July 2009 Archives
I have come to believe that much of what my colleagues and I taught has caused real suffering, suppressed wealth creation, destabilized the world economy, and accelerated the demise of the 20th century capitalism in which the U.S. played the leading role.
We weren't stupid and we weren't evil. Nevertheless we managed to produce a generation of managers and business professionals that is deeply mistrusted and despised by a majority of people in our society and around the world. This is a terrible failure. - Shoshana Zuboff
A few weeks ago I was on a panel at the Advertising Research Foundation Audience Measurement Summit with Ed Keller (The Keller Fay Group), Rob Masters (Unilever) and Colleen Fahey Rush (MTV). We discussed the relationship between online and offline influencers and the importance of each. Also discussed was the role that influentials play (they're ten percent of the population but impact 25% of all brand conversations) versus the social influencers who are the everyday people who influence their peers around decision making for specific products and services.
My take - the influentials are very important but they're not the sum total of all influence taking place online or offline. The social influencers and the known peer influencers (think close family and friends) increasingly play more important roles in brand affinity and purchasing decisions. They're harder to reach but thanks to social graph technologies they're more traceable online. It is getting as important to market to them as it is to market to the influentials. Maybe there's room for both Duncan Watts and Malcolm Gladwell in this world!