- Oprah Winfrey is denominated as an influencer; and justifiably so. I still remember one program where she presented a new boot model (made by Nike, I believe), my wife happened to be visiting NewYork city that day and she went to the store to check out the boots the next day; the store manager was going crazy and told my wife they just couldn't keep up since Oprah's program the prior night. My wife did buy the boots and she was really happy with this acquisition... Brand Happy, End User happy.. There are ways for Brands to engage with the likes of Oprah and gain the promotion for their message / product; achieving this engagement requires certain type of skill, connections, infrastructure, name recognition, tools, etc.
- Paul Greenberg is denominated as an influencer (by me and many others across the CRM and Social CRM Space), his foresight has helped guide strategic investments for companies as big as Oracle, he foresaw the convergence of Social Media and CRM earlier than anyone else in the block, and his positive words can help elevate a small, hungry and ready to eat the world startup from an almost unknown player to a very appealing acquisition target. (disclosure: I had the pleasure to be a member of the Crowd Factory team for a while)... There are ways for Brands to engage with the likes of Paul Greenberg, gain his attention over their offerings and (if Paul deems them worth it) gain a positive mention for their products; achieving this engagement with Paul requires certain type of skill, connections, infrastructure, name recognition, tools, etc.
- My neighbor (will remain anonymous) is a wine aficionado and successful business executive that helped Japan and US pharmaceutical industries partner for decades; if he recommends a Winery or a place to stay in Japan I pay attention, take note and bring up those notes every time I have a chance to buy another wine bottle or schedule a trip... My Neighbor is my Influencer (in those specific areas).. There are ways for Brands to engage with the likes of my neighbor (particularly as my neighbor becomes their satisfied customer) and gain the promotion for their message / product, achieving this engagement requires certain type of skill, connections, infrastructure, name recognition, tools, etc.
These are three valid but very different types of influencers, the "skill, connections, infrastructure, name recognition, tools, etc." I have repeatedly called out above across all three differs considerably from one to another, and it is my personal opinion that there is no single commercial entity (agency, solution provider, marketing expert, etc.) that really excels across all three (and BTW: I recognize this may not be a comprehensive list).. and yet they are all generically called Influencers and there are many of us talking about how these Influencers drive results for Marketing efforts boosting sales, improving online reputation and driving qualified leads... and we wonder yet why most Marketers are still confused? We, the industry that makes a living on this, need to provide better and agreed upon semantics to differentiate the type and specific value for each of these Influencers as well as bringing clarity to what are the required elements (tools, skills, infrastructure, etc.) to engage and achieve value through these influencers,
Do you agree this is a problem / challenge? do you know of someone / something that has offered a solution for it?
What do you think?