From Mass to Influencer Marketing


 
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From Mass to Influencer Marketing
Stefka Nenkova, Student (University), Netherlands

According to some views, today’s marketing is losing its effectiveness and is even considered “broken” (Brown and Hayes, 2008). A possible reason is that it does not contribute to sales in as direct and tangible way as before. The wide public is targeted by too many messages that are very similar to each other and not very believable.
Could a company target only specific third parties, which are interested in their service or product and which could affect the purchasing decisions of customers? Such approach would save money and lead to efficiency and eventually to an increase in sales.

INFLUENCER MARKETING
Influencer marketing is the approach which attempts to identify specific third parties, referred to as influencers, and to find the best way to approach them (Brown and Hayes, 2008).

INFLUENCERS
  • DEFINITION: Brown and Hayes consider an influencer as “a third-party who significantly shapes the customer’s purchasing decision, but may never be accountable for it”. This means that influencers are completely different from prospective purchasers.
  • TYPES: There are multiple categories of influencers, which include suppliers, management consultancies, customer firms, journalists, authors and management thinkers, government agencies and regulators, systems integrators, venture capitalists and financiers, distributors and other channel partners, industry bodies, forums and federations, academia, industry and financial analysts, online forums and blogs, competitors, internal influencers, etc (Brown and Hayes, 2008).
  • ROLES: Influencers may have a different impact on the decision-making process, thus they play different roles in it. Brown and Hayes (2008) identify the following major roles: idea planters, predictors, trend setters, proclaimers, aggregators, scopers, recommenders, persuaders, negotiators and validators.

THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS
A decision-making process is often complex and there are typically many parties involved (besides the decision-maker) who inform, support and validate the decision. The critical points to influence a decision are at the beginning of the process and at its end. Usually influencing in the beginning of the process has a greater and easier impact on the outcome (Brown and Hayes).

The roles influencers play in the different stages of the decision-making process can be seen below:

Figure: Influencers and their roles in the decision process (Brown and Hayes, 2008)

PITFALLS OF INFLUENCER MARKETING
  • It differs from traditional marketing, and involves a change of the approach of the marketing department within a company that wishes to apply it. Marketers have to change from mass marketing, targeting prospective purchasers, to establishing a 2-way relationship with each influencer.
  • It requires alignment between the marketing- and salesforce since the sales people are the first to see the outcomes from applying the approach.
  • There are multiple categories of influencers, which makes it difficult to assess which ones might be most influential and to what extent in a certain market. It might be useful to use the services of an external firm specialized in influencer marketing.
  • The results take time – the message a company wants to convey to its customers would have to happen through the influencers, which means that the quality of the relationship with the influencers is of high importance. In order to achieve such a relationship takes time and effort.
⇒ Do you have any tips or experiences with influencer marketing? Reply me! Thanks…

Source: Brown, D., & Hayes, N. (2008), “Influencer Marketing: Who Really Influences your Customers?”, Routledge.
 

 
From Mass to Influency Marketing
Molokanova, Professor, Ukraine
In other words, influencer marketing is about the influence of the environment of the client on her/his decision-making.
We are all in the middle of and interacting with our external environment on a daily basis.
Another thing is that someone tries to manipulate our thoughts in order to make money on this, but now people have grown wiser and quickly understand this.
Therefore, they write that marketing is already dead.
 

 
Influencer Marketing Powerful Tool in Social Networks
Teresa Dian Chew, Consultant, Malaysia
I agree with the concept of influencer marketing in the today's digital economy, leveraging on its viral power. In my opinion influencer marketing has to be done with integrity and sincerity, not for the sake of self fame.

I recently attended an architecture and interior trade fair, and through my posting of my photos with the backdrop of a beautiful custom made soft furnishing carpet. One of my Facebook community showed interest to purchase this 2m x 3m carpet of exotic design. I managed to refer the purchase through one-on-one engagement through my social media platform.

In our capacity as image consultant and business artist, we have helped market brands and services through influencer marketing, which could not have been possible using mass marketing.
 

 
Influential Marketing? What's the Difference?
Latif Salifu Kasim, Entrepreneur, Ghana
To what extent is influential marketing approach different from using an opinion former or leader? This is the first time I hear about this tool as a marketer.
 

 
A Conscious Based Approach to Influence Marketing
srinivas, Lecturer, India
I think we can influence the decisions taken based on the conscious based factors.
For example, the respect given by the buyer towards the skill of the advertiser and his product/service company would ultimately lead to a decision which is effective. Similar to that of skill, the effective decision making can be influenced by respecting the other's conscious-based factors like hunger, thirst, sleep, reflection, intellect, intense craving etc in self and others involved in decision making process (enables better engagement of employees and client).
In the above process, the people involved are presumed to be following high ethical standards.
 

