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The Changing Face of Influence

If you remove politicians and footballers, humans have a pretty staggering tendency to bond for life. We’re one of only a handful of mammal species that pair and commit.

This innate loyalty is pretty useful in many ways. But, when it comes to marketing, we need to up the promiscuity levels.

I hold my hands up right now and say I am not in love with any of the marketing channels I engage with. I use them for my own benefit and drop them should they not prove useful.

Without tying myself down I’m free to experiment with fresh approaches, discard old strategies and embrace new channels that crop up.

In contrast, I think a lot of brands are suffering because their marketing and business development teams are locked in a sham marriage with either a platform or a marketing approach.

Take Facebook. There’s a special wince I execute only when I hear someone say to me, ‘we’re not on Facebook because we’re a B2B brand’.

This, in my head, translates to, ‘I’m ignoring 1bn active users, spending on average 16 hrs a month on a platform that I have no idea whether my audience is on or not because I’m too wedded to the marketing channels I’m comfortable with.’

At Hotwire and Vanson Bourne’s Changing Face Of Influence launch event, we had some statistics and discussion from the likes of Delphine Reynaud, EMEA Marketing Director, Traackr; Joel Harrison, Editor, B2B Marketing and Ben Daubney, Research Consultant, Vanson Bourne, that started to highlight just how daft that response is.

From talking to 1000 B2B marketing and IT decision makers across Europe, US and Australia, we found that Facebook was their most important resource during the initial discovery phase on their path to purchase. We’re shocked to discover that, a platform that’s seen nearly 60% year on year increase in advertising spend might be worth checking out.

Why the shock?

Well, we wouldn’t have to do this sort of study if more marketers decided to flirt with just the Facebook advertising tools (which are free by the way, so you’re not even paying for it!) and discover for themselves whether there is a potential audience there.

Because a lot of the industry has some sort of sentimental obsession with maintaining the status-quo we’re stopping ourselves from giving new things a go. For the record, I don’t mean a casual flirt. I mean a full on affair where we give a new platform some love and see where it leads to.

Let’s all get a bit more promiscuous and spice things up with our marketing hey?