I read the most laughable headline a few weeks back. “Ignore Influencers and Focus on Advocates”. I read the article and still can’t make sense of it. It didn’t define Influencers in any meaningful way but I figured it was like saying “Ignore Buyers and Focus on Customers”. The post wasn’t even ironic. But what struck me was how some people are now so jaundiced by the recent ubiquity of the word ‘influencer’ that it’s fostering an all-encompassing backlash. And in doing so will damage the very real advances in understanding buyer behavior that are being made.
Needless to say, when I looked at the byline the post was contributed by someone with a vested interest in promoting their own view of ‘advocates’. It was never going to have been written by a buyer.
Even on re-reading I still have no idea what they were thinking when they used the word Influencers – they conveniently avoided the topic – but whether you term them Advocates, non-Advocates, or whatever, if they’re influential on the buyer’s decision you shouldn’t be ignoring them. Whatever anyone chooses to call them.