Spokespeople. Brand advocates. Experts. Sponsors. Thought Leaders. Influencers. Call them what you will, but leveraging the voices, expertise, appeal, and reach of influential people has been a standard marketing and advertising practice for at least a century. In the B2C realm, that is.
As TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden recently pointed out: “B2B brands are running a little behind B2C in terms of influencer marketing sophistication and have not been investing as much in technology, staff or the influencers themselves.”
In fact, recent research shows that an impressive 48% of B2C influencer programs are ongoing, however, just 11% of B2B influencer programs are always-on. But on the flip side, research also shows that interest and commitment are growing. In fact, 65% of multinational brands will increase influencer marketing spending in the next 12 months, reaching $10 billion over the next five years.