow strictly the rules of the environment and look for “likes” of their ideas. They use LinkedIn with an analytical approach.
4) The optimism driven segment
This segment believes in LinkedIn as a media that opens the world for them and for the community. LinkedIn is a vehicle of opportunities for them. They are permanently looking for news that opens new pathways for their activities. They believe in the information posted on LinkedIn. They use LinkedIn with an operational approach.
5) The subjectivist segment
This is the segment of the individualists that use LinkedIn to sell themselves. Individuals in this segment are over-adapted, which drives their dominant or oppositional roles, participating in order to demonstrate that they are right. They look for benefits from others and evaluate opinions with two different criteria: the opinion of others based on facts, and their own opinion based on intentions.
The Art of Marketing – The Unicist Object Driven Approach
The description of the nature of marketing allows organizing commercial processes including the roles that are necessary to achieve its purpose. The objective of this introduction is to establish the basics that need to be integrated in order to ensure the growth of businesses.
Marketing takes place in the mind of the potential buyer. Therefore, it is necessary to know how the buying process works before a marketing strategy can be defined.
The purpose of marketing is to provoke buying decisions. This implies that marketing, working as a complex adaptive system, can only be measured by results. What needs to be defined is what the market needs to buy. It might be a product or a service but it can also be the buying of an idea, a brand, an image or a person.
The first step to be achieved in marketing is the positioning of the value proposition as a first choice. Individuals always choose first choices when they buy. This is applicable to products, services or whatever is being sold. When the election of the first choice cannot be achieved by the buyer, individuals discard the inaccessible alternative and choose the next first choice they can buy within the rest of the alternatives.
This happens only if a critical mass of a proposal has been achieved. Without having the necessary critical mass there is no possibility that the proposal be considered as an alternative. Critical mass in business implies that a value proposition has the necessary aesthetics, influence and credibility in order to be bought.
Marketing actions save energy by catalyzing buying processes. This acceleration is possible when the value proposition satisfies needs, there is a strong influence in the market and the marketing actions have the necessary timing to follow the buying processes of the prospective customers.
Marketing results are achieved when these aspects – positioning as first choice, catalyzing buying processes and provoking buying decisions – are given. To make this happen marketing needs to integrate the scientific knowledge provided by behavioral sciences and the technological aspects provided by communication techniques.
Marketing needs to use the knowledge of the mind set of potential buyers in order to segment them according to the different approaches they have. This requires understanding the functional, psychological, conceptual and lifestyle segmentations in order to manage the segments as autonomous universes transforming them into manageable profiles.
The understanding of the communication techniques is basic to allow building the necessary commercial, semantic and semiotic objects to influence buying decisions. The quality of these objects is the core of a marketing process.
These objects need to be segmented unless the value proposition is focused on a unique segment. It has to be considered that a segment is not a part of a market but the market is the sum of segments. This implies treating each segment autonomously in order to have the necessary critical mass to provoke buying decisions.
About Ambiguous, Figurative and Subliminal Communication
The communication techniques are the core of a marketing strategy. It has to be considered that it is necessary to integrate ambiguous communication, figurative communication and subliminal communication to make buying processes happen. This is an art that needs to be managed.
Ambiguous communication is what allows customers to participate in the decision process. It is a communication that opens alternative options and fosters the freewill of the customer. This type of communication is evident in successful advertising.
On the other hand, the use of figurative communication is needed to achieve true consensus on what is being proposed. It allows achieving the first choice position. The use of figurative communication allows buyers to “buy the concept” of what is being proposed, which makes them rely on the value proposition.
Lastly, subliminal communication is needed to catalyze the buying process. Explicit catalysts are unbearable for the customers. To develop subliminal communication there are several conditions that must be given:
- The positioning of the value proposition has to be true.
- The entity that proposes this value proposition has to have an authoritative role.
- This type of communication has to foster the use of the potential buyer’s freewill.
The art of marketing is what sustains the unicist object driven marketing and makes it fully reliable.
This art requires integrating behavioral sciences with communication technologies, which means that those that manage this process need to become aware of behavioral sciences driven segmentation and the use of ambiguous and figurative languages in order to design messages that need to include the necessary subliminal stimuli to build marketing catalysts.
The use of LinkedIn as a B2B vehicle requires knowing the customer profiles and which segments of LinkedIn participants allow establishing a value adding relationship. Using LinkedIn as a B2B vehicle requires using an institutionalized stable approach. The core of the success is the adequate integration of ambiguous, figurative and subliminal messages. The segment of subjectivists is dysfunctional for establishing any type of stable relationship.
NOTE: The Unicist Research Institute was the pioneer in using the unicist logical approach in complexity science research and became a private global decentralized leading research organization in the field of human adaptive systems. It has an academic arm and a business arm.