70% of millennials influenced by the peer recommendations

use influencers strategically

The beginning of a new year is as good a reason as any to take a look at some of the marketing trends gaining traction. This is the ninth of ten THOUGHTS addressing significant trends that will be important to marketers in 2019. Some have been around for a while, and others are new.

Each of these trends reflects the evolving nature of consumers, the growth in smarter and smarter technology, and the increasing complexity of the markets in which we operate.

There is much talk on social media and in marketing texts and journals about the use of influencers to recommend products and drive sales. To some extent, the use of influencers has always been a topic of discussion in marketing, with celebrities endorsing products in advertising since the earliest days of marketing.

Research suggests, however, that there are differences in how influencers operate and indeed, the very nature of the optimal influencer in 2019.

Traditionally, celebrity influencers have been the face in a commercial or advertisement and almost never communicated directly with the target market they were trying to influence. In 2019, influencers tend to be people who are known well within their target audience and communicate with that target audience directly by way of social media.

Traditionally, influencers were celebrities – movie stars, musicians or sports stars. In 2019, they are frequently people that the target audience relates to as a peer. Indeed, research suggests that consumers are engaging less, and responding less, to the recommendations of celebrities. Recent research indicates that:

  • 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions.
  • 30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger.
  • Just 3% of consumers are influenced by celebrity endorsements in their product purchase decisions.

It would seem that the importance of influencers is growing. Interestingly, the type of influencer that consumers respond to is changing. This possibly reflects a growing need for authenticity and a reluctance to trust an influencer simply because they are a celebrity without any direct relevance to the audience.
Research also highlights some interesting quirks:

  • 30% of pet owners follow and engage with social media celebrity animals
  • People aged 45 and above follow a variety of influencers and prefer household names
  • Less than 1% of mothers are influenced by celebrity endorsements when making a purchase

Influencers are increasingly important, but not all influences are equal. It is essential to understand which influencer will work best in your market.


Embrace the use of influencers and understand that not all influencers are equal.

Think twice before paying big dollars for a celebrity endorsement and ensure that the influencers you use are optimal for your audience.

Look closely at the types of influencers that your audiences engage with and the strategies and channels that the influencers use.


CMO, Entrepreneur, MTA, Forbes, The Drum, Brandwatch, Advertoscope, Wider Funnel, N Business, SUMO, HBR, Social Media Today, Aircall, Be Media, Smart Insights and single Grain
MORE THOUGHTS – www.djohncarlsonesq.com 

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