 
Influencer Marketing in the Wine Industry
EDUARDO WEXMAN, Management Consultant, Chile
The wine industry is one example where influencers, specifically wine journalists and critics have been playing a significant role for decades. A wine that receives a good score from Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Decanter or James Molesworth as examples is likely to sell faster.
Today apps like Vivino allow consumers to post their own reviews and feelings about wines. Those consumers becoming new influencers of the industry, although the role of specialized magazines is still very relevant.
 

 
Ethics in Advertising???
Eugene Laslo, Consultant, Hungary
@Srinivas: I am having some doubts about the viability of the combination of advertising and following ethical standards.
Unless the ethical standards are enforced by law, hoping for ethical advertisements is a bit naive considering the reality we see each day in advertisements.
 

 
Influencer Marketing in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Khalil Rajati, industrial enginer, Iran
For pharmaceutical products the influencers can be different:
  • For OTC PRODUCTS influencers are pharmacies, sales force, media...
  • For GENERIC PRODUCTS influencers are government, physicians, sales force...
  • For BRANDED PRODUCTS, the main influencers are physicians that have a high degree / diploma, media, NGO...
This subject is a welcome discussion of different influencers in various industries.
 

 
Ethics in Advertising
srinivas, Lecturer, India
@Eugene Laslo: you would agree that ethics as such is complex subject. For example to lie in general is unethical, however if one is to choose between being ethical by not lying and to lie in order to protect against violence then the latter may be the right course of action. Moreover, even if the current trend in advertising is more often to be observed to be unethical, the past may not be always be a precedent to future. The future could be different.
 

 
Micro Influencer Marketing
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Social media like facebook, twitter and youtube have made it possible for many new "micro-influencers" to recommend or disapprove certain products and services.
Some of these social influencers can have many followers.
 

 
Evangelism Marketing - Story Building (PR) - Opinion Leaders
Sivakumar , Business School Marketer, India
Evangelism marketing - Story Building (PR) - Opinion Leaders: I see this influencer marketing concept as a new name given for the above mentioned three concepts which are already in use. I may be wrong as well. Just thought of sharing my thoughts here.
 

 
From Mass to Influencer Marketing
Salvatore Clemente, Business Consultant, Italy
What about word of mouth marketing? This is the oldest and cheapest form of influencer marketing, boosted today by the digital transformation. You could use it to quickly created a history around your product, small companies without a larger marketing budget find a profit on this, largest companies use WOMM to reach some market segment, strengthen the brand. Today you can see WOM influencers in Twitter/Facebook/instagram/pinterest/blogs with a clear, direct and strong strategy for product prescription, solutions and services specification.
 

 
The Power of Persuasion to Influencer Marketing
oscar charles sanga, Other, Tanzania
What do you think of persuasion role in this? You see, Influencer marketing has a great impact to someone who has already made the decision to purchase some product/service. But not on the one who did not even think about it.
Though the concept has been applied mostly in direct marketing, but despite of the number of approached targets the mechanism has slightly failed due to the decision to purchase has not been intended by the individual. I think influencer marketing strategy will have a positive influence to the majority who did already made the decision to purchase.
 

 
Difficulties with Influencer Marketing
David Harland, Consultant, United Kingdom
I've been observing a ($2b t/o) firm over the last couple of years, plus some others in relation to their marketing and specifically their social media and influencer strategies. What strikes me is that the firms I've observed have great difficulty assimilating this approach into their strategies.
In part, I think this is owing to their lack of direct control. These influencers are influencers and effective because they are independent; the influencers also understand that they have to be true to their own online persona and that poses a problem for many businesses.
@Salvatore Clemente mentioned word of mouth marketing; I think influencer marketing is close to word of mouth marketing amplified through social media. But different from traditional opinion formers.
@Khalil Rajati's point re the pharmaceutical sector is interesting too. It raises the question if there are some areas off-limit to this type of marketing. Personally, when it comes to pharmaceuticals, I would prefer to read the research on the Cochrane Library.
 

 
History of Influencer Marketing
Mike Allen, Interim Manager, United Kingdom
Pfizer started this approach with USA farmers in the 1950s and it was adopted by Dennis Tolliday (Sterling-Winthrop) and Barry Haigh (Innovex) in the UK. Using a database developed by Walsh. The system used questionnaires to identify prescribing habits and then classify those who adopted new drugs early. By targeting these it was possible to accelerate the adoption of new products. We found that certain Doctors led for some therapeutic areas but followed in others.
Later approaches use celebrities (Editor: e.g. infomercials) not influencers and unless that person leads a category, they will not be influencers.
 

 
 

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