Taming the ‘wild west’: Starcount presents the science of influencer marketing

The science of influencer marketing was interrogated in an exclusive event hosted by Starcount on Friday, 8th June at the Ice Tank, London. Clive Humby, Starcount’s Chief Data Scientist, told the audience of influential brands that traditional push marketing like email was being ignored, while the ‘authentic voices’ of influencers were increasingly important: “Consumers are turning to friends, bloggers and trusted sites.”

Influencer marketing has been projected to grow five times in the next three years, but brands face risking budgets without science tracking the relevance of the influencers to their brands. According to Humby:

“In a world where we are re-thinking our marketing, how do we access this wild west of a market place?”

He pointed out there was no single measurement tool, other than follower numbers.

He compared buying on the reach of a celebrity like Katy Perry as being as valid an engaged audience metric as targeting anyone who has ever watched Coronation Street, with huge potential wastage. Speaking next, Starcount’s Chief Product Officer, Rowena Humby, presented Starcount’s ground-breaking Observatory platform, which moves beyond generalised reach into the passions, mindsets and motivations of 1 billion consumers worldwide. Unlike social listening, the product looks at how the ‘silent majority’ of 86% on social are consuming content.

Examining an audience of 5 million consumers defined by their interest in health, fashion and fitness, Humby looked at the affinity of brands with different influencers within this space. Starcount’s platform is able to track and segment consumers based on their passions and the ‘stars’ they follow on social, including celebrities, bloggers, brands and websites. From this Starcount’s platform can deliver ‘the right influencer, the right audience, the right channel and the right message’.

She explained that by overlaying existing customer purchase data onto Starcount’s passion data, Starcount is able to predict the future purchase behaviour of different customers. Next, the audience heard from influential beauty blogger Hayley Hall, founder of the Thirty Plus network of bloggers. She said a big challenge of working with brands was a ‘lack of understanding’ in working with influencers and not using a ‘relevant reach’.

She talked about her inspiration in setting up the Thirty Plus network: “I was increasingly frustrated with 23 year olds pumping out anti-ageing cream” and how this was clearly not relevant for their audience. Urging brands to do their research, she said: “Find an influencer who genuinely loves your brand; find someone relevant to what you do.” Hall described the power of her ‘engaged audience’ and said campaigns worked best when she had the freedom to execute brand objectives.

Closing the presentations, Starcount CEO Edwina Dunn pointed to how exciting the new data sets – including social -were in predicting future intent. She said: “With these new data sets we can see where people are going- it’s the future. How do you see when people want to buy the next thing, what is the next thing?”

To find out how Starcount’s Observatory platform can help meet your business objectives, please contact: Karan.singh@starcount.com

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