On Tuesday I’ll be co-chairing the Future of Influence Summit together with Ross Dawson. It’s an extremely topical area as we are rapidly seeing a complete shift in the media arena as a result of innovations in influence. I personally predict that the whole concept of an advertising industry is about to be turned on its head and that this is already more well advanced than many industry players are aware of.
Ross has pointed to five key trends that are the leading edge of this transformation:
1. The democratization of influence
It used to be that influence was a direct result of a person’s placement on some form of elevated platform – the CEO of a multinational, politician or a journalist with a media empire backing them.
These folks are still heard, but more and more voices of influence are emerging from completely left of field. Tools such as Twitter have liberated the great unwashed masses. Anyone can start a movement and many are.
2. Quantifying influence
How well a brand campaign runs has always been one of the advertising industries great smoke and mirror acts. No more. Influence is becoming far more measurable. In fact, as Ross points out, there will be more metrics for individual influence as well and these will be used as for more accurate guide to who we hire and do business with.
3. Individual reputation trumps corporate influence
We are more likely to trust a company based on the reputation of the individuals running it than ever before. Steve Jobs drives Apple’s influence. Jeremiah Oywang’s move from Forrester to The Altimeter Group was more about him as a key influencer than about Forrester.
4. Influence is the new media
We listen to those who we trust, we listen to those who deliver us value. If a newspaper continuously delivers news items well after you’ve digested them from your personal newsfeed, the newspaper’s influence over you will decrease significantly. Ross sums this up well – publishing itself won’t get an audience – only influencers will create views.
5. The influence economy is born
Again, Ross has this covered: the $550 billion advertising industry may be transformed.
I’m really looking forward to the conversation next week.