Mapping influencers to software purchase decisions on Enterprise 2.0

Barbarainfluence, Influencer marketing, influencer relations

Here’s a way to raise the bar on influencer marketing and influencer relations efforts around Enterprise 2.0 software: map your influencers to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Enterprise 2.0 ROI, a model penned by Hutch Carpenter.

Hutch, an exec with Spigit, coopts Maslow’s classic hierarchy of human needs for a 7-layer pyramid of Enterprise 2.0 benefits. Cost savings is at the bottom, employee satisfaction is at the middle, and organizational agility at the top. He describes associated proof points and challenges of finding proof points for each.

Think about the pyramid from an influencer marketing and influencer relations point of view. You’ll come to the same conclusion that I did: you need different influencers for each step in this pyramid.


For example, people who have authority on the cost savings benefits of Enterprise 2.0 are not likely to have expertise on the upper steps of the pyramid. Simply put, validating cost of ownership is one thing. Advising on which software is best able to help boost innovation or marshal resources is another.

Here’s a simple way to use the model for evaluating your influencer programs:

  1. Look at the pyramid through the eyes of your customer decision-makers. How do your targeted influencers map to this pyramid? Do you know where your influencers fit?
  2. Look at the pyramid through the eyes of your salesforce. Do you have all 7 steps covered? Do you know your competitors’ preferred influencers for each step?
  3. Look at the pyramid through the eyes of product marketing. Where does your competitive differentiation sit? Do you have a concentration of influencers on that step?

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking the pyramid shape itself applies to the field of influencers. There’s no shortage of experts on any aspect of Enterprise 2.0. Do look for different kinds of influencers — analysts, peers, consultants, partners, etc. — to round out your coverage.

Hat tip to Zoli Erdos’ and Ben Kepes’ Cloud Avenue.