This week at Cannes, Suki Thompson and the Oystercatchers team gathered together some of the UK’s top marketers for frank discussion with Rankin and influencer agency The Fifth, on influencer marketing in the modern creative business. We were joined by senior marketers from the FT, Paddy Power, Avon,
The discussion looked at how the discipline is evolving, what responsiblities brands have and how the industry needs to grow. The discussion covered many areas - Authenticity; Trust and transparency; Identifying Fraud; Regulation and standards; Measurement and delivering ROI; The changing face of influence online; The rise of micro-influencers; The term "Influencer" itself; and influencers launching brands and businesses.
The need for more rigour and professionalism around the industry was the top issue, to ensure that the influencers are properly protected and looked after as well as brands, and setting clear best practice guidelines and standards that are applied for all parties' benefit, to unlock the strength and potency of an influencer strategy.
Commented Suki Thompson, Oystercatchers Chair and Executive Director Xeim, "It was a great session which brought out the social consciousness of brands in the powerful, yet often mis-understood, world of creativity and influencer marketing.”
We captured lessons learnt in a series of video interviews over lunch. Here are just a few soundbites:
“I really started to think about our responsibility as an industry to look after influencers on the way up as well as on the way down. Particularly, to create a safety net for those whom brands benefit from” Mark Sherwin, MD, Accenture
“Social is always changing – there’s always a new platform coming along and the best place to go find it is your kids” David Kassler, CEO, WLT
“We all have to change the way we think and the way we work with influencers to give them autonomy and true freedom to actually dictate to us what we should be doing with our products and our services” Steve Newbold, Group Managing Director, Xeim
“Our need to be responsible. Because I work for Paddy Power there’s an ever-growing and needs to be more and more responsible – the question is: with the aim to bring professionalism into the influencer world how can we bring a sense of responsibility into it too?" Michelle Spillane, Marketing and Brand Director, UK & Ireland, Paddy Power.
Thank you to all our guests for joining us. Thank you, Rankin, and The Fifth for leading our discussion.