A Hotter, More Relatable Tony The Tiger


Hope everyone had a good weekend! Just hold on, more corporate holiday vacation coming up.
I was in a meeting with our marketing team this morning to sign off on what verbiage we would be using in our next social media posts.
Now, you may be surprised, but advertisements are more calculated than you think. Most of the time the legal team sits in to make sure we can’t get sued, the regulatory team makes sure we don’t make any claims we can’t support, and then the marketing team who, of course, wants to say whatever will help sell the most product.
And the result is typically pretty boring.

This Time Was Different

Today, instead of going through the boring process I just outlined to create something that would be posted from our own social media accounts, we were working on something that would be used by an influencer.
For a big conservative company, this idea was ~revolutionary~, but for younger consumers like me, this is just an everyday occurrence.
There are pros and cons to everything.
With influencers the pro is that the advertisement is slightly more authentic and subtle, all they have to do is put “#ad” at the end. It’s also more effective since influencer accounts have more engagement and drive more sales than the brand accounts.
The con? Well, they don’t really know what goes into it on the backend, so they’ll just ditch the script and add their own flare to it, which increases liability for the company.

The In-House Marketing Team Isn’t Perfect

…but when I looked up the account on my own, it sucked. For what we’d be forking over, they didn’t have many followers, their engagement was horrible, and we’d probably be better off somewhere else.
So, how’d this happen? I’m not pointing fingers, but here are my thoughts:
  • Marketing teams are busy: with bigger businesses, looking for the perfect influencers isn’t the number one priority. The marketing team has other focusses (retail, brand partnerships, etc.), that leads to their influencer selection process taking a hit.
  • This is all new: the age of influencer marketing is newish. Traditional marketing tactics didn’t include this before the last few years, so many people don’t know what to look for.
  • Nobody has a beat on who to pick (choosing the best of the worst): Let’s face it, most people aren’t up to snuff on who the best influencer in any given market is, leading them to settle.
Which is tough, because for those who don’t know, a good influencer is worth their weight in gold. They surpass most other advertising revenue streams and are trusted (61%) more than brand-produced content (38%).
By now you may be wondering “Don’t advertising agencies help with that?”

Traditional Agencies

Don’t get me wrong, ad agencies are pros when it comes to advertising, but not necessarily in this specific department.
The top established agencies primarily help when it comes to brand-produced content, not influencers.
Need help with designing packaging that will sell? They’ve got you covered. Need help scripting or filming a commercial? They’ve got you covered. Need ideas on a viral company mascot like this one?

They’ve got you covered.
In fact, if you’re looking for a mascot, just hire Leo Burnett Co., who are behind Tony the Tiger, Pillsbury Doughboy, and Marlboro Man.
But when it comes to finding the perfect influencer? They do not have you covered.

A New Agency

The influencer marketing industry is still relatively new and ballooning to what experts believe will be a $70 billion dollar industry in the next 10 years.

With that much growth, it’s surprising that nobody has capitalized by creating the next big ad agency. I’m not saying this trend has gone unnoticed, but those who have noticed are trying to become influencers themselves, instead of creating solutions.
It’s similar to the gold rush, it wasn’t those who went searching for gold (aka people attempting to become influencers) who got rich, it’s those who sold pickaxes and jeans to the miners.
The best, and perhaps most lucrative, way forward isn’t to become an influencer, but to extract the maximum value by pairing them with big businesses willing to spend big money. A go to agency when it comes to product fit among influencers.
An agency who will hands down bring the best return on your dollar because they know the perfect match. All they do is watch YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram; nobody who works there has a screentime below 7 hours.
Here’s what it would look like:

For big companies, you could eliminate headcount by outsourcing the marketing tasks associated with finding influencer partners, while paying the agency less than a salaried employee.
The agency develops their name through a few big deals of perfect product fit, and then becomes the gatekeeper to these partners through collecting data and leveraging existing relationships. Different than talent management because you aren’t financially tied or loyal to anyone (no financial incentive).
The influencers make more money because if the agency is doing their job and partnering you with the perfect product for your audience, then you’ll generate more sales and thus affiliate income.

match.com for businesses and influencers.


Starter Story

One of the places I go to for inspiration when it comes to ideas and big business trends is Starter Story. Imagine being able to ask any founder a question. Now multiply that by a thousand, and you have what Starter Story offers. Thousands of case studies for thousands of businesses, which is something you can’t really put a price tag on. Pat and Sam are the dream team, I know from experience, so go check them out.

Final Thoughts

I know the word influencer is overused and can turn people off, but it’s the future when it comes to marketing.
It’s one of the main strategies used by small, young businesses are using to carve out market share, while the big businesses are slow to catch up.
It’s also one of the main reasons you see so many celebrities starting brands of their own that blossom into huge companies. They themselves are influencers, and influencers sell product. The proof is in the pudding.
Just a matter of time until someone catches up and starts the next Leo Burnett Co
‘Til Friday.

from, matt

%d bloggers like this: