‘Experts’ definition of ‘Influencer’ takes another wrong turn!

Social-Media-Today, Influencer Marketing, Influencer50, Buyer-side Journey

My friends at SocialMediaToday know how to host a great webinar. I’ve guested a few times now and they’re exceptionally well run. A key part of that is chair Paul Dunay who this week was on great form for Tuesday’s ‘What’s the RoI of an Influencer?’. Much as I didn’t agree with everything discussed I thought Tami Cannizzaro from IBM was excellent. I wasn’t aware of her before.

I wont single out the low point of the call – suffice to say one of the guests – who I expected better of – defined an influencer as ‘someone who’s incentivized to give their opinion’! What was pretty explicitly meant was that ‘influencers’ are pay-for-play whereas advocates are those voluntarily enthusing about a brand because of a previous outstanding experience.

I’m a big believer in advocates – they perform an extremely desirable role for any organization – just ask any salesperson – but how an influencer can be defined as pay-for-play I just don’t know. Especially coming from someone who’d sounded perfectly reasonable up to that point. Even Paul the chair baulked at that claim.

So in the past week alone I’ve read one marketing ‘expert’ claim that the goal of influencer marketing is to reach as many people as possible, and another saying that influencers are those incentivized to have a particular view.

No wonder there’s a subject tug-of-war going on. It’s not been a good week for the truth.