In advertising and marketing we want to spend money. Lots of it. We are happy to shell out large sums of corporate or personal cash. The caveats – we want to put our money into something that drives our business, and we’d like it if the risk is low. Rather than gambling in the dark, give us a machine that is at least slightly predictable and measurable, one that we can optimize as we go along — and can become a healthy line item on our corporate budgets.
But how do you buy word of mouth without paying for it? If you pay for it, it’s not longer word of mouth, is it?
At our upcoming Under the Influence Summit during Advertising Week 2012 we’ll listen to top voices on both the spending and science side of the equation. Some of the biggest media buyers on the planet, and some of the deepest thinkers on how to harness influence – all on one stage discussing social media, technology, word of mouth at scale, the trillions of data nodes that are everybody’s future and, of course, influencer marketing.
Most of the big questions of our time in advertising and media involve Influencers in one way or another. We care about influence on a personal level. Brands want to have influential relationships and borrow on that reputation. Advertisers want to understand advocacy and tap into it. Communities and networks want to understand how it works so they can improve their technologies.
As technology continues to race ahead of our ability to apply it, the promise of being able to turn the conversation around the proverbial water cooler into an advertising channel at scale inspires. Imagine hundreds of thousands of individuals on your speed dial around the globe, each standing in a room of friends and family who are listening to their every word as they expound upon the virtues of the products you want them to buy. It’s not broadcast, it’s “youcast”.
The difference between calling up one person who is literally standing at a water cooler in the break room to asking him to talk about our product, and doing that uniformly, measurably to a few hundred thousand of the same – that is, well, daunting.
However, the possibilities are truly endless and those who harness technology, creativity, community — and the symbiotic nature of all three — stand to do more than just “win.” It gives a clear advantage that, with focus, will continue to transform brands and technology. And it starts with credible measurement.
In a year, every brand will have their own brand-specific and proprietary score that helps them qualify the influencers and advocates they want to have relationships with. These recent influencer ranking companies don’t get credit for their really important positive contribution: Not only did they introduce the concept to the mainstream but they convinced every business owner that they need this capability. These scores we have today may not be connected directly to business value, but at least now we all agree that we need it and that is a huge accomplishment if you think about it.
We are all under the influence of somebody. The brave new world ahead us will be fully realized when brands and advertisers have access to a distribution channel to identify, qualify, and drive action through those influential opportunities.
See you at Liberty Theater! *Appinions Happy Hour Reception after show on site...
Baratunde Thurston, Founder, CULTIVATED WIT & Author, HOW TO BE BLACK
Bonin Bough,VP Global Media and Consumer Engagement, KRAFT
Tim Perzyk, Research Manager, Global Sales Strategy, TWITTER
Deb Roy Co-Founder & Chairman, BLUEFIN LABS
Greg Shove, Founder & CEO, SOCIALCHORUS
Gary Vaynerchuck, Co-Founder, VAYNERMEDIA
Bill Koenigsberg, Founder and CEO, HORIZON MEDIA
Amanda Richman, President, Digital, MEDIAVEST
Christine Osekoski, Publisher, FAST COMPANY
Mickey McManus, President and CEO, MAYA DESIGN
Gemma Craven, EVP & NY Group Head, SOCIAL@OGILVY
Adam Hirsch, SVP, Emerging Media and Technology, EDELMAN
Ben Lerer, Co-Founder and CEO, THRILLIST MEDIA GROUP
Kristin Frank, GM Digital Media, MTV, VH1
Marc Speichert, CMO, L’ORÉAL USA
Ji Lee, Creative Director, FACEBOOK
Raj Kadam, CEO & Founder, VIRALHEAT
Brandon Evans, CEO & Founder, CROWDTAP
Brad Klaus, CEO, EXTOLE
Doug Chavez, Vice President Marketing, RADIUMONE
Alexis Ginas, VP Sales, VIGGLE
Brett Lofgren, CRO, SOCIALVIBE
Peter Horan, President & COO, ANSWERS MEDIA GROUP
Chris Beck, Chief Vision Officer, 26 Dot Two
Eva Hung, Group Product Marketing Manager, GOOGLE+ B2B