Influencing the purchasing decision is one of the corner stones of marketing. Not always well perceived by the public, this side of the profession saw its hour of glory in the 2010’s. Marketing sometimes bordered on being deliberately inflammatory and was absorbed by the practice of manipulation or deception. With the massive arrival of digital and data in communication, influencer marketing has become more subtle and developed in an unexpected way, which has instigated a reconsideration of the profession and its spheres of influence.

And if marketing was a fairytale…

Once upon a time there was traditional marketing. A profession with clear goals and actions that consisted of well defined means to promote goods and services. Once posters, advertising campaigns, flyers and discounted prices were set in action, the stage was set for success. At least one hoped so – and the evolution of sales curves was assiduously followed.

In selected terms, marketing consisted of clearly identifying contact points between a brand, its products and a third party; the customers or prospects. The sphere of influence was limited to finding the right means of communication or the opportunity to increase visibility for the targeted public, as well as utilising natural media to publicise the brand. Everything was carefully arranged in this universe, where marketing and communication took it in turns according to well known and well-oiled scenarios.

Then, digital and data arrived and changed the existing roles in the marketing universe. The profession’s influence consists of motivating the audience towards a purchase decision using correlated information and offers. This sphere of influence should accompany the targeted audience, thereby maintaining the latter’s interest and reinforcing the relevance of its choice.

Digital and social networks: new marketing influence tools

Marketing has been able to expand with astounding information bases thanks to collected data, proven net habits and social networks. These have permitted marketers to have a precise understanding of target audiences and their expectations by studying their behaviour and localisation with the aid of digital data. Thanks to new tools and within just a few years, digital has developed a more subtle influence that has considerably increased with the arrival of social networks, bloggers, Instagramers and Youtubers. Together with the aforementioned, the spheres of influence have gradually slipped away from branch professionals and into hitherto perfectly unknown individual hands, albeit impressively effective.

By utilising tools like Google analytics and RTB (programmatic advertising), that give the right media access to the right person at “nearly” the right time, we can refine the spheres of influence by studying behavioural habits and purchase journeys.

This socialised ecosystem makes the influence credible, as it is exerted in a very natural manner. The natural influence is increased by a factor of ten on the audience thanks to the effects of blogging which align and unite the contents around a hobby or a common interest. Remunerated by their audience, the new influencers are very capable of reuniting their audience around a theme. The last several years, marketers have humanised digital and bestowed upon influencer marketing a new dimension and removed its sulphurous habits.
Let us hope that it is a lasting effect and that we do not suffer a boomerang effect, where the good side proves to be worse than the bad!

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