Is the absence of infrastructure for Influencer Marketing an obstacle to the growth and development of this new channel?
Véronique Pican: Influencer Marketing has grown exponentially over the past 10 years as platforms (and therefore posts) have multiplied, targets have expanded from B2C to B2B and the relationship between brands and influencers has also become more sophisticated and professional.
We have found that players in this ecosystem use different vocabulary and success indicators for their campaigns, making it difficult for marketers to find their bearings. And, as after any period of progress, we are now entering a more organised and structured world. And that is a good thing in terms of its successful development.
Like many digital channels, influencer marketing is relevant to branding issues (visibility, community engagement, etc.) as well as at the end of the consumer journey, direct linked to recommendation and purchasing (and therefore performance). This is why it is now necessary to share good practices, while at the same time identifying and formalising KPIs between all players in the value chain and, finally, harmonising them.
This is precisely the role of IAB, which uses tools, education, and sometimes standards, to try to provide a clearer picture of the market and facilitate practices for all players, from advertisers and agencies, to performance analysts and technologies. The objective is therefore to share good practices and provide clear definitions of what influence is and who is involved in it (who does what?), as well as common references which the market can use to measure performance.
It seems obvious that the current lack of infrastructure and the delay in the standardisation that is now required present an obstacle to the future development of this channel.
Would you say that it is imperative to standardise this growing market?
Véronique Pican: Yes, and this need for standardisation is, as is often the case in the digital world, a global issue. Accelerating the number of platforms is obviously a good thing because it leaves the choice up to the brands but also to the influencers, but conversely, they impose their indicators.
This naturally requires a “referee” or trusted third party. In the same way, the multiplication of technologies and intermediaries (new agencies dedicated to a social platform or several with specific tools and monitoring) is logical in a booming market.
On the other hand, the influence is very local (production of specific contents, typology of muses and emotional springs,…) and even if our referents are more and more global. In the same way as the legal framing devices which are also subject to territoriality: identification of the advertising character, the prohibition of misleading commercial practices, the status of publisher/host, the subjects are multiple. ARPP has also been at the forefront by publishing an observatory of Influencer Marketing.
How is the growth of this market supported by the creation of an IAB TaskForce dedicated to Influencer Marketing?
Véronique Pican: The IM Task Force assembled by IAB includes a wide range of players in order to represent the sector, including social media publishing platforms, media and communication agencies, Influencer Marketing agencies, activation platforms and technological solutions.
Working together with brands will enable us to successfully define a common benchmark and a harmonised performance measurement indicator (quantitative as well as qualitative) and lead to standardisation of the Influencer Marketing market.
In your opinion, what are the prospects for the evolution of Influencer Marketing?
Véronique Pican: Influencer Marketing is still in its infancy! New advertising formats and new technologies such as AR/VR (Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality) are entering into use on publishing platforms that offer ever more possibilities and consumer experiences.
These are therefore opportunities for brands and influencers. Getting in touch with consumers in a different way (discovery, immersion, gaming, buying, etc.) remains a very attractive and creative subject.
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