Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Who's Influencing Who?

In marketing, we spend a great deal of time looking/studying/questioning influencers. We are all influenced by something or someone. But in marketing, we know we must reach the right key influencers and build a relationship with them to be able to reach and have a positive impact on our target audience.

As I looked around the Las Vegas community, I began to question why certain people were key influencers and wondered who influenced them. I concluded there are two types influencing key influencers -- the thought provoker and the forward thinker.

The thought provoker poses the questions or advocates to entice the key influencer to want to learn more, create new, build it better. The forward thinker looks ahead, plans ahead, or visualizes so that the key influencer can grab hold and move ahead. Then I thought perhaps there are levels of influence. Can those who are influenced become key influencers? Does the key influencer graduate to thought provoker? Does the thought provoker evolve into a forward thinker? The answer is "yes."

Then I began to think about the power of marketing to the thought provoker and forward thinker. As you know, you cannot market to them the same way you would the key influencer. And this is where it gets tricky. A misstep here would be a major setback. You can't buy their influence; you have to reach deeper and be more meaningful. They may be influenced more by the greater good and excellent communication. Not the two-way communications, but the three-way only good communicators use: listen, learn, speak. in

So now that we fully embrace key influencers in marketing, I can't wait until we realize the benefits of key influencers in the workplace with employees!