How to Own Digital Transformation with Influencer Relations

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Your customers are becoming more informed, empowered, demanding, discerning, and elusive. The tactics and metrics of the past no longer align with how people make decisions in today’s digital and connected world.

By implementing technology marketers are able to fundamentally impact the way brands view the customer journey. In fact, 34% of digital transformation is lead by CMOs compared to only 19% being spearheaded by CTOs and CIOs.

For marketers, this shift comes as a double-edged sword. By leveraging digital transformation, CMOs can impact every micro-moment along the customer journey. On the other hand, with 70% of attempts at change in organizations failing, how can digital transformation pioneered by marketers see success?

Introducing Influence 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing

To help you find your way in this evolving landscape, we partnered with TopRank Marketing and Brian Solis, Principal Analyst, Altimeter Group, to survey executive marketers from leading enterprises, including American Express, 3M, Adobe, and Microsoft. Our mission? To find out how the practice of influencer marketing is evolving and provide a framework connecting the dots between the “influencer marketing” of today and the “influencer relations” of tomorrow.

Influence 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing is about discovering the world of influencer relations–a new discipline that transcends all relationship-driven marketing, built on a foundation of empathy and customer-centricity. This new research sheds light on Influence 2.0 strategies, which unite once disparate groups to impact sales, customer satisfaction, and retention.

Download the Full Report

While I would highly encourage you to download the full report to get the research you need to navigate this new terrain with confidence, I’ll give you a sneak peek into three major insights within the report.

  1. Influencer Program Owners and Engagers are Disconnected

One of the main challenges affecting the future of influencer marketing is that it is often compartmentalized. This prevents influence from earning executive attention and benefitting the larger digital transformation effort. At the same time, we learned that digital transformation and influencer relations alike impact every aspect of business.

We discovered that 70% of influencer programs are owned by marketing  Tweet This!, but other functions, including demand gen, PR, product, and social media, actively engage with influencers as well. 80% of marketers say that three or more departments work with influencers, which means influence needs to be cross-functionally owned rather than the traditional singular owner of marketing. Influence needs a group of champions across these various functions to earn executive attention and impact the customer journey at every touch point.

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  1. Influencer Relations Impacted by Mastery of the Customer Journey

Only half (54%) of marketers have mapped out the customer journey within the last year. The slight majority of companies that are mapping out the journey gain a strategic, customer-centric perspective that has a vast ripple effect beyond the marketing team. Journey mapping is necessary for companies to gain insights and ultimately, a competitive advantage.

If you were to complement the customer journey mapping process with an Influencer Relationship Management (IRM) platform, you would identify not only all of the key influencers in your business, but also uncover how each influence the customer journey uniquely. Brian Solis, Principal Analyst, Altimeter Group

Discovering who influences your customers at each stage of the customer journey can help you better identify the influencers most aligned to your brand. Additionally, the customer mapping process inevitably unveils new influencers who impact decisions at critical stages. The customer mapping process will naturally push marketers to rethink influencer marketing efforts.


  1. Expanding Influencer Budgets Indicate Strategic Prioritization

Continuing to approach influencer marketing as usual will cause you to lose control of your brand and the ability to compete in a world where customers are in control. It is time to prioritize influencer relations. Leaders must strategically align influencers with every customer touchpoint but, they must also invest in an Influence Relationship Management platform to more effectively run and optimize long-term engagements.

55% of marketer’s influencer budgets are expected to expand. Among budget for marketers who use technology a whopping 77% plan to spend more. Looking at the charts below, it quickly becomes clear that the vast majority of influencer marketing budgets will expand in the upcoming months.

If you’re in business, you’re in the business of influence. Change always starts on one budget line so you need some champion in the organization to say we’re going to try this and see what happens. Philip Sheldrake, Managing Partner, Euler Partners

influencer marketing budget

Setting the Foundation for Influence 2.0

It’s your turn. As a marketer, how will you fast-track digital transformation? By learning more about how customers make decisions and what influences them. Take your Influence 2.0 knowledge beyond these three key findings. To get ten actionable steps and get started with setting the foundation for Influence 2.0, download Influence 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing. Learn more about journey mapping, digital transformation, and influence today.

Download the Full Report

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