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@Ryan - thank you for saying that. So it's really very interesting how much of a market that is, still.

@Rich - well, yes. Many companies don't know their customers really well. Your acute observation caught the dichotomy in the choice between engaged and disengaged. I believe traditionally trained marketers and practitioners actually do not want to be engaged, they just want to count the leads.

@Ricardo - really good observation on building a list and needing clarity. The same applies, as you know, for any program, business model, etc. Yet, so many venture to try things out without even having a modest goal on what they're trying. The second part of your observation goes to the core of good brands - they know what they're about, and it's not all things to all people or as broad an offering as possible, etc. You have permission through relationship. There's the value right there, for both your customers/prospects and you.

It's particularly difficult to build a list when you don't have a clear sense of direction on the type of content that you want to share spelled out. I've built two lists: 1.) for my REBarCamp Los Angeles event, and 2.) for my blog at Ribeezie.com. The first one had a clearly defined objective and it was easy to communicate that to the folks who opted in. The second one was a bit more difficult to create because I wasn't entirely sure what type of message that I wanted to communicate. Once I defined that a bit more, it became easier to communicate it to my audience and get folks to opt in.

Now, I don't have the biggest list as compared with other A-listers but I know that I have an excellent relationship with the people who have decided to opt-in. We communicate, we engage and that's what I'm looking for (a higher level of engagement to turn prospects into clients).

Valeria,

The differences between the B2B marketer and company data tells the story. There seems to be too much thinking about how will "we use" social media as opposed to how will "we benefit our customers" using social media.

The answer to that question might even provide the answer to the opt in or opt out question.

One decision allows someone to consciously choose to become engaged. The other reinforces someone's decision to become disengaged.

I love the clarity.

All my best,
Rich

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