5 Predictions about Influence Marketing


Brian Solis is among the first analysts to study and define digital influence. Over the years, he’s made his work freely available. Recently, European-based marketing software company Augure asked Brian to comment on the future of Influence Marketing. The article was just published and it also featured the thoughts of well-known marketing experts including…

- Kevin Dugan, Director of Content, Empower MediaMarketing
- Arik Hanson, principal, ACH Communications
- Roxane Papagiannopoulos, President at RMP Media Analysis
- Frank Strong, Communications Director at LexisNexis

You can read the article here.

The unabridged interview and a full infographic are included below…

Are “Influencers” something new? What is changing for marketers?

Influencers are not new to the world of marketing and public relations. They may however be new to some marketing strategists. Whether we’re talking about tastemakers, subject matter experts, prosumers, or enthusiasts, certain groups of people have always earned authority and/or popularity that affects people’s impressions and actions. Today, they’re much easier to identify thanks to software. Engagement however, still takes a delicate and informed approach.

How will (or should) marketers incorporate these online opinion leaders into their strategies?

Here’s a quote that I think should wake up any marketer attempting to generically reach out to someone of notable stature…or anyone really…

“I love receiving impersonal pitches from PR people.” – No one, ever

Knowing the influencers is an important first step. Too often, PR practitioners reach out to influencers as if they were part of a generic database waiting for pitches to come their way. Everything starts with understanding why they’re influential in the first place. Who do they influence and how? What’s import ant to them and why? What are their preferences for contact and potential engagement?

What defines an Influencer?

There’s a difference between influence and popularity. Influence implies that there’s a relationship between cause and effect. Popularity may or may not influence people. To influence someone or something means that someone caused an effect or changed behavior.

Is Influence Marketing measurable?

I definitely answer this question in great length in my report on digital influence. Of course influencer marketing is measurable. The problem that faces most PR professionals is that they do not define success or implement tangible business metrics in influencer strategies. Impressions, clicks, traffic, etc., don’t count as much as many would like. When someone asks, “What’s the ROI?” you have to have to first know what the “Return” is that you’re hoping to achieve. What is the effect or change in behavior you wish to cause? Define that and you’re well on the way to making influencer marketing not only measurable but also successful.




Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

Contact Brian



  • Competing for relevance by Brian Solis
  • The real future of marketing starts with putting your hands up and walking away for a minute.
  • "This isn’t a time to react. It’s a time to lead!” via www.brandmanic.com
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