In September, I addressed the growth of influence marketing and how it has evolved into a digital form of groupthink. Since my post, AdWeek published some stats validating how people really trust buying a product or service mentioned by an influencer.
- 74% of those 18-24 rely on social media influencers for information about products and services; however only 24% of those over 55 do the same. Overall, influencers are looked to nearly as often as a brand or retailers’ websites for product information.
- 60% of respondents have bought something on the recommendation of an influencer, this goes as high as 72% of 25–34-year-olds.
- 90% of respondents of all ages would trust an influencer over a celebrity.
- Instagram is still the top platform where 18–45-year-olds follow influencers with Facebook leading the way for consumers who are 46+.
While aggregating information for this post about influencers, I learned smart marketers are now shifting from traditional demographic targeting strategies to cultural triggers to better understand and reach the next generation of consumers. Media researchers have identified five new major cultural consumer buckets: gaming, entertainment, education, fashion and beauty. Media agencies warn marketers to closely monitor these cultural triggers since they are constantly morphing and fragmenting.
Since we began handing over data to high tech companies and with the increase in computational algorithms utilized in customer targeting, marketing has been on steroids! I made the transition from finance to marketing back in 1984. Back then my basic understanding of marketing 101 was simple – the set of activities or business practices (a.k.a. marketing mix) of promoting and selling products or services. With the advent of the Internet, it has become more complex. Candidly, I find it a challenge to keep up with all the changes, especially the evolution of influence marketing and the different platforms affecting social media influencers. Are marketers overprocessing targeting the different lifestyles, cultures and subcultures to authentically build a trustworthy brand? Or as one of my all-time favorite marketers P.T. Barnum once said pre-Internet:
“There is a sucker born every minute.”