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Who has more power in marketing: brands or influencers?

For decades, brands have held the power and had a say in the creative direction of their advertising. But with the rise of influencer marketing, is the tide turning? Simone Morris of GottaBe Marketing considers this phenomenon and examines how brands can succeed in their work using influencers.

Have you ever wondered who has the power when you’re running a campaign? Some might say the brand does; others might say it belongs to those with purchasing power. Anyway, it’s time to break this complex relationship. In this article, we’ll discuss whether brands represent or assume, why brands need to make the switch, and why recognizing ethnic minority influencers is beneficial.

GottaBe Marketing examines why brands need to reprioritize diverse representation in campaigns

Do the brands represent or do they assume?

Millennials and Generation Z are driving the rise and demand for influencer marketing. Influencers have the power to help consumers decide whether or not to buy a product. As we mentioned in The Power of Ethnic Influencers for Brands, influencers are key to a successful campaign.

It is imperative that you consider the ethnicities of your brand’s audience and how you can market each of them. If your audience is predominantly white, ask yourself what you need to do to attract others, because your brand will only attract those it represents. The days of “one size fits all” marketing are over; campaigns should be designed to break through and reach representative segments of society.

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At GottaBe Marketing, our goal is to create campaigns that fill these gaps. So whether you’re trying to bridge the gap between Southeast Asians, Muslims, Africans, Christians, English speakers, or other groups, we can help you create a campaign that breaks down those “traditional” barriers. “.

Big brands need to make the switch

As the field of marketing has changed, there is more inclusion of different backgrounds, and this needs to be reflected in all marketing campaigns. Eric Toda, former marketing manager at Gap Inc, Airbnb and Nike, mentioned in Diversity In Influencer Marketing: Why Representation Matters: “As marketers, we continue to be one of the only industries in the world that can influence large masses of people; we can do it in the effort of good, or we can choose the other way. We need to deliver value-driven messages, show real life versus a sterilized mirage, and instill purpose.

To overcome these barriers, it’s important to think about the target demographic and bring a diverse mix of influences and cultures to the campaign. Select influencers from all walks of life who will champion the brand and the values ​​your brand represents.

The content you produce and your relationship with influencers should be authentic. Arthur Altounian, Inca’s Vice President of APAC, said in a recent article: “Many consumers, especially those in the younger generation, expect more from brands and will not engage with content they deem ‘too refined’ or ‘too fake’.'”

This authenticity allows influencers to have some creative freedom as they know their audience best and will be able to tell your brand story in a way that will connect with their followers.

The other key aspect of success is representation. As Sonia Thompson mentioned in her article, “Representation in marketing matters more than ever, and for some groups more than others. »

In her research, she found that 74% of consumers say representation in marketing is important to them and determines which brands they engage with and buy from. When Thompson posed the question, “What do you wish more brands knew about representation?” to consumers, the responses show just how crucial it is. They included:

  • “The damage they cause by under-representation”

  • “How much it can affect someone and their feelings about themselves when they never see themselves portrayed. As they are not important’

  • ‘Representation doesn’t hurt anyone. It only helps’

These consumer responses explain why it’s essential to include minority ethnic influencers in your marketing campaigns. Very few products or services are created for one race, gender, or point of view, so your marketing shouldn’t be aimed at just one consumer sector.

Why is it beneficial to recognize minority ethnic influencers?

Whether your audience feels represented by your company’s campaign has an impact on revenue because it increases factors like brand intent. Studies have been conducted in the United States that show the power of consumers if they feel the brand is representative of them – or if the brand is not. In Why diversity in ads is more important than ever for revenue [2020] he details this effect saying, “Not only do minority groups have enormous buying power, but these tightly knit communities” have a huge impact on pop culture and mainstream media.

A 2016 report from Nielson said African-American millennials are 25% more likely than all millennials to say they are among the first of their friends/colleagues to try new products, echoing the fact that minorities are essential in creating trends and ultimately influencing purchase. the decisions. These are great word of mouth opportunities and the most powerful marketing tool to increase brand awareness and loyalty.

This power can have a huge impact on the success of not only the campaign or product, but also the brand. We all want to see ourselves reflected in the brand we support; we buy this brand while buying the product. And millennials and Gen Z aren’t afraid to use their voice when it comes to brands.

These generations value and want corporate transparency. They want to see campaigns featuring influencers they partner with and will hold brands accountable when making changes.