What’s another word for influencer?

BarbaraAnalyst relations, influence, Influencer marketing, influencer relations, marketing

There are several good reasons to replace the terms “influencer” and “influencer marketing” in the marketing vocabulary. What are the best  alternatives? I don’t know the answer, however I see signs of a backlash against misuse and abuse of these terms.

What are the issues with the word influencer?

To start, not everyone likes being branded as an influencer. As Evan Quinn so often tells me (and I’m not the only one), many analysts bristle under the “influencer” label.

Then too, there’s the growing confusion around who is an “influencer”.  As Duncan Brown so often says, not everyone is an influencer. You can’t transform anybody into an influencer. Finding influencers is just not that easy, even in the wild west of social media.

Finally, as Nick Hayes says, “None of us has ever seen anybody with a business card that says ‘Influencer’.”

By contrast, there are the outstanding examples where the terms are applied appropriately and best practices applied flawlessly.  Case in point: Don Bulmer’s program at SAP. Such clearcut instances are more exception than norm.

The right words are out there. If we pay attention, we’ll recognize them when we hear them.