There’s no argument that the marketing and media world is more complex, complicated and challenging than ever.
Issues such as media fragmentation; the unending decline of mass media; digital media supply-chain problems; and the growth of ad blocking software have made it harder than ever to know who your audience is, how to engage them and whether you’ve even reached them at all. That’s why the idea of Influence is so powerful.
The possibility of identifying, understanding, and engaging with a powerful and influential audience – who can help distribute your brand’s message and offerings and ignite their network around them – is a compelling idea.
Influencer Marketing is defined as a form of marketing that identifies and targets individuals who have influence over potential buyers. And its manifestation in the marketing world has marketers and agencies paying social media celebrities with large followings to promote brands to their networks.
But, given a moment to think about it, what consumer would say that celebrities are the most influential people in their lives?
When they have a complex investment question, need help picking an off-the-grid vacation destination, or are considering a new smart home purchase, each knows whom in their personal network to ask for advice. And it’s more than likely to be someone with a high degree of enthusiasm, expertise, in-market experience and spending in the category in question.
These category enthusiasts, early adopters and heavy spenders are a group whom we like to call Affluencers. Most are not celebrities, vloggers or social media stars. Their influence isn’t based on social status or vanity metrics, but on authenticity, and is built from the ground up.
At IAI, we’ve always been interested in understanding who these consumers are, what their needs and desires may be, and how they differ by behaviors, experiences and expectations. Leveraging data from our IAI Affluent Study and quarterly Barometers, we’ve developed an Affluencer Pyramid model that shows how influence can be earned and built authentically in order to help brands create products, content and activations to resonate with this all-important audience.