Influentials and Marketing (or They Walk Amongst Us)
Many things we do have become habitual, but how do you incorporate new experiences into your life? With so many options presenting themselves, we need to have a filter of some sort to thin the herd. How do you know what new restaurants to visit? What new bands are worth the hype? Where is the best place to move? The motivation to try something new is often driven by external influences.
It is inevitable that the voices flying around our world will sometimes attach themselves to our brain. We cannot help but have take them in. Modern marketers ought not scare up mass Influentials and instead seek to tap into our peer group.
In the future, we will bring our influences to the company directly, and we will be compensated. They will not be able to find us simply and efficiently, so we need to go to them. It might not be exceptionally lucrative, but things can add up. It is no longer about finding the one prophetic voice to sell anything to anyone. There does not need to be a Golden Goose.
Following Silver Geese
The generally accepted notion is that the time and effort to locate the Golden Goose is simply not worth it. The people we are close to are the biggest Influentials in our daily existence. Period. Every group has them. How do you know what new restaurants to visit? What new bands are worth the hype? While our friends are not all universally informed, but they do have their proficiencies. Someone is always up on a specific area, and that is who we turn to for help. This does not mean we blindly follow them, but their input does help inform our views.
Let’s take an example of a new, hot band being touted by a peer.
It stands to reason that our friend did not just invent a band name, type it into the search engine of choice, find that magically there was a band of said name and that they were awesome. That would be quite some luck, no? Instead, they were told of the band from a source and then they, in turn, passed the knowledge on to us making them an ‘influential’ in our peer group. Precisely who influenced to our friend is not important, and almost impossible to pin down to a single source. The point is that they exist and influenced our friend into checking out the band we are now being told to check out.
That is the new target, our influential friends, the Silver Geese.
New Target Marketing
The near goal will be peer level Influentials approaching companies and advertising being worked out that way. Given the ‘influential’ nature of the person, there is a value to that. It might be small, but there could be a value. Only this time, companies have a better focus on where those endorsements are coming from and Influentials are only influencing for things they support.
Given, the metrics are not in place to truly give a clear picture of what someone’s influence is worth, yet. It makes sense for companies / organizations / individuals to be ready to alter the way they allocate marketing budgets and media buys. Once they give Influentials incentive to come on their own, Influentials will cash their social equity and the company will pay them directly.