Exasperated from a particularly long digital strategy meeting, a colleague sighed to me last week: "Oh my ... marketing used to be so much simpler".   At some level, he was right:  Gone are the days when 'place' in Neil Borden's 4-P Marketing-Mix (product, price, promotion, place) simply meant to find the best corner shop close to your customers.  However, even in today's ever-more-complex digital marketing buzz, it is still simply about how best to "corner the market" for your product.  In fact, it is not coincidence that in my native Dutch the word "shop" actually means "corner".

This also applies to Influencer Marketing (IM), the art of connecting products with influencers who can spread your product's word-of-mouth:  When explaining IM to my clients, I tell them to compare it to marketing via local village corner shops or more specifically, via local barber or coffee shops where customers come together to chat and share stories.

In the analogy, each barbershop is a digital platform (blog-, video-, picture-sharing, etc); each patron is an influencer (blogger, vlogger, 'plogger', etc); and each patron's story is a digital discussion or video, in which you would like your product to be mentioned in an organic non-pushy way.  So in essence, marketing is still as it was 60 years ago, except that our corner shops are now online.

With this analogy it is easier to understand the complexity.  There are millions of corner-, coffee- and barbershops, all with a different local clientele, different local stories and different local buildings.  Finding the right corner shop with customers who would be interested to talk about your product is hard; and the same is true for Influencer Marketing.  This is why it makes sense to use Influencer Outreach solutions that help brands connect their products with the right bloggers, vloggers and instagrammers.

Of course, Influencer Marketing actually goes much further than old fashioned brick-and-mortar marketing.  What is unique and attractive about IM is that you can be at all your favorite barbershops at once, while listening carefully to the conversations, understanding and respecting the patrons' points of view and becoming a positive contributing member of those communities.  You can then experience not only who re-tells which stories to whom but also who becomes a genuine advocate of your views (that supports your product).  In other words, a successful Influencer Marketing campaign makes sure that the content stories, the advocates and real-time measuring of the content and advocates are included.

For more information or advise for marketers or technology investors, please feel free to reach out to me via linkedin or directly at js@snepcreative.com.