There are a number of interesting ideas in this piece from Mary Firth (Head of Content at Accenture Interactive) on how to create a 'content stream' of what we would call Hub Content. In particular she discusses "de-coupling the concept and the content", "co-opting the crowd" and, also the rather more well understood idea of "micro-segmentation".
Marketing segmentation for big ticket products and services should, of course, be very targeted indeed. As Mary points out - "Social media is the ideal platform for this, as it enables highly targeted and personalised marketing campaigns aimed at known individuals". My contention would be, however, that the marketing department is not the correct tool to deliver this message.
This is no way disparaging towards the marketing function - I think we all know that marketing is the fundamental competitive battle ground nowadays - but it is nonetheless true that aggregating together all of the one-to-one relationships within a firm and then creating tailored marketing to those individuals is, first, almost impossible and, second, very unlikely to provide the human touch that is required.
However the salesperson, pre-sales technical or fee earner who holds the relationship knows the client, knows their needs and understands their segment with a clarity that the marketing person with an aggregated view of the same data cannot have.
Much better therefore to provide easy-to-use marketing tools to the people who own those relationships in the first place. Empower sales to do marketing using these social media tools.
This is actually dovetails both of Mary's other points above.
Firstly, "de-coupling the concept and the content" - in the case above this, means that marketing need to make a simple plan, communicate what needs to happen and then to track the results over time. Don't make everyone think too much!
Second, "co-opting the crowd" in our example means that the marketing function gets the client-facing teams in the firm to help them. The client-facing individuals have the relationships - in that sense they know more than the marketers - but they do need tools and guidance.
Focus on micro-segmentation A focus on the long tail, for example, makes sense in today’s fragmented media landscape, but that means you need to change the way you target audiences. Micro-segmentation allows you to target only those customers you know will buy your products. Social media is the ideal platform for this, as it enables highly targeted and personalised marketing campaigns aimed at known individuals. To be successful, you need to build up intelligence on these customers, understand their behaviour, and provide them with the content and experiences they want.