There is Klout and then there is Clout                                                                                    ...
There is Klout and then there is CloutWhat the Data Say:                                                              What...
The influence of any one person is limitedto three degrees of separation                                        The 2009 b...
Two opposing views on influencer theory                                                                                   ...
When the right conditions for a fire exist, any spark will set it offThe Case of Pabst Blue Ribbon: In 2001, Pabst Blue Ri...
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There is Klout and then there is Clout

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Klout—and competitor services like PeerIndex and Twitter Counter—have found increased traction among businesses recently
because of their promise to find those all-powerful influencers who will deliver the masses to your product or brand. Audi, Nike, Dick’s Sporting Goods
and approximately 2,000 other companies are tapping into Klout too.
But all this attention begs the question: is this a solid strategic investment by businesses? Is there really a small segment of
the population that has a make-or-break level of influence on the buying behavior of the rest of the population? The
conventional wisdom on this issue is currently in flux.

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There is Klout and then there is Clout

  1. 1. There is Klout and then there is Clout August 30, 2011Klout is a web service designed to identify the most influential people online. Using data from sites like Twitter, Facebook,LinkedIn and Foursquare, Klout measures (a) how many people you influence, (b) how much you influence them and (c) howinfluential they are. People are then issued a score from 1 to 100 based on their level of influence. A 1 indicates that a personis probably not capable of influencing even their own decisions, whereas 100 is popularly referred to as a ‘god-like’status—Justin Bieber, for example, scores 100. In comparison, President Obama has a score of only 87.Klout—and competitor services like PeerIndex and Twitter Counter—have found increased traction among businesses recentlybecause of their promise to find those all-powerful influencers who will deliver the masses to your product or brand. In an effortto tap into that influencer magic, the Palms resort in Las Vegas, for example, went so far as to upgrade to luxury suites peoplewith high Klout scores in the hopes that they’ll share their positive experience with others. Audi, Nike, Dick’s Sporting Goodsand approximately 2,000 other companies are tapping into Klout too.But all this attention begs the question: is this a solid strategic investment by businesses? Is there really a small segment ofthe population that has a make-or-break level of influence on the buying behavior of the rest of the population? Theconventional wisdom on this issue is currently in flux.© The Futures Company 2011 ‫׀‬ 1
  2. 2. There is Klout and then there is CloutWhat the Data Say: What it Means in the Marketplace: Monetizing the Insight: Investigators who study social networks  To take off, trends don’t need a few  Heavy investment in a targeted number have consistently found that influence highly influential individuals persuading of influentials diminishes your ability to extends only three degrees from the everyone else. It is the moderately invest more widely in the larger number original source and that with each connected majority, not the much of averagely connected individuals that successive degree of separation, the smaller number of highly connected are far more likely to jump-start a trend amount of influence decreases people, who hold the greatest potential significantly for influence  It is impossible to will a trend into existence simply by recruiting highly This means that we are influenced first  By far the greatest predictor of connected people to tout it. So-called and foremost by our friends, then by whether a trend takes off is how Influentials wear, drink and buy lots of their friends, and finally by their friends. receptive the masses are to it, not who things, very few of which turn into Any further removed and the amount of is pushing the idea. If society is primed mainstream trends. Before investing influence goes to zero to embrace a trend, almost anyone can marketing dollars in any sort of viral start it, and if it isn’t, then almost no one campaign, it is critically important first to In simulation experiments in which can gauge marketplace receptivity to the influentials were made 40 times more product or idea connected than the average person, they were no more effective than the average person in starting a trend Want Some Help?  Contact your MONITOR consulting team representative to learn more about influencer theory, our 2011 Global Energies or our latest Future Perspective white paper on the future of social networking: Status Update. As a MONITOR Minute subscriber, you have our permission to repurpose the intellectual property contained in this slide within your organization. However, we request that you properly cite all information© The Futures Company 2011 ‫׀‬ 2 used with the following: ©2011 The Futures Company, Yankelovich MONITOR Minute, August 30, 2011
  3. 3. The influence of any one person is limitedto three degrees of separation The 2009 book Connected, by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler, used extensive research to prove that the connections that matter are those separated by three degrees or less. For example, If you have a happy friend, you are 15 percent more likely to be happy. If the friend of a friend is happy, then you are 10 percent more likely to be happy. If the friend of a friend of a friend is happy, then you are 6 percent more likely to be happy. After that, the level of influence drops to zero. Happiness Loneliness And so on for a wide variety of phenomena …1st degree influence 15% 52% •Obesity •Anxiety2nd degree influence 10% 25% •Smoking •Altruism3rd degree influence 6% 15% •Voting •… and more4th degree influence ZERO ZERO As a MONITOR Minute subscriber, you have our permission to repurpose the intellectual property contained in this slide within your organization. However, we request that you properly cite all information© The Futures Company 2011 ‫׀‬ 3 used with the following: ©2011 The Futures Company, Yankelovich MONITOR Minute, August 30, 2011
  4. 4. Two opposing views on influencer theory Influencers have a disproportionate ability to drive the POV: adoption of new behaviors Made popular by: Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point Ideas are spread through social networks due to the Philosophy: actions of important, highly-connected individuals The most efficient way to spread a product or idea Focus: through a social network is to target these trend- setting influencers Influencers are no more effective than ordinary people POV: in igniting new trends Made popular by: Duncan J. Watts’s Six Degrees If society is primed to embrace a trend, almost anyone Philosophy: can start it, and if it isn’t, then almost no one can A trend’s success depends not on the person who Focus: starts it, but on how susceptible society is overall to it© The Futures Company 2011 ‫׀‬ 4 As a MONITOR Minute subscriber, you have our permission to repurpose the intellectual property contained in this slide within your organization. However, we request that you properly cite all information used with the following: ©2011 The Futures Company, Yankelovich MONITOR Minute, August 30, 2011
  5. 5. When the right conditions for a fire exist, any spark will set it offThe Case of Pabst Blue Ribbon: In 2001, Pabst Blue Ribbon sold less than a million barrels of beer. Fearing the end, the once popular brand was in talks with The Miller Brewing Company about selling its formula.1 But then a sales rep in Portland, Ore., noticed that the beer was popular among “alternative people” and that a grass-roots resurgence was underway. Pabst then did the uncanny. They didn’t kick-off a marketing blitz to further their success, nor did they partner with Kid Rock (current Klout score: 62) who had inquired about an endorsement deal. Realizing their new-found success was based in part on people’s rejection of the pervasive marketing messages of mainstream brands, they stayed quiet. In 2002, sales of the brand rose 5.3%.© The Futures Company 2011 ‫׀‬ 5 1 The New York Times, The Marketing of No Marketing, June 2003

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