What the hell is this new buzzword Influencer Marketing and who is that Influencer here? Haven’t we had enough self-labeled titles? Heck I even call myself a “datacenter specialist” on my LinkedIN profile. What’s a specialist anyway? While I do agree that self-labelling is a weird thing, it’s worth looking at the bigger picture.
Allow me to show you my light on the situation. It all depends on what you define as influence. Some might argue that the so called influencers of today don’t really have an influence at all. I would disagree and I speak of my own experience here as a pre-sales working for a VAR previously.
When I was looking for new technology or double checking on new products to go sell to a customer I’d search for all available information online. And I reckon we all agree that most customers tend to do the same thing these days. Whether the writing is from a professional journalist or a small blogger that writes his experiences, every piece of information would somehow have had a minimal impact on my buying/selling decisions. So whether or not someone has a big following or attracts 1000’s of people for a keynote doesn’t really matter that much when I am searching for the information in my buying process.
Not that long ago I was talking to a startup and to truly understand what they do I asked a bunch of questions. And every answer of-course led to a new question. There were a lot of my questions though that I had to ask twice because:
These are questions we don’t get from our customers.
And that struck me. They were solely focussing on the conversation with the customer. They had no idea that I – and I’ll call myself the influencer here – needed a lot more information than their customer in order to truly understand their market value against their competitors of which I did have all the information. In order to be able to be the influencer and write about it or talk to their customers on their behalf.
Let me visualise all these conversations and you’ll probably get my point why this all makes sense.
What this company didn’t truly understand was that without ‘other’ people leading the conversation, the customer base would only grow by scaling the company resources. Some companies call this organic growth, I call it a missed opportunity.
An influencer is anyone that talks about your company or products and is not on your payroll. Making sure they have ALL information, on time and in their preferred format, is the key task of an Influencer Marketer. After all, that’s what they need to be able to influence someone else.
Am I calling the Marketing / Community / PR / AR / Sales & Channel teams dead? ABSOLUTELY NOT! All of these contacts have their own way of being approached and managed and there are specific skills to do that the right way. Does this make the role of an Influencer Marketer redundant? Only if you like working in protected silo’s.Be Social and Share: