Marketing to the Masses and One on One

In amidst the usual Donald Trump news, never-ending Brexit talks and St Patrick’s Day celebrations last week you may or may not have noticed the results of the Dutch general elections come and go.

The elections aren’t, and would never be, a major concern for anyone in Northern Ireland or the rest of the UK but one story stuck out for me on a purely marketing basis…

The Jesse Klaver Method

Last week, despite the centre-right party VVD becoming the largest party in the Netherlands, one of the biggest stories was the rise of the GreenLeft party.

The GreenLeft, founded just 25 years ago, mostly by outsiders, pacifists and radicals, has now become the left’s biggest party in the country under the guidance of their 30 year-old leader Jesse Klaver.

Reading into the story revealed that one of the key reasons for this growth was Jesse Klaver’s use of digital tools and his focus on delivering key party messages first on a one-to-one basis and then to hundreds and thousands afterwards.

Klaver used, first starting in 2015, to make direct and constant contact with tiny groups of people that eventually built into a huge network of supporters and followers.

The entire campaign culminated and ended with a massive event in Amsterdam where 5000 people were present and another 5000 watched via Facebook Live!

Social Media is Personal

You might be reading thinking, “Why as a business or marketer should I care?”

The reason I think we should all care as marketers and businesses, and the reason the story stood out to me in the first place, is because digital marketing is about marketing to the masses AND one on one.

It’s about doing both and sometimes the second half of the equation seems to get forgotten.

With the rise of different social media channels and incredible advertising platforms the focus has become more and more about reaching as many people as possible all at once and while I agree with this I also think it’s important we remember how powerful the “one on one” side can be.

Replying to comments on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter and engaging with individual people on Instagram can slowly build up over time just as all those Meetups did for Jesse Klaver.

Thankfully, these types of actions perfectly compliment larger tactics like advertising campaigns and email marketing.


I’ve found that this approach works especially well when marketing specific events as there are always one or two inevitable queries or questions that go unanswered in broader marketing messages and campaigns.

What do you do to combine both tactics? Let me know.

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