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Influence, AMEC, March 2013


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An invitation to contribute to the standards setting process around the concept of influence in marketing, public relations, organizational life.

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Influence, AMEC, March 2013

  1. 1. Influence InfluenceA provocation ahead of the AMEC European Summit, 5th-7th June 2013 Philip Sheldrake Social Media Measurement & Monitoring conference London, 27th March 2013
  2. 2. Influence The ConclaveContext. Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication The Chartered Institute of Public Relations The Institute for Public Relations The Public Relations Society of America The Council of PR Firms The Global Alliance for Public RelationsAMEC and the wider ‘Conclave’ The International Association of Business Communicators The Society for New Communications Researchhave a working group on the topic The Digital Analytics Association (previously the WAA) The Word of Mouth Marketing Associationof influence. Its output and The Advertising Research Foundationrecommendations will be presented Federation Internationale des Bureauxs dExtraits de Pressat the AMEC European Summit The Conclaves #SMMstandards initiative also includes: The Media Rating Councilthis June. The American Association of Advertising Agencies The Association of National Advertisersis document explores some main The Interactive Advertising Bureau and the following "client organizations" – Dell, GM, McDonalds,issues. It’s not a working group Ford, P&G, SAS, Southwest Airlines, Thomson Reuters.document... it’s simply my effort to Influence working groupprovoke comment and input. Brad Fay, Neil Beam, David Geddes, Sean Williams and Philip Sheldrake. With occasional steers from Barry Leggetter, Katie Delahaye Paine and Richard Bagnall. 2
  3. 3. InfluenceOur goal.We are trying to develop a standards approach to theterminology of and approach to influence flows – howinfluence goes around comes around – for the usefulapplication by organizations seeking to encourage variousstakeholders to think or behave as the organization wouldlike and seeking to be influenced reciprocally. 3
  4. 4. Influence A Measure of Influence, Sheldrake, Communication World magazine, Jan/Feb 2013, IABC – all.e best way to exert useful influenceremains to deliver great products andservices so that your customers evangelizeyour brand to others, and to be a well-runorganization so that your employees andpartners evangelize working with you. 4
  5. 5. InfluenceInfluence & Influence.e English language is ambiguous. Influence is apparentlyboth: • e ability one is attributed to change another’s opinion or behaviour, and • e very changing of that opinion or behaviour.e first describes the source of or contributor to a change inthe system, the latter describes the result.is ambiguity is causing confusion in our context here. 5
  6. 6. InfluencePossibility ≠ Probability.Social media actions – retweets, reblogs, +1s, likes, etc. – are(mis)interpreted as: influence having happened and therefore the individual having had more influence than otherwise, and therefore having more influence. 6
  7. 7. InfluenceTime.It is unclear on what basis we might assumeinfluence decays or grows with the passing of time.e zenith of Milli Vanilli’s influence on the music scene is past, but thefull impact of the Reverend omas Bayes’ mathematics (in machinelearning) has only played out more than two centuries aer his death. 7
  8. 8. Influence+ e complexity of influence is a challenge – and an opportunity, Sheldrake, e Guardian Media Network, 15th Feb 2012. * something that can be “operationalised” on a continuous and commercially sensible basis. We don’t know. ere is currently no scalable facility* to ascertain or infer who or what caused someone to change their mind or behaviour.+ Influence is complex. In other words, changing your mind or actions is the result of many stimuli over time and entails conscious and subconscious processes. 8
  9. 9. InfluenceComplexity. Simple? Or complex?Many appreciate that the weather is complex, that • Oprah made him buy the bookstock markets are complex, and that city traffic flow • The ad made her buy theis complex. However, attributing relatively simple sneakers • The recommendation fromcause and effect in the business of influence appears her sister made her vacation in Italytoo tempting for many. • The latest anti-smoking campaign made her quit.While complexity science doesn’t rule out theinstances in which a single stimulus suffices, it also In fact...recognises that this is the exception rather than the she’s romanticised an Italian vacation for years,norm. and for many reasons she herself can’t tease apart. 9
  10. 10. Influence [1] G. Weng, U.S. Bhalla and R. Iyengar Complexity in Biological Signaling Systems Science 284:5411 (2/4/1999) 92-6. DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5411.92 [2] D. Rind. Complexity and Climate Science 284:5411 (2/4/1999) 105-7. DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5411.105 [3] W.B. Arthur. Compexity and the Economy Science 284:5411 (2/4/1999) 107-9. DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5411.107 [4] Professor Henrik Jeldto Jensen, Department of Mathematics, Imperial College. It’s a system in which there are multiple interactions betweenA complex system is one many different components[2].that by design or functionor both is difficult to Complex systems constantlyunderstand and verify[1]. evolve and unfold over time[3]. Complexity bridges the gap between the individual and the collective: from psychology to sociology, from organism to ecosystem, from genes to protein networks, from atoms to materials, from the PC to the World Wide Web, from individuals to society[4]. 10
  11. 11. InfluenceWhen you’re stuck in traffic, do you ask: “Which car started it?” 11
  12. 12. Influence * Is the Tipping Point Toast? Fast Company. 1st Feb 2008.Ready to be influenced?One of many parameters for the spread of influence is the readiness ofindividuals to be influenced. In my experience, this is too rarely studied."If society is ready to embrace a trend, almostanyone can start one – and if it isnt, then almostno one can." Duncan Watts. 12
  13. 13. Influence * e Business of Influence, Sheldrake, Wiley, 2011Defining influence.Defining influence as something an individual possesses can therefore bemisleading in our context. I advocate this definition ...Influence is a change in opinion or behaviour.You have been influenced when you think something you wouldn’totherwise have thought or do something you wouldn’t otherwise havedone.*Influence is both the input to and output of a complex system. 13
  14. 14. Influence * e Business of Influence, Sheldrake, Wiley, 2011Six influence flows. 14
  15. 15. InfluenceInfluence, the outcome.What is the intended outcome of yourmarketing and PR campaigns, and the designof your organization overall, if it’s not to getstakeholders to think and behave as you’dlike, and to be sensitive to how they’d likeyou to think and behave? 15
  16. 16. Influence W. Chen, Y. Wang, and S. Yang. Efficient Influence Maximization in Social Networks. Proceedings of the 15th ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, pages 199-208, 2009.Influence maximisation.So, how can we improve the effectiveness of an influence process?Influence maximization is the problem of finding a small subset ofnodes (seed nodes) in a social network that could maximize the spread ofinfluence.It is a discrete optimization problem in a social network that chooses anoptimal initial seed set of given size to maximize influence under acertain information diffusion model. 16
  17. 17. Influence [1] D. Kempe, J. M. Kleinberg, and É. Tardos. Maximizing the spread of influence through a social network. In Proceedings of the 9th ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, pp 137–146, 2003. [2] K. Jung, W. Heo, W. Chen. IRIE: Scalable and Robust Influence Maximization in Social Networks. Proceedings of the 12th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM), pages 918-923, 2012.Influence maximisation.Computer simulations using real life social network data and varioussimplifying assumptions show that selecting vertices (nodes) withmaximum degrees (connections) as seeds results in larger influencespread than other heuristics, but is still not as large as the influencespread produced by other algorithms[1].Importantly, it appears that influence ranking – the process of trying toscore an individual’s network connectivity –  is only good for selectingone seed[2]. 17
  18. 18. Influence M. Trusov, A. Bodapati, R.E. Bucklin, Determining Influential Users in Internet Social Networks, Journal of Marketing Research, August 2010.Influence maximisation.Seed selection isn’t as easy as picking the most connected nodes.Not all connections are equal, and relatively few so-called friends areactually significant influencers of a given individual’s behaviour, whilesubstantial heterogeneity across all community members exists.Descriptors from user profiles lack the power to determine who, per se, isinfluential, and friend counts and profile views also fall short of beingable to identify influential site members. 18
  19. 19. InfluenceReciprocity.To influence better, be influenced better. 19
  20. 20. Influence [1] Please Repeat: Influence is not popularity. A blog post. B. Solis. 11th August 2010. [2] Putnam, Robert D. Bowling Alone: e Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster. 2000. scores are not.Critics point out that ‘influence scoring’ services quantify little morethan the propensity for an individual’s social media contributions to beseen and shared. And irrespective of congruity with organizationalobjectives.Some claim such services confuse popularity for influence[1].e phrase ‘social capital’ has been suggested instead, but this phrase hasbeen used for more than a century to describe the value of the networkrather than that of an individual participant in a network[2] and wedon’t want to introduce new ambiguities. 20
  21. 21. InfluenceBeware.Black boxes.See the 7th Barcelona principle. 21
  22. 22. Influence Complexity science. Long may we have the for-profit motive to explorecomplexity science and network science, lets just not mis- sell or mis-use its capabilities along the way. I’m not anti-network science, as some have implied following my long-standing criticism of many “influence scoring” services. uite the contrary. Heck, my company is named aer the chap who invented a lot of the mathematics here! 22
  23. 23. InfluenceTerminology. So that’s all 7 billion of us. is is important to recognise. It’s a complex system.Influence – a change in opinion or behaviour.Influencer – anyone who contributes to someone else changing theiropinion or behaviour.Key influencer – Someone who, following statistical modelling andanalysis, is considered with some degree of confidence to be part of acohort central to the efficacy of a program of influence. 23
  24. 24. InfluenceTerminology.Potential influence – An influencer’s potential contribution to aninfluence program as part of a cohort of influencers (seeds / nodes).Influential – A descriptor applied to an individual deemed to have been akey influencer and who might (but might not) remain one. 24
  25. 25. InfluenceTerminology.Advocate – An individual who shows support for, pleads the case of ordefends a brand, cause, product or service while remaining formallyunaffiliated with it and unremunerated.Ambassador – An individual remunerated by or otherwise allied with abrand; their actions are, in some manner, endorsed by the brand with anacknowledged and transparent affiliation that is mutually beneficial. 25
  26. 26. InfluenceTerminology.Professional / occupational – Individuals who by definition of their jobfunction are in the position to influence others directly throughauthoritative or instructive statements.Celebrity – An individual whose name recognition commands a greatdeal of public fascination (“celebrity status”) and has the ability to usetheir status to communicate with broad effect, either as advocate orambassador. 26
  27. 27. InfluenceTerminology.Influencee – a person who changes their opinion or behavior as theresult of exposure to new information. • Type 0 – no exposure to the information, no influence • Type 1 – exposure to the information yet no influence • Type 2 – exposure to the information and influenced as the originator intended • Type 3 – exposure to the information and influenced contrary to the originator’s intention. 27
  28. 28. InfluenceInfluenced?Have you changed your mind about any aspect of influence?Do you feel compelled to do something differently?Can you contribute knowledge, experience, comment?Do you feel inclined to circulate this document more widely to those thatmight (dis)like it? 28
  29. 29. InfluenceLet’s discuss.Philip Sheldrake, CEngManaging Partner, Euler Partners. Ma drid? In +44 7715 488 759 I love measurement and evaluation when it makes the skype:psheldrake world happier, healthier and G+ wealthier. LinkedIn Author, e Business of Influence: @sheldrake Reaming Marketing and PR for blog the Digital Age, Wiley, 2011. 29
  30. 30. Influenceank you. 30