Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 14

> MERCHANDISING AND MARKETING

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NEW STANDARDS OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND EXPECTATIONS OF PERFORMANCE ARE
TRANSFORMING THE GROWING FIELD OF INFLUENCER MARKETING. > By Mike Troy

I

Influencers have always been with us, they just didn't used to be
called that. Think restaurant and movie reviewers from the golden
age of newspapers. A few choice words from select individuals
could make or break a new eatery or film. Digital technology and
social media platforms gave anyone with an opinion about anything a way to be influential and share their views with the world.
It didn't take long for savvy marketers to recognize the potential of
the new age influencers as an affordable, effective and measurable
way to engage with and influence consumer behavior.
No wonder then that nearly 40 percent of marketers who
participated in a recent survey by the San Francisco-based influencer marketing platform Linqia said they expect to increase
their influencer marketing budgets this year. About 35 percent
were unsure, but the survey of 181 marketers was conducted in
2017 when some budgets weren't final. Only 5 percent said they
expected to spend less.
The increased spending is due to the fact that influencer
campaigns work, according to those surveyed. More than 90
percent of those who used an influencer campaign in 2017
said it was effective. And by effective, the most common
measurements cited were engagement (87%) and clicks (59%).
However, as influencer campaigns mature, marketers are also
looking for larger and more extensive programs to have a bottom line impact. For example, product sales as the measure of
effectiveness increased to 46 percent in 2017 from 34 percent
in 2016. Conversely, the survey showed the metric of "reach"
dropped 11 percent to 50 percent last year.
The other notable change in the world of influencer market-

ing relates to leadership of
influencer programs and
who owns the budget.
"Not unlike other forms
of media, influencer can live
in multiple places, but we
are starting to see companies create actual titles and
departments specifically for
influencer programs," said
Daniel Schotland, COO of
Linqia. "Influencer started
in PR but it is definitely
Daniel Schotland, COO of Linqia
moving toward media. PR
is really all about controlling the message, but influencer is about providing guardrails that
let influencers tell the story in their own way to resonate with their
own audience. To some degreee. Those two are slightly at odds with
each other even though the desired impact may be the same. The
way you think about them is very different."
That explains why there has been a big shift in ownership to
those in the functional areas of advertising/media, up to 38 percent
from 26 percent and a corresponding decline in ownership by PR/
communications, down to 15 percent from 31 percent.
The growing size of programs and their objectives are also means
they are better suited to be managed by advertising and marketing
functions, according to Schotland. This is especially true as the field
of influencer marketing has matured, influencers have grown more
sophisticated and fraud and regulatory considerations have arisen. There have been documented
INFLUENCER MARKETING IS INCREASING... cases of influencers acquiring followers to increase
their value to marketers and the Federal Trade
How budgets will change in 2018
Commission has become more active.
The FTC has had a wary eye on the influencer
space for a decade, but last fall it took decisive acIncrease
39%
tion around the obligation of influencers to disclose
sponsorship affiliations. Newly revised and lengthy
Decrease
5%
guidelines are designed to provide influencers
Stay the Same
21%
and influencer platforms clearer direction around
acceptable behavior with a form of consumer comNot Sure/
35%
munication that is still relatively young.
Don't Know
While there are plenty of gray areas in the
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
guidelines, as Schotland and others in the influencer space have noted, there is a sort of checks
SOURCE: 2017 Linqia, Inc.

14

Retail Leader.com MAY/JUNE 2018


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Leader - May/June 2018

Contents
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - Cover1
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - Cover2
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 3
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - Contents
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 5
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 6
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 7
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 8
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 9
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 10
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Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 16
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 17
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 18
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S1
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S2
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S3
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S4
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S5
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S6
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S7
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S8
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 19
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Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - Cover3
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - Cover4
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