A 2010 study by Forrester Research identifies “mass influencers” as an important target for leisure marketing pros.
In the past, CMOs of leisure brands have influenced purchase decisions using 4 strategies:
- Run an ad in an enthusiast magazine, telling your target audience what they should think and feel about your brand.
- Employ a celebrity spokesperson to tell people how much they loved and believed in your product.
- Buy a sponsorship at a major industry event to associate your brand with the aura and popularity of that event.
- Or just make a great product and wait for the die-hard enthusiasts to discover it and tell all their friends.
The rise of social media has changed:
- Where people go for recommendations.
- Who they trust to give them those recommendations.
- How fast those recommendations can be spread to others.
Forrester has identified a new target: “mass influencers”
Americans have stopped placing all of their trust in traditional advertising and marketing strategies, and are placing more of it in online influencers and opinions from friends and anonymous consumers.
According to Forrester Research’s Peer Influence Analysis, prolific bloggers or tweeters who have a very large audience that reads and follows their advice represent only 16% of the online population.
But they are responsible for 80% of the brand mentions in online social settings.
Forrester calls these guys “mass influencers” and says they are having a profound influence on the purchasing decisions of their followers.
At the same time, people are relying more on the opinions of friends and other consumers.
In the 2010 Neilson Global Online Consumer Survey, respondents said they trust the recommendations of people they know (90%) and consumer opinions posted online (70%) the most.
They trust them more than traditional channels like brand sponsorships (64%), TV commercials (62%) or magazine ads (59%).
If you’re the CMO of a leisure brand, these findings present three opportunities to re-target some of your marketing dollars to influence:
- The mass influencer.
- Online discussions about your product.
- Recommendations Facebook members make to their friends and families.
You can find additional insights in the Forrester Report: Tapping The Entire Online Peer Influence Pyramid