After Gushcloud/XX we ask – does influencer marketing work?

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At the heart of the Gushcloud/XX fiasco, is a question that begs to be answered: Does this form of marketing work? After all this investment, does it generate the revenue your team is actually gunning for?

When marketeers use celebrities, they know that their brand will be embroiled in whatever scandal this person gets into. It is already so hard to tame professional celebrities, can you imagine how difficult it is to manage a handful of these non-professionals?

Their actions are volatile, and as we have observed so far they bitch on each other… taking their fights public and jumping at every opportunity to shame one another. All this at the expense of your brand.

Take for example SingTel (spelt with a capital T). As a brand owner, it has cost my repute and expanded precious man-hours into mopping up a campaign that probably led to a weak conversion rate. Each blogger brings in maybe at max a handful of new signups. There is so much more marketing magic I could conjure instead of just lazily outsourcing it to an agency, for example:

  • I could have easily done this through a roadshow at Pulau Tekong or outside a polytechnic.
  • I could have built a campaign around turning readers into mini-influencers instead of paying a management agency to do this for me.
  • I could even have published an advertisement offering free signups and converting them at a later date.

And this industry has proven itself to be juvenile. I scold you, you scold me. I