Epsilon Targeting Releases Influential Research
Dallas-based ICOM, a division of Epsilon Targeting, unveiled a consumer study which looked at the effectiveness of word of mouth marketing and the profile of influencers, individuals who are more likely to talk about a product or brand to their friends and social network.
ICOM’s study looks at Word of Mouth (WOM), an approach that harnesses the innate behavior of a unique group of consumers known as influencers, who naturally extend the reach of marketers’ efforts through talkability. The individuals create a huge opportunity for marketers to reach a broad population by targeting a very select group.
The study shows that there is no universal influencer—consumers are influencers strictly within product categories, not across all categories. In addition, few commonalities exist within demographics for influencers. They cross gender, age, income levels and channels. While influencers tend to do their talking in person, there is an opportunity to broaden their message through new channels such as social media.
According to Gillian MacPherson, senior director, product marketing & insight, “This study is the culmination of three years of research. While we already know that influencers are a prime audience for today’s marketer, it is critical that we also understand their attributes, channel preferences and behavior. Only then will marketers be able to effectively communicate with this valuable segment of the population.”
Tips for engaging influencers:
• It’s not about targeting a specific demographic or channel; understanding the behavior of influencers is critical
• Once targeted based on their behavior, influencers can be engaged with a tailored message across multiple channels, thus becoming a brand ambassador
• Messages should be familiar and conversational, since influencers talk more frequently person-to-person
• Influencers are highly motivated by being able to give feedback directly to brands and manufacturers; Influencers also are more likely to sign up for brand websites or e-newsletters as they like to be one of the first to hear about new products and information