Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Influencers segment

In the world of ads, we sell various segments to advertisers - audience, demographic, psychographic, etc. And categories - app categories, IAB categories, etc. We are now in the brave new world of social media, the market is looking for a new segment, i.e. word of mouth audience categories, or influencers.

Is this a new segment ? I don't think so. Advertisers have always looked for word of mouth marketing. Arguably the most influential form. Don't we all ask for opinions from our friends. When I bought my 65 inch TV, I looked around what my friends had bought and asked for their opinion. I actually bought a model, which was not rated very high by review sites such as CNET. Remember the Tupperware advertising model - tupperware parties, which is nothing but a glorified advertising model for word of mouth advertising.
Facebook caught on to this trend by allowing purchases to be advertised to your friend circles. A good idea but something which was revoked and reeks of privacy violation. I don't think it can be resurrected.

Influencer segment is highly viral and effective. So, how do we identify these influencers. One approach is to use the # of followers on Twitter as a measure of your "influence". The other is to identify the most subscribed person in G+ or FB. But can we do more? Can we identify individuals within your friends who can talk about a product?

And how will advertisers sell their products to these segments. i.e. how do we incentize these influencers or "publishers" to talk about product in such a way that it appears genuine? Do we give them schwags?
And who are working on these business models? Adly comes to mind.
What is the market potential of these segments? What do you think? More on this in my next post.

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