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A study about influencers and social media, based on UM's bespoke global study Wave3

A study about influencers and social media, based on UM's bespoke global study Wave3

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  • 1. 1 When did we start trusting September 2008 strangers? 29 countries 17,000 internet users How the internet turned us all into influencers © Universal McCann 2008
  • 2. 3 Contents Introduction ➜ No strangers anymore Welcome to the new influence landscape ➜ The rise of social media ➜ Digital friends ➜ Proliferation of influencer channels The impact ➜ The influence economy ➜ The democratisation of influence ➜ The new super influencers
  • 3. 5 Methodology This unique perspective comes from data collected in Every market is representative by age and sex to the the third instalment of Universal McCann’s global digital 16-54 Active Internet Universe. Quotas and universe sizes research programme “Wave”. The research was completed were established from local data sources such as TGI among 17,000 active internet users in 29 countries – and Simmons. making it one of the most wide reaching investigations into the subject of influence and word of mouth. Respondents To qualify as a member of the Active Internet Universe the are provided by the world’s leading online panel companies, respondent needs to be using the Internet everyday or every all recruited to strict ESOMAR standards. other day. They are the audience that matter to current and future of marketing communications and represent the consumer that are driving the new influence landscape. Australia Mexico Austria Netherlands Canada Romania China Pakistan Czech Republic Philippines Denmark Poland France Russia Germany South Korea Greece Spain Hong Kong Switzerland Hungary Taiwan India Turkey Italy UK Japan USA
  • 4. 7 No Strangers Anymore Long before the concept of marketing existed our sources Today the web is driven by its’ users and peoples’ thoughts of information were limited. What we now tag “Word of on everything are found across the web, personal blogs, to Mouth” was the only source of information outside religion, reviews on price comparison sites and wish lists on Amazon the monarchy and the state. People’s lives were localised are just some examples. It is now incredibly easy to share and the information that impacted on their main decisions opinions and cultivate influence, often without even trying. in life came from friends, family or perhaps the man in the The result has been the democratisation of influence to market. Then came the mass media age: newspapers, radio the masses. and the television set created exposure to influences beyond the ancient controllers of information. This is a fundamental change in the way we source and share opinions and today anyone can wield influence far However this influence was still professional and top down – beyond their immediate social group. In the old days the the news reader, the columnist and the expert. Mass media conversations we had with our immediate peers generally Graham, UK offered little in terms of consumer recommendation; readers’ stayed inside that network. Today opinions and experiences Agnes, France letters in newspapers and magazines or phone-ins on TV are shared worldwide. Never before have we been exposed and radio shows were as far as consumer influence went. to so many opinions and recommendations from so many Peer to peer interactions remained localised and face to face. people - most of whom are complete strangers, without the aura of expertise or celebrity recognition. Carlos, Brazil Then along came the web and a revolution began. In the early days, bulletin boards, chat rooms and home brew The result is an influence economy that is forcing everyone websites allowed those technically in the know to project their in the public realm including the owners of products and thoughts and opinions. More recently social media such as brands to become more transparent, open, conversational blogs, social networks, photo or video sharing sites and wikis and honest. They have to rethink the way that influence is have opened the door to consumer publishing and hundreds distributed and the role of marketing communications in an of millions have embraced it. information landscape dictated by consumers. Dmitri, Russia
  • 5. 9 Welcome to the new No Strangers Anymore cont. influence landscape This study demonstrates through a unique global research technology. We all share influence today whether we actively project in 29 countries that things have changed forever. In the mean to or not. new influencer landscape there are five fundamental changes that every brand and marketer will have to acknowledge. New super influencers rise above the mass: Not all Anyone can influence anyone: We now trust strangers as much as our closest friends. consumer influencers are equal. A new breed of “super influencers” has been created by the tools of the social media revolution. 3 key trends Friendship is no longer local or face to face: It’s becoming distant and virtualised. The new influence ecosystem has fundamentally changed how we buy products and services: There is a new level ➜ The rise of social media ➜ Digital friends of transparency and truth that all public institutions, Everybody is an influencer: The power to influence no companies and brands have to adhere to. longer belongs to the experts or “those in the know”. The idea that we live in a simplistic world where there is a small group of “influencers” who dictate the agenda to everyone Darren, UK ➜ Proliferation of influencer channels else is no longer true thanks to social media and digital Scott, USA Michael, Germany Yvonne, Switzerland Olga, Greece Teresa, Canada Brendan, Hungary
  • 6. 11 The rise of social media From its inception the internet has allowed consumers to These developments combined with the ever falling costs of create content in a manner that was never possible in the computing and broadband have enabled a global revolution age of mass media where TV, radio and press belonged in consumers publishing their content and thinking. to the professionals. The web reduced the barriers to production and opened the channels of distribution to This explosion of social media has created hundreds of anyone with a desire to create content or share their millions of content creators as demonstrated by data from thoughts and opinions. our Global Social Media Tracker in Figure 1. This shows massive growth in a very short period of time and users In the early days it required technical knowledge, experience have gradually moved from passive consumers to active and a substantial investment in computing hence the impact creators. Writing blogs has risen from 28% to 44%, creating was limited to the geek community. However, in the last a social network page has grown from 27.3% to 57.5% few years these barriers have disappeared and consumer and uploading a video clip from 10% to 42%. The result content and opinion has exploded due to the emergence of is billions of thoughts and opinions online available mass market social media platforms like YouTube, Blogger for anyone to read which is driving an influence revolution. and MySpace. Social Media adoption over time (Waves 1 – 3) 90% Read blogs/weblogs 80% Start my own blog/weblog Leave a comment on a blog site 70% Upload my photos to a photo sharing site 60% Upload a video clip to a video sharing site % Ever done 50% Watch video clips online Create a profile on a social network 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Wave 1 Sep 06 Wave 2 Jun 07 Wave 3 Mar 08 Figure 1: “Social Media adoption over time (Waves 1 – 3)” Global Average Source: Universal McCann Social Media Tracker – Power to the People
  • 7. 13 The rise of social media cont. The scale of this revolution is demonstrated by Figures 2 They are also sharing content; 55% are sharing photos, 22% and 3, which show the extent of content that social network are uploading videos and 23% are uploading applications, users and bloggers are uploading. It is clear that social all of which project opinions and endorse brands if included. media has become a platform for directly sharing opinion and thoughts; 34% of social network users are sharing opinions on music, 31% are writing a blog inside their profile and almost 10% have promoted a band. What I do with my social network profile Monica, Spain Install applications Favourite / 23.3% Glen, UK currently listened to music 33.6% Promote a band Hugh, Canada 9.8% Upload photos Write a blog 55.1% Upload 30.8% videos 21.9% % added to your social network page Figure 2: “What do you do with your social network profile?” Social Network Users, Global Average. Source: Universal McCann Social Media Tracker – Power to the People
