This originally appeared in Smart Insights on April 2, 2019.
Accusations of “fake news” fly fast and easy these days. Not surprisingly, consumer distrust has grown, especially when it comes to information found online. But while it might initially seem counterintuitive, the cynicism is increasing the power of influencer marketing — at least, a specific branch of influencer marketing.
All branding roads might lead to influencer marketing, but it isn’t a narrow, one-lane alley. No, influencer marketing is a complex superhighway with twists and turns, exits and on-ramps, and plenty of places to make pit stops. In such an energetic, multifaceted environment, you need a diversified influencer portfolio to keep your brand in full view.
What does diversity mean in this context? It’s not necessarily what you think. Rather than hire professional models for its 2017 holiday campaign, Sephora made use of a vibrant cast of characters pulled directly from its payroll. Each employee enjoyed a unique relationship with Sephora and its beauty products, showcasing that the brand wasn’t just giving lip service to authenticity and inclusion.
Artificial intelligence may be enjoying a shift from a niche technology to its current position as the digital marketing zeitgeist, but putting it into practice can still seem like a daunting proposition for retailers. Even Elon Musk, whose current scope of operations includes creating autonomous vehicles and mastering and monetizing space flight, has expressed some reservations about AI.
It’s natural for human beings to mistrust what we don’t understand. Because the decision processes of AI often involve complex algorithms, we’re not sure whether the results of those decisions will have the outcome we want. The reality, however, is that properly programmed AI has the capacity to process more data than a team of hundreds of humans working around the clock could ever hope to achieve.