  • 8. 15 The rise of social media cont. Bloggers are also very active in terms of sharing opinions and recommendations; 32% have shared recommended websites, 29% their favourite music and 28% opinions on products and brands. This is a massive volume of opinion that is fuelling the new influence landscape. What do I post on my blog? Upload Opinions on Have you seen the new Universal McCann website? music products Check it out and brands Recommended 20% websites 28% 32% Stories from other blogs Videos 23% 24% Favourite/ currently listened Photos to music 50% 29% Widgets 14% % posted to your blog Spyros – Greece Federico – Panama Figure 3: “When writing a blog, which of the following do you post?” Blog writers only, Global Average. Source: Universal McCann Social Media Tracker – Power to the People
  • 9. 17 Digital friends How I use social networks Since its inception as a closed academic and military and communication is much more frequent and casual. network the web has had a major impact on the way its What is interesting is the extent to which social media users communicate and the nature of the social contacts is beginning to rival its more established equivalents, they maintain. In 2008, 1.5bn people are online and the with nearly 58% having joined a social network. But impact of the internet has spread into the way we interact more importantly, as Figure 5 shows, these users are and communicate as a society. communicating in new ways, with 66% using them to stay in contact with existing friends, 42% using them to meet Figure 4 shows the penetration of different communications new people and 18% for dating. platforms; email is universally used and instant messenger Stay in contact is adopted by more than 80% of users world-wide. This has It is extending our definition of friendship and with existing moved billions of personal interactions into the virtual and is a fundamental shift towards a virtual friends 58% written word, where it is much easier to spread influence communications platform. Dating 18.3% How I communicate online Email 99% Instant messenger 81.6% VOIP 51.3% Meet new friends 42% Social network 58% Figure 4: “Thinking about the Internet, which of the following have Figure 5: “What do you do with your social networking profile?”, you done?”, Global Average. Source: Universal McCann Social Media Global Average. Source: Universal McCann Social Media Tracker – Tracker – Power to the People Power to the People
  • 10. 19 Digital friends cont. The rise of social platforms has created important new our friend networks to include new people and old friends thanks to a multitude of factors including low cost of entry, in the UK and 24% in the US. These are differences that channels for peer to peer interaction. Figure 6 and Figure we would have previously lost contact with. less competition from traditional media, a poor legacy of reflect broader patterns of adoption of social media and 7 show the global response to the statements, “blogging fixed line communications and a younger and relatively cultural differences in role of the web in life. is important to socialise with friends” and “I use social The global impact is not geographically uniform and there more affluent profile. This has driven enthusiasm for these networks to meet new people”, which indicate the social are large distinctions by country, with fast-growing emerging platforms as social channels. The key factor is that the social web is increasingly adopted impact of both these platforms. Both are now perceived internet markets leading the way, such as the Philippines, as a core social platform by hundreds of millions of users as important platforms for socialising with friends, pushing Mexico and India. In these countries social platforms There are also large distinctions in developed internet worldwide. This dramatically affects the exposure to channels more of our interactions into the virtual world and expanding have been enthusiastically embraced among web users, markets, 58% of South Korea web users and 66% in Italy of influence and the nature of the social groups we maintain. see blogging as a platform for socialising compared to 26% Blogging is important to socialise with friends Use social networks to meet new people % % % % % % 24 % 36 % % % % % .7 .1 .2 .3 .8 % .7 .8 % .8 % % % .8 % .1 % % % 58 24 ic % 14 57 ic % % % 32 % % .2 79 % % 30 .6 % % % 46 % .6 .5 % .2 % % % 53 .3 73 .7 % .8 .9 bl % % % bl % % .1 % .3 % .3 .5 % % .2 % % .9 38 .7 .4 .1 44 .4 .2 .4 46 a 17 .7 .5 .8 .6 28 42 pu s % 67 .6 s 21 pu % % a 27 .6 % 75 .8 .7 .9 44 27 nd re % s 25 .1 nd ng nd .8 73 24 % nd .5 ng .2 32 % .2 s re 72 33 39 58 46 64 % 39 48 ne 27 32 48 35 43 .2 .9 27 63 ne Re 37 69 Ko 34 Re k 61 y 60 ia 75 k .3 la y Ko Ko 42 47 rla .8 ia 70 la an % .8 lia Ko an rla ry ar an ry lia pi 52 da ar an 65 o da an ce er pi ce ria nd o n an n ia er ce 29 ria nd ce 25 ga ia 24 h ic y 28 he n nm ga h a ra y il ilip st h ic st ra he nm n wa rm il g wa h a a ilip na itz ke rm n ss ke n ec in az g a pa ee ut m na itz an ss st ex ec az la pa ee m on ki di an in ly st st ex ki ut un la ly ai un st on et di ai S Ch Ph et Sw Ru De Au i So Ge Ro Ca Br r K Po r i Cz K S Ita Gr Sw Ru Pa Ja Ta M Pa In De Au Au Ge Ro Ita Ph Ch Fr Ca Po Br Sp Ta Au Cz So Tu Gr Tu Sp N U H Ja In M Fr N U U H H U H 100 100 % Agree % Agree 0 0 Figure 6: Agree with the statement Figure 7: Agree with the statement “Blogging is important to socialise with friends” “I use social networks to meet new people”
  • 11. 21 Digital friends cont. The evolution of the web as a social platform and primary Interestingly these all rank above SMS or phone calls, which There are interesting regional differences in the nature of China – Instant Messenger leads the way as a nation of communication channel has had a dramatic impact on shows that PC based internet is for expanding networks, friend networks as demonstrated by some of the major single children jump on Instant Messenger tools like QQ the scale and nature of our friendship networks. Figure while mobile is for maintaining current ones. internet markets shown in figure 9: to socialise. On average they have 51 friends on Instant 8 shows the global average number of friends and Messenger versus 28 friends face to face – a staggering shift personal acquaintances we maintain via different forms of The nature of friendship is changing from voice to text and Brazil – very large friend networks, expanded further online. to the virtual. communication including face to face, digital and letters. written word. This is a significant change in the ability to Brazilian web users are known as vicarious social network influence and share opinions as it’s much easier to do in users thanks to an obsession with Orkut. On average they The amazing truth is that the web has massively expanded text – communication is more frequent and can include maintain 51 friendships via social networks. the size of our social platforms and virtualised a large additional information like links, videos and photos. proportion of our daily contact. Today, although we still Average number of contacts via maintain an average of 35 friendships face to face, it is different forms of online communications rapidly being equalled by email with an average of 32, social networks with 30 and Instant Messenger with 29. BRAzIl Social network 51.5 Instant Messenger 48.5 Email 45.3 Face to face 38.2 Graeme, USA My personal blog 26.2 Phone 24.4 Text Message 17 Post/letter 8.6 Average number of contacts via Average number of connections maintained different forms of online communications 0 60 Face to face 35 CHINA Instant Messenger 49 Email 32 Phone 33.6 Social network 30 Email 32.2 Instant Messenger 28 Text Message 31.7 Phone 26 Social network 31.3 Text Message 21 Face to face 27.5 My personal blog 13 My personal blog 26.1 Post/letter 9 Post/letter 12.6 Average number of connections maintained Average number of connections maintained 0 60 0 60 Figure 8: “Approximately how many people do you stay in contact with in Figure 9: “Approximately how many people do you stay in contact with in your personal life through the following means?”, Global Average your personal life through the following means?”, key internet markets
  • 12. 23 Digital friends cont. India – Email and mobile lead the way as Indians leapfrog Japan – Significantly smaller friend networks reflect the UK – Social networks now equal the number of face-to-face US – Email just leads face-to-face relationships, but SMS yet fixed line networks, embracing functional communications structure of society, although it one of the most virtualised relationships reflecting the massive growth of Facebook. to catch on. platforms over social ones. with email and social networks leading face to face, but SMS usage is level with phone calls demonstrating the Instant Messenger lags. popularity of messaging. Average number of contacts via Average number of contacts via different forms of online communications different forms of online communications INDIA Email 51.6 UK Face to face 30.9 Phone 45.1 Social network 30.5 Social network 42.9 Email 25.2 Face to face 42 Phone 21.1 Text Message 35.5 Text Message 20.8 Instant Messenger 33.2 Instant Messenger 20.1 Post/letter 23.8 My personal blog 9.7 My personal blog 17.9 Post/letter 7.1 Average number of connections maintained Average number of connections maintained 0 60 0 60 JAPAN Email 8.5 USA Email 21.1 Text Message 8 Face to face 20 Social network 7.4 Phone 16.9 Phone 7 Social network 16.6 Face to Face 6.5 Instant Messenger 12.4 Post/Letter 6.3 Text Message 8.9 My personal blog 3.8 Post/letter 7.4 Instant Messenger 2.9 My personal blog 7.1 Average number of connections maintained Average number of connections maintained 0 60 0 60
  • 13. 25 Digital friends cont. The impact of virtual networks and digitised friends can interactions tend to be more formal. Also social networks are stay in touch with a partner face to face. Staying in touch amount of interaction is text-based and remote. be seen on our core day to day interactions with partners, beginning to become important as the boundaries between with children is a very similar pattern, remarkably 16% stay The impacts on the way we interact, communicate and friends, work colleagues and children. There has been professional and personal continue to disapear. in touch by text and 13% by email, which again are very build our networks are substantial and they have a major a significant shift to virtual communication as shown in significant numbers considering just 34% have children and effect on the way we interface, receive and transmit Figure 10. This is particularly marked within friend networks The most remarkable trend is the influence of the virtual stay in touch face to face. recommendations. where 79% keep in touch by email, 70% by SMS, 67% by connection on our most personal of relationships. Nearly messenger and 46% by social networks. Interacting with 38% of respondents say they keep in contact with their This is a big shift. Think back 10 years, email was just current work colleagues is led by phone and email, where partner via SMS, 30% via email and 10% via Instant emerging as a business tool, IM and social networks were Messenger. All very significant compared to the 55% who yet to exist and SMS was nowhere. Today an increasing How do I keep in contact with my friends How do I keep in contact with my partner How do I keep in contact How do I keep in contact with my children with my current work colleagues Social network Social network 31.1% 45.7% 7.2% Post/letter Instant Messenger My personal Social network 79.4% 9.8% 25.7% 15.1% Instant Messenger 9.6% blog 34.1% Email My personal blog 5.8% 43% Face to face Social network 3.4% 30.1% 8.1% Email 37.9% 15.8% Email Instant Messenger 22% 2.2% Text Message 66.9% Text Message 44.4% My personal blog 3.7% 39.2% My personal blog Instant Messenger 58% 24.4% Post/letter Post/letter Phone Phone 82.4% Face to face 13% Phone 48.8% 29.3% Phone 54.9% Email Text Message Face to face 70.1% 8.1% Post/letter Text Message 86.3% Face to face % stay in contact Figure 10: “How do you keep in contact with the following people”, Global Average
  • 14. 27 Proliferation of influencer channels The continuing rise of social media and digitisation of our wish lists of products, Ebay has consumer ratings of sellers friend networks has opened up a mass of new influence and iTunes has consumer ratings and recommendations. channels that allow consumers to voice and have their This creates an environment where sharing opinions has opinions heard, both amongst existing networks and more never been so easy - a very real change in a very short importantly among a wider audience. Consumer contribution space of time. to the web has become the norm. The result is a situation we can call casual influence, it’s now The result is that all sites are now incorporating social incredibly easy to influence other consumers be it via voting aspects that encourage consumer input and interaction buttons or creating favourites lists or even just by purchasing and there is now a huge number of ways in which to share a product that will later become a recommendation for opinions as represented in figure 11. For example all another consumer. There are so many tools to do this that e-commerce sites now have consumer reviews, comments we no longer have to really think actively about influencing. and recommendations; Amazon allows users to compile Consumer influence channels – mass market age versus social media age Mass Market Age Social Media Age Talk face to face Talk face to face Personal blog Comments on blogs Phone call Phone call Social network page Comments on websites Talk to a shop worker Widgets Viral emails Talk to a shop worker Consult a professional Video sharing site Auction websites Consult a professional Readers letters Photo sharing site Wish lists Readers letters Phone in; TV / Radio Chat rooms Ratings on retail sites Phone in; TV / Radio SMS Message boards Reviews on retail sites Email Social Bookmarking Price comparison sites Instant Messenger Chat room Social shopping sites Figure 11: “Consumer influence channels – mass market age versus social media age”, Global Average
  • 15. 29 Proliferation of influencer channels cont. The extent of adoption of the new influence channels can Significantly social channels are also extremely popular and be seen in figure 12, which shows the monthly reach. Over have very similar levels of penetration. More than 30% of 44% of users have shared an opinion about a product or people have commented on a product or service review on a service by Instant Messenger with a friend in the last month blog, just above the 29% that have recommended a product and 42% by email. These two show that the web is an or brand on a blog in the past month. Amazingly, both now extension of the existing relationships. rank above writing a review on an e-commerce site, a much Hi Alistair, more accessible and mainstream social channel. I’ve found this amazing golf hotel. I’ll send you details later. How I share opinions of products, brands and services Tell someone about a product/service by Instant Messenger 44.5% Tell someone about a product/service by email 42.4% Comment on a product/service review on a blog/weblog 30.4% Recommend a product/service on a blog/weblog 29.4% Write review of product/service on ecommerce/retail site 28.9% Comment on product/service review on ecommerce/retail site 28.9% Post opinion on social network personal profile 27.6% Write a review of a product/service on yr blog/weblog 27.5% Create product wish/favs list on ecommerce/retail site 27.4% Post a video clip featuring a product/service 25.1% Monthly Average 0 50 Figure 12: “Thinking about how you can share an opinion on a product, brand or service via the Internet. On average how often do you do the following?” Global Monthly Average
  • 16. 31 Proliferation of influencer channels cont. There are clear motivations for online users to share their Interestingly for the mass market, a brand being fashionable What motivated me to share my opinion? opinions. When asked to rate different factors on a scale of 5 or discovering an unknown brand is not a major driver to for importance a definitive pattern emerges among the mass recommend and users would much rather comment and market as Figure 13 shows. The most important factors pass judgement on something that is already known and Good personal experience 4.1 being a good experience, a friend having a good experience familiar. This is because we are more familiar with these and a quality product – demonstrating the importance in the products and we feel safer in recommending it. This shows Someone you trust having a good personal experience 3.7 new influence landscape of investing in a quality product. that the majority of us do not want to dictate trends, but The brand is high quality 3.7 These both rank above negative experience, rebuffing the respond and evaluate what is already established. A friend’s recommendation 3.4 misconception that people just use the web to complain. Bad personal experience 3.3 These motivations indicate two things; firstly companies that A free sample you receive 3.2 All aspects of personal experience and personal invest in quality product will succeed and will get a much Your friends like the product or service 3.2 recommendations are stronger influences than any greater exposure through consumer content than their Someone you trust having a bad personal experience 3.2 traditional paid for communications except sampling. A clear marketing budget allows; secondly it means that companies The product or service is discounted 3.1 demonstration that being active in social media will become with a bad product or trying to cover up bad behaviour will The brand is popular 2.9 increasingly important for brands. suffer in the transparent world of the influencer economy. An advertisement you find interesting & inspiring 2.8 A promotion you see in a store 2.7 A recommendation in the media (TV/newspapers/mags/radio) 2.6 A recommendation you receive in a store 2.5 The brand is fashionable 2.4 The brand is unknown amongst social group 2.1 I’ve found the coolest trainers ever. Seen used by a celebrity/well known figure 1.8 Federico, Panama I’ll show you on Saturday. Spyros, Greece 0 Average Score 1-5 4.5 Figure 13: “The following are a list of reasons and motivations for you to talk about a product, brand or service. Please can you consider how important they are in motivating you to talk to others? Where 5 = very motivating and 1 = Not at all motivating.” Global Average
  • 17. 33 Proliferation of influencer channels cont. As Figure 14 shows, these new channels have become The other validation for the impact of social channels How I source opinions on products, brands and services an essential part of our repertoire for sourcing information is the 55% of the active Internet universe claiming to on products and brands. When asked which ones were have sought product and brand information on personal consulted for information on products and brands in recommendations on social networks and 51% on personal Search for a specific product/service on a search engine 82.1% an average month, all remarkably had a penetration of blogs in an average month. This compares with 55% more than 40%, with all social channels competing reading reviews on a news website for product and brand Read an email from a friend/colleague 80.2% extremely well. information in the last month and the same number reading Visit official company/brand website 69.6% reviews on price comparison sites. Instant Messenger conversation with a friend/colleague 69.2% Search is number one, but an email recommendation Bookmark products & services interested in 63.3% is virtually the same with 80% monthly reach. Instant It’s clear that social and consumer-generated channels, Visit an Internet auction site 58.1% Messenger conversation with a friend has the same regardless of environment are consumed at the same level Read comments on a personal profile on a sn e.g 55.1% penetration as visiting a branded website. Both of which as professional content - a big development in the growth of Read official reviews on retail/price comparison websites 55% demonstrate the increasing reach of digitised direct the new influencer landscape. Read reviews written on news websites e.g 55% communication channels as a form of influence. Read a personal blog/weblog by someone you know 51.4% Read reviews by consumers on retail sites e.g 49.9% Visit online Chat rooms/message boards 47.8% Hayley, London Read a blog/weblog by someone you do not know 46.6% Read peoples wish/fave lists on retail websites 43.1% Read a blog/weblogs managed by a brand/private company 42.3% What’s the best mobile network 0 % Monthly Reach 90 you know of?! Figure 14: “Thinking about the process of looking for opinions on a product, brand or services online. On average how often do you do the following when looking for information on products, brands and services?”, Global Average
  • 18. 35 Proliferation of influencer channels cont. The common perception is that today’s society is more brands and services, proving that online strangers simply • We trust strangers online almost as much as face to face • Blogs are becoming a trusted form of opinion, blogs from dangerous and less community orientated than it has ever aren’t perceived as a threat, quite the contrary. Today we recommendation people you know rank at number 7 and those by from been. If you read the more hysterical newspapers, you trust the opinions of strangers from all round the world professionals or micropublishers, number 15. Blogs are could be forgiven for thinking that every stranger is going almost as much as the people we know. • We would much rather trust a stranger than a celebrity, by almost as trusted as their written word counterparts, to kill you and steal your credit card. But as this research a long way magazines and newspapers demonstrates, this is simply untrue, at least in the world of • The top four trusted forms of recommendation are all the web. Figure 15 shows the extent to which global web direct conversation – significantly two of these are now on • We trust a stranger over any paid-for communications or • Not everything online is trusted: emails from companies users trust different sources of information on products, internet channels: email and Instant Messenger advertising are only marginally more trusted than celebrities • We trust a stranger more in a regulated environment like reviews in a retail site such as Amazon or an auction site like eBay The sources of information I trust 28 89 5. 92 02 4. 95 7 m 3. 3 4. 41 5. ow .7 co 3. rt) 56 om 4. 2 )4 ue kn e. w po 4. 5. in 77 ag uk 16 .c no om u ns el om on 2 yo le om o. tk 6. 6. ic 4. .c tra ol .c az .c pr le no ay .c ily c ls an e et am op ic 51 on na eb d/ or g am es 4 do dg bl di e. 4 pe 3. en st az sio 3. sit g pu ar 6 .g 6 /f ga 9 bs u e. in 3. fri am .1 ts by (e gu 7 es yo ds es rk en we on 3. en es r4 ys a of ne wo e m en en g le g 77 sit sit g la th ev pr e. s ds e. m on pe gi op e. fri et ad itt isp wi b 5 en ra 5. n ar es m ng s ris ln wr pa we pe .3 g m io e og s td bo n lo fro sit sit rti pa 2 ue er 4 cia ct ch )4 fro ws tio 33 g lb by il pr 25 3. 07 b uc o lo au st 67 ta e m ag il ns ar sa ne we vis da 4.1 so sp m 4. na g ns ta lb Po 4 n o re od 3. n 4. co se sa le tio 3. r e co di 7 te re 31 tio n tio ve io a or na lin e ws ol pr 3. on es .g ra es e it m o da 7 e e. a sit 63 ss in g da on on da /c m wr 3. 6 ic so on ts 64 7 (e ne a mm .co nts in m liv on ni d g on eb fe en ts 4. 3. pr m ge en en 3. pr in rc en nd an sin er tis pa ws g g g ro lis 4. s/ an co ook poi .g on W ra m gs in lo sin pa -p le n ev m il/ n n ts r m ge e g om -p rti m vie (e n ve tio og -b om tis v io tio fri le tic sin tin ta nd r m on b w m io n /fa rti gs n ve ve co of rs ad tic gs gs ne da r re ro re ce ie te co se ar at co a lis ve ec ra rti ve tte lo Ad ad sh ws ip fa ts/v it lo lo ar m m m gi en es re on at s le n er /b ve eb re er Ad wr ad lr Figure 15: “Thinking about where d sh le eb wi eb er te e fro en or ie fro e Ch e on ap re M ny ap m ad e. en na ity /W al in um ws ev in r s ws nf /W /W or a s so so om er pa isi sp on ch ls nt sp az br le m m so ls az e gs rr fi o o ie vie gs gs on on ai ns ad in you find information for products, op ai ev ta di td ew ne le m m ag rs ew ar r ag el c v o se Em Pe g l Em o o Re s Ra Re Ce Co Sp Sp Ou On Bl Re Re Re l Co Pe Co Sh Pe Se Te M Ci Bl Bl In M N U N brands and services that you buy. 10 Please can you rate them in terms of how trust worthy the information High trust provided typically is? Where 10 = Very trustworthy and 1 = Not at all trustworthy”, Global Average low trust 0
  • 19. 37 Proliferation of influencer channels cont. 16 17 1 It might be assumed that age will be a big factor in that the difference in trust by age is marginal particularly Blogs/Weblogs-blog written determining levels of trust of strangers. The assumption when that opinion is seen inside another environment such Trust by gender by people you do not know 6 6 would be that the younger you are and the more familiar as an e-commerce store. 5 5 you are with social platforms, the more likely you are to Consumers reviews on retail Peoples wish/fav lists on retail 4 sites e.g 4 websites e.g trust consumer opinion online. As this research shows, it is Gender (Figure 17) is even less of a factor, with identical 3 3 simply not true – age is not a significant factor. Looking at levels of trust. Interestingly the only demographic that chart 2 2 the channels of information that consumers can project their influences in a major way is the final level of education; the 1 1 opinions through by age group in Figure 18, it is clear more educated the more you trust the opinions of strangers 17 0 0 18 (Figure 16), particularly on blogs. Blogs/Weblogs- personal blog Comments/viewpoints on social written by people you know network sites e.g Trust by final education level 16 17 Blogs/Weblogs-blog written by people you do not know 6 6 User reviews on an online Blogs/Weblogs- professional 5 5 auction site (e.g blog e.g Male Consumers reviews on retail Peoples wish/fav lists on retail 4 4 Female 3 sites e.g 3 websites e.g Trust by age Blogs/Weblogs-blog written Figure 17: Trust by gender, Global Average chart by people you do not know 2 2 1 1 6 6 0 0 5 5 Consumers reviews on retail Peoples wish/fav lists on retail Blogs/Weblogs- personal blog Comments/viewpoints on social Venus, Philippines sites e.g 4 websites e.g 4 3 3 written by people you know network sites e.g 2 2 1 1 0 0 Comments/viewpoints on social Blogs/Weblogs- personal blog User reviews on an online Blogs/Weblogs- professional network sites e.g written by people you know auction site (e.g blog e.g Post Graduate University 16-24 College 25-34 Secondary User reviews on an online Blogs/Weblogs- professional 35-44 Primary School auction site (e.g blog e.g 45-54 Figure 16: Trust by final education level, Global Average Figure 18: Trust by age, Global Average
  • 20. 39 Proliferation of influencer channels cont. How much you trust strangers online is more likely to be determined by nationality and the resulting cultural, social and technological differences as demonstrated in Figure 19 – the levels of trust for social recommendations higher than in the US, UK or Japan. There are also cultural factors at play: in China the collective is still important despite the in-roads of capitalism while in Brazil culture is more shared and open. Trust by country 19 Blogs/Weblogs-blog written in some key developed and emerging markets and the by people you do not know differences are very clear. Japan, despite very high levels of technology, shows that culture and social factors are also important as levels of 7 Levels of trust are significantly higher in South Korea, where trust are much lower than South Korea. Friend networks in 6 massive government investment has created the most Japan tend to be much smaller and there are stricter rules Consumers reviews on retail connected and broadband proficient country in the world, of conduct about interacting with people not familiar to you. 5 Peoples wish/fav lists on retail sites e.g leading to the highest levels of social media and content websites e.g 4 generation of any of the developed markets. The result is an The UK and the US have almost identical levels of trust and ecosystem of influence, where the opinions of strangers are both are significantly lower than the average particularly 3 extremely well trusted. in the unregulated environments of blogs and social 2 networks. This reflects lower levels of participation in Trust is next highest in China and Brazil where uptake of content generation and a culture where strangers have been 1 social media is also extremely high. Trust here is significantly increasingly depicted in the mass media as a threat. 0 Blogs/Weblogs- personal blog Comments/viewpoints on social written by people you know network sites e.g Matsui, Japan What’s the best digital camera at Henry, Australia Brazil the moment? How much can you China get it for in Japan? Japan South Korea Blogs/Weblogs- professional UK User reviews on an online auction site (e.g blog e.g US Figure 19: Trust by country, Global Average
  • 21. 41 The new influencer landscape: the summary The rise of social media Proliferation of influence channels • Has turned hundreds of millions of us into content • The continual rise of social media and the growth of creators and placed billions of opinions online mechanisms for user input have created an incredible wealth of outlets to share opinions and thoughts • The world’s collective thinking is now online and published, a first in history • There is a new form of casual influence – It is now incredibly easy to share opinion, from voting buttons, • A total revolution in the way consumers share to wish lists to comments. These are powerful forms influence and opinion of influence that do not require much commitment Digital friends • We now trust a strangers recommendation as much as our closest friends • Digital channels have moved more of our social interactions into the virtual space and into text and the • We trust recommendations in social media channels written word more than paid-for communications • The web has expanded our networks to include people we don’t know and people we used to know and in a pre web age we would have lost contact with • Digital channels encourage more frequent interaction and make it easier to share influence e.g through sending links, videos or pictures
  • 22. 43 The new influencer landscape: the future Social Shopping New social shopping and recommendation sites have emerged, built entirely around the consumer Friendfeed aggregates all your feeds from across social recommendation. It’s social networking meets shopping, media into one place. Favourite a YouTube video, add a aiming to connect you with products you would never product to your Amazon wish list or post photos onto Flickr – find in Wal-Mart. Currently they are biased towards the everything appears in one chronological feed for your friends US and English language, but expect them to proliferate to see. across the world: Recommendation through behaviour What you buy or do will influence others through the data mining of actual behaviour. Expect the sophistication of these recommendation engines to improve every move you make online to contribute to recommendations systems, creating a system where you influence without even trying. Shashi, India Manpreet, China Netflix: The US DVD rental service has launched a $1m prize to improve its recommendation algorithm that works out whether you’d like a film or not. Recommendation Aggregation Amazon: The global retailer uses collaborative filtering Services are evolving to transmit your recommendations into algorithms to give you relevant product recommendations one place, pulling them from across the web. based on real life purchasing. One reason why Amazon has stayed on top. Hayley, UK Participating sites share your purchases and selections into your Facebook news stream. For example if you buy a movie ticket on Fandango, watch it appear as news on Facebook. Highly controversial on launch due to privacy concerns – watch what you buy your girlfriend as a birthday surprise. Somyot, Thailand
  • 23. 45 The impact The influence economy ➜ The influence economy The social web has enabled every web user to have the The big surprise is the high levels of contribution in sectors that chance to contribute their opinions on products and services. you would traditionally consider low interest, such as utilities But this impact is not uniform across all types of information, or financial services. In addition consumers are just as willing ➜ The democratisation of influence products and services. Figure 20 shows the impact the social web has had on our ability to share opinions and to comment on services and products they can’t buy online. Categories such as alcoholic drinks, groceries and cosmetics information by category. The most striking observation is that are still heavily reviewed, indicating that the impacts of ➜ The new super influencers the participation rates for reviewing online are extremely high across all categories. consumer opinion are being felt regardless of the sector. The implication of this is that all products are now exposed The leading categories are those which are highest to higher levels of consumer scrutiny pre-purchase; they participation; films, music, technology and books. Subjects have to be more open, transparent and honest. Bad practice we all experience, have made a major impact in e-commerce or poor service will be reported and will enter the purchase and all have an opinion on, regardless of expert knowledge. decision process. Brands today are involved in social and conversational media, whether they like it or not. What I have recommended online 5% 8% % .9 2% .8 .3 43 56 4% 54 4% .7 8% rs % 45 PC 2% .6 .1 P3 ze 13 % .4 38 % 47 ’s/ es 9% ee 4% M .3 .7 9 50 3 4% TV .7 ho Fr 54 .9 s 49 g 8% g. .0 .1 ge in 41 ns 36 /s .4 e. 53 g. g. 43 am e ns % ra .3 ng ai 46 ic e. e. re gy te 38 ve 37 /tr io e % ts rv hi /g ca % ar ta es lo gy s at be uc ts 9 se ot es ile 6 ks s no es tw lth .8 nc in lo gh ga .4 cl 1% 7% od ol ob 8% in lic e no 40 st of ch a al ia 39 fli on ns g. % dr he pr g. de rs ho om .2 .1 /re pl ch te .2 e. s .1 g. co ph e. s 53 57 ic ap s/ lic al te co al 59 te ty ie e. ut e 43 n et ay es i pu bl on es ho nc er er ile al io /a s e e ic el sm s id rta iti ok od om sh om op oc m m rs rs ob co na us lm on av til ol Ga Bo Co Pe Ca Co Po Fo Fa Gr Pr Al M M Tr Fi Fi U N H H H 70 % Ever reviewed online Hugh, Canada 0 Figure 20: “Thinking about the following types of products, brands or services. Can you please indicate whether you have reviewed them online, either a positive, average or negative opinion”, Global Average
  • 24. 47 The influence economy cont. Using films as an example, a clear global pattern emerges The leading markets are predominately Asian; South Korea, Have you ever reviewed a film online? demonstrating the places where the influencer economy Hong Kong, Philippines, India, Pakistan and China. is currently strongest (Figure 21). As films are universally This shows that extremely high participation rates in social viewed worldwide, regardless of income, this is a sensible media are spilling over into direct recommendations measure to pull out the extent of involvement in the on products and brands. The only exception to the Asian influence economy. dominance is Brazil, a country that is obsessed with social networking. % .8 2% 3% 4% 4% 52 % Participation rates fall dramatically for Europe and North 7% % .4 .5 9% % .6 .0 .0 % 7% 73 5% 9% 3% ic 41 2% 6% 95 .6 6% 53 88 8% 87 % 4% .6 .2 % % % bl .9 49 .9 % .2 .2 .8 69 .5 .7 37 % s pu 81 .5 .7 a .6 55 36 3% .2 % nd ng .6 s nd .8 America, which is not due to any less love for film but more 50 re .2 % 51 67 36 65 67 74 ne 40 52 52 k Re .1 78 87 55 y Ko ia Ko la n ar lia 82 .9 ry rla .3 an pi da a 58 an ce er o ce nd a n ga an nm ia y 48 54 ra st Diederik, Netherlands h he a ilip zil ic ri h n g ke wa m a na itz ss ec in m ee an ki st on st ut un ai la p ex di ly a of an indication that the more developed web markets et r De r K S Ch Ph Ja Ru Sw Pa Ro Au i Au Ge Ca Sp Br Po Cz Ita Tu So Gr Ta In Fr H M H N U U haven’t embraced the consumer influence revolution with 100 the same level of enthusiasm. Factors in this include a more developed mass of traditional media to provide influence, % Ever reviewed online a legacy of passive web usage prior to social media and the growth of experts on to the web to share their opinions in a manner more like traditional media. It’s no coincidence that blogs in Asia have been employed as a social channel, while in the US and Europe they are more likely to be a channel to project your opinions to the many, a reason why thousands of micro-publishers have emerged in the 0 blogging environment. e This analysis indicates that levels of opinion contribution ck at th Hanco are a reflection of overall usage of social media. It is also I saw last Friday. . cinem a esome h is aw ! clear that culture plays a factor. In Asia and even more so W ill Smit go to see it ust in Chinese influenced communities, hierarchical societies You m predominate and sharing opinions face to face is not as accepted as it is in the more individualistic societies of Europe and North America. The web has acted as an outlet for these opinions allowing the new influencer landscape to bypass traditional hierarchies. Figure 21: “Thinking about the following types of products, brands or services. Can you please indicate whether you have reviewed them online, either a positive, average or negative opinion”, Films Category
  • 25. 49 The influencer economy cont. When it comes to sourcing information, there are significant Interestingly the products that are low in terms of sourcing differences by category with larger variations by category information are also low categories for e-commerce, such than for the sharing information. The result being that some as groceries, beverages, healthcare and cosmetics – all categories are very high in sharing and low in sourcing and impulse or immediate need products that rarely have a vice versa. The leading category, ‘holiday and destinations’ significant consideration period. However these are all is the lead category for sourcing information but very few categories we have reviewed online – showing a disconnect people actually share their own experiences. in contribution versus sourcing, The Azores are absolutely The leading products after holidays and destinations are The other interesting observation is the number of people fantastic! I’ve seen some home technology, travel and portable technology; not only who have researched ‘big ticket’ items such as cars whales today... high interest, but products that have been strongly impacted and property is still significant. This is important as it by e-commerce. Following travel and technology films, demonstrates that consumer influence on the web is also music and books are the next most popular, all important impacting long-term branding. in the sharing of information, making them very active categories in the influence economy. Theresa, Azores What I have researched online 4% % .1 .1 % 31 24 .6 56 e) c) nc Tom, UK et es ra s 5% on se su Ph en 5. in % )1 tl g/ ile .1 ac in ob ts 39 nk nt uc /M co ba s % od er % rs s/ .4 es pr ez 56 laye .1 rd 58 % in fre ng 16 ca ic .9 1% p % % ni PC % ed s/ it 36 c P3 35 ea ed .9 % ge .9 et m 9. ’s/ % % M .7 cl id cr g 61 % ty s) TV 56 .3 g s in 7% Fr 29 % ci . ge g g oe .7 .g (e 52 am s e. e. ns tri .3 g in e (e g ra 43 sh 8. e. re e ic om s e. ec od gy io tra 12 /G ve at e )1 s rv ca % at gy g/ ar el ct s lo fo st be se es ile e s/ in in .5 s lth tw no lo od du lE nc s k on ht ol st th ob ga % no % 27 lic in of e ea ch % (fo ea ro ia ns De om flig on (n lo .2 dr rS .8 ch ho .8 g H lp pl te /R (c s Co ph s e. 46 48 s ic s/ ap lic te e Te co 49 rie al ia ut ie ty e n -i. et ay s pu bl on es ho nc er er ile al io /A ce ie s ic e e el sm s rta id ok sh om oc op m it m rs rs ob co na us lm on av o til ol Gr Ga Bo Pe Co Ca Co Po Fa Gr Pr Al M M Tr Fi Fi N U H H H 70 % Researched online 0 Figure 22: “Which of the following types of products and services have you researched online before choosing to buy?” Global Average buy?”,
  • 26. 51 Democratisation of influence Figure 23 shows the impact of the new influencer landscape Looking at the categories where we are predominately The categories I influence in – when asked whether we see ourselves as influencers or receivers, it is the categories that are less dictated by receivers on a number of product categories, we now claim personal choice and more about in-depth knowledge. They Receivers Influencers to be influencers or receivers across a huge number of are the fields that are traditionally low interest and dictated Always ask Groceries (food) categories both on and offline. by experts, such as property, finance, cars and cosmetics. Sometimes ask Non alcoholic beverages However the impact of the new world of influence can Sometimes inform Music Firstly the extent to which we consider ourselves influencers even be seen here: although they rank last, they are still Often inform Films is much higher across all categories than would be expected all over 40%; a reflection of a consumer who has access Books and is now similar to the extent that we consider ourselves to to unprecedented volumes of knowledge, opinion and fact Mobile phone service be receivers – this is a direct result of the ease of access for online. This will no doubt increase over time, eroding the sharing influence. Secondly there is a correlation between power of the experts and bringing consumer influence into Groceries (non food e.g cleaning products) the categories that are most popular for sharing information all categories. Home Technology e.g TV’s/PC online and the ones that we now consider ourselves to be Fashion (clothing/ shoes) influencers in – music, film, books and technology. These Portable technology e.g MP3 players/ Mobile Phones[Always ask are the categories most dependent on personal taste. This Holidays/ Destinations shows how important the web is in shaping the influence Alcoholic drinks economy. Home appliances e.g Fridges/ freezers Travel Groceries and drinks prove the exception to the rule as they are products that we are all knowledgeable about Personal Healthcare (e.g medicines contact lenses etc)[Always ask and consequently have always been rich in our verbal Computer Software conversations, however they don’t fit into our online Utilities e.g gas electricity etc[Always ask others] conversations, mainly because they are impulse products Games Consoles/ Gaming without a long purchase process. Cosmetics Cars/ Automobiles Financial products (e.g credit cards/ banking/ insurance)[Always Property/Real Estate[Often inform others] -80 0 80 Rolandas, Lithuania Figure 23: “Thinking about the following type of products, brands and services, which of the following statements apply? I often inform others on what to buy / I sometimes inform others on what to buy / I sometimes ask others what products to buy /I would always ask others about what products to buy ”, Global Average
  • 27. 53 Democratisation of influence cont. The true picture of the democratisation of influence can be More importantly this contradicts the idea that we live in a The number of categories I influence in seen in the number of categories that we claim to influence simplistic world where there is a small group of “influencers” in. Figure 24 shows that we consider ourselves to be who dictate their agenda to everyone else. The truth is influencers across several categories. The peak of influence everybody influences and receives information across a Number of categories influence/source around 12-14 categories is much higher than would have huge number of categories and thanks to social media 20+ Source been expected before the advent of the web. Visually it can this trend has been amplified. The reality today is much 19 Influence be seen that the pattern of influencers is top heavy, the more complicated. 18 majority influence in 10+ categories, which is much higher 17 than the mid point for sourcing information - we now claim 16 to share more than we receive. 15 14 Urban, Sweden 13 Jennie, UK Mihai, Romania 12 11 10 Arne-Inge, Norway 9 8 7 Michael, Denmark Tara, USA 6 5 4 3 Tadek, Poland 2 1 0 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 Figure 24: “Thinking about the following type of products, brands and services, which of the following statements apply? I often inform others on what to buy / I sometimes inform others on what to buy / I sometimes ask others what products to buy /I would always ask others about what products to buy”, Riham, Egypt Global Average cumulative number of categories
  • 28. 55 The new super influencers Now we all influence – the real indication of a true influencer Figure 25 shows how they are more likely to be male, 25-34 The new super influencers fit the typical profile of early I like taking risks; I spend a lot of time out and about with is someone who does it regardless of category, so if we and be mid or senior influential office workers. They are also adopters who are likely to try new products, take risks and friends; when buying products my friends ask my opinion. look at respondents who claim to strongly influence in more likely to be highly educated. share their opinions with friends. The top statements are as 15+ categories, we can see the emergence of a super you would expect; first amongst friends to try new products; influencer. This is a new kind of influencer who, thanks Essentially in the knowledge heavy, written world of the to social media and the tools it provides to create and share web, intelligence and computer literacy are major factors in influence emerges above the clutter of mass influence spreading significant influence. Super influencer attitudes to spread opinion far and wide. Index aginst all active internet users Index against all active internet users 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 50 70 90 110 130 150 170 First amongst friends/family to try new products/services Super Influencer 190 Male demographic I like taking risks Female I spend a lot of time out and about with friends 16 – 24 When buying products, friends often ask my opinion 25 – 34 I pursue a life of challenge, novelty and change 35 – 44 45 – 54 Always looking for new products/services to try Student I have a keen sense of adventure Office Junior I often do things on the spur of the moment Office (Mid Manager) I want to get to the very top of my career Office (Senior Manager) I seize opportunities when they arise Non Office I try hard to stay in contact with friends/acquaintances Housewife Unemployed I’m an optimist Other I’m interested in other cultures Primary School People must take me as they find me Some Secondary School I enjoy good quality things Full Secondary School Important to keep well informed about things College University Figure 25: Super Post Graduate Influencer demographics indexed agsinst all respondents Figure 26: lifestyle statements indexed against all respondents
  • 29. 57 The new super influencers The most defining aspect is that they are extremely heavy This is a real world phenomenon, which has been Super Influencer social media usage users of social media, particularly in terms of content demonstrated recently in the US presidential election in creation. Figure 27 demonstrates that they are much more 2008. It has been widely credited that the creators or likely to blog, upload videos and photos and comment on creative class, as they have been tagged, helped Obama Index against all active internet users sites and social networks. Social media is providing them get the democratic party nomination. The creators through 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 with the tools to create and share influence and they are prolific blogging, twittering, social networking and content doing so in massive numbers regardless of subject matter. creation generated massive influence helping to raise funds, Upload video clip to video sharing website The top indexing social media channels for content creation getting people out to vote and changing the opinions of Subscribe to an RSS feed are uploading video, writing blogs and leaving a comment on mainstream media. a blog site. Start my own blog/weblog Download a podcast The new super influencers are also the lead content generators. Social media both enables the sharing of leave a comment on a blog site influence and attracts those who wish to publish and have Federico, Panama Upload my photos to a photo sharing website their opinion shared and they are utilising this opportunity to the maximum. They are also embracing the new Make a phone call using your computer channels of information such as RSS and Create a profile on a new social network podcasts to bypass conventional media channels and also listening to those that Visit a photo sharing website create more than established media. Share a video clip with a friend Manage profile on existing social network Read blogs/weblogs Visit a friend’s social network page listen to live audio/radio online Use instant messenger Watch video clips online Funda, Turkey Figure 27: Super Influencer social media usage indexed against all respondents
  • 30. 59 The new super influencers Super influencers are much more likely to be motivated by This is a new creative class who are going beyond the tools Super influencers are found across the globe , but there is The leading developed web markets are Italy, Japan and overt commercial messaging; celebrity endorsements and of casual influence to create rich and deep content in the a clear skew towards the emerging internet markets of Latin Spain, where just under 8% of active users fall into super direct recommendations online and in the media. Most form of videos, blogs and photos. They are exercising their America and Asia Pacific. In Brazil a stunning 24% of active users. The Anglo markets of the US, UK and Australia have importantly, however, they are much more likely to want right to create and spread influence and as the channels internet users fall into the super influencer category. They 5% of their users falling into the super influencer category. to share opinions because a brand is fashionable or their of peer to peer recommendation and the social media grow are followed by India, Mexico and Pakistan – demonstrating It’s these differences that highlight how social media friends are not aware of the brand, basically they are more their role will become more important. how internet users have found their voice thanks to their adoption and levels of content creation mirror and impact overt about trying to cultivate external opinion. massive use of social media in these markets. the rise of super influencers. Super Influencer motivations Super Influencers by country Seen used by a celebrity/well known figure 130 The brand is fashionable 121 The brand is unknown amongst social group 119 7% % 2% 7% 6% 3% .3 ic 3% 5% % % 2. 7. 3% 13 % % 5. 3. 3% bl % 2% 4% 6% 8% A recommendation on the internet 116 % 5% .8 .2 5% 8% 15 .2 s pu a 1% 7% 6. 5. .7 2. nd s 4% nd ng .6 re 11 15 4. 8% ne 11 5. 5. 5. 4. Re 24 8% k y Ko ia 7. 17 an la Ko lia 8. rla ry 7. ar an pi da 5% ce o an er ria nd ce 7. n ga ia y ra st ic h nm he n ilip il 4. h a n wa ke rm g a na itz ss ee az ec m pa an ki in st st ex ut un la ai on A recommendation in the media (TV, newspapers, mags, radio) 116 di ly et r K S Ph Ru Sw Pa i De Au Au Ro Ge Ch Br Ca Po Gr Sp Cz So Ita Tu Ta M In Ja Fr N H H U U An advertisement you find interesting & inspiring 114 30 % share of active internet users A recommendation you receive in a store 113 The brand is popular 112 A promotion you see in a store 111 A free sample you receive 108 Your friend’s like the product or service 107 The product or service is discounted 106 A friend’s recommendation 104 0 The brand is high quality 103 Someone you trust having a good experience 100 Someone you trust having a bad experience 99 Figure 29: Super Influencers by country, share of active users Good personal experience 97 Bad personal experience 93 New influencers 80 100 130 Figure 28: Super Influencer motivations to recommend indexed against all respondents
  • 31. 61 The impact: summary The influence economy The new super influencers • Overall participation rates for contributing opinions, • Are the most the active in social media thoughts and content on products and brands is extremely • They are much more likely to create and share high. This means all brands have to react to the influence rich content economy – becoming more open, more transparent and more active in social and conversational media • As the channels they contribute to continue to rise in importance so does their impact in the universe • Different product categories have significantly different of influence exposure to the power of the influencer landscape • This is the new creative class; the bloggers, the video • Even low interest, expert categories such as finance, uploaders, the photo sharers real estate and insurance have high participation rates • Their influence is now very real. Look at impact of bloggers • Music, films and technology are the categories on the professional media and the impact creators had on most talked about online the election of Obama and the French elections Charlotte, UK • Holidays and travel are the most sought after for information • Asia and emerging internet markets are leading the way Dorota, Poland in contributing opinion to the influencer economy The democratisation of influence • We are more likely to be influencers than receivers in the age of social media • Consumers the world over now claim influence in a huge number of categories • The key categories for broad influence are the same as the key categories for online recommendation with the exception of groceries and food Michelle, UK Jai, Dubai
  • 32. 63 Final thoughts New world of transparency Be part of the conversation Everybody matters Reaching out to the creators • There are no secrets in the new world of influence • The new world of influence needs a more conversational • Today everybody should be considered an influencer to • The creators are the new super influencers, the ones that brands, products and services are under constant scrutiny approach; advertising should encourage interaction, input some extent – we all influence and receive to some degree make the most of the tools of social media. Bloggers, and community video creators, podcasters etc should be considered as • The truth cannot be managed in the way it was when • Every target audience should be encouraged to share some of the most powerful voices in the future a few gatekeepers controlled the distribution • This means having a blog, being in social networks, opinions and influence of information creating content such as photos, videos etc – generally being part of the conversation Hugh, Canada • The only path is honesty, openness and transparency. If you make a mistake in the new world of influence – • Exist inside the social media services that consumers Hugh you admit it and make good spend their time in and source their influence from Federico, Panama • Control has to be loosened – let consumers discuss, • Don’t be scared to advertise in bottom up conversational hi, check out Frederico com < share and interact with your brand media that consumers are generating. com/> – “Too Human” is going to be released on • All categories of goods and services are now impacted • Advertising has a big role in the future world of influence – the 29th August 2008 I recently purchased 10 by the new economy of influence and have to respond to it provides the revenue for most of the services that enable CDs online and saved a small fortune. a world where consumer opinion shapes the agenda and cultivate consumer recommendation Spyros Spyros, Greece Hayley, UK Hi Spyros, you mentioned Monica Monica, Spain you were buying a TV – Hayley check out www.reevoo. Gianfranco, Italy com <http://www.> before Gianfranco did you see that top Kate Hello Hayley, do you you do Moss was wearing? have know where I can get you seen anything like tickets for Madonna Tour? that anywhere? I love the new album Who do you bank with? also thanks for telling me I have just waited on the about it phone for 20minutes my bank are driving me crazy
  • 33. 65 Moving forward “When did we start trusting strangers?” is part of Universal All reports can be downloaded at McCann’s ongoing global research programme aimed at exploring the impacts of the massive changes in communications technologies. For any questions on the research please contact This is the second in a series of in-depth studies. The first major in-depth study “Anytime, Anyplace” looked at mobile phones and portable technology, in particular demand for content , services and the role of advertising. Yvonne, Switzerland In parallel to the in-depth topics we also run a Social Tom Smith Hanley, Czech Republic Head of Consumer Media tracker to access the ongoing impact of social media. Futures EMEA Wave 3 of this survey was released in March 2008 and Wave 4 is scheduled for quarter 4 2008. Sue, UK
  • 34. 67 What does this mean for your business? “When did we start trusting strangers?” is an in-depth study • Who is the influencer in your business category? and there are many aspects of analysis that we are unable to al e • hat marketing communications work for W cover in this report. soncar are your influencers? er lth ftw If you want to know how to operate in the new influencer • What they do online? landscape and what this means for your business please P a • What they create, what they view, what they share? contact us at and we can share al e r So inks the key results and impact for your brand or business: • What does it mean for your marketing communications? • What are the implications for your business? What ci ts H te Dr an uc pu olic in od le gy Prope M hone obile Pce F r P rtabolo om oh C lc Real Esrty/ Servi Po hn A H Tech ome tate ics Cosmet no Groc logy Fash Games ec i Console Utili on s eries Film Musi tie s T e omeces c Boo s on H n Ph e ia c s vi ic Appl el ks sm et Trav s iles ion Destinatay Cars/ Automob Holid
  • 35. Universal McCann © 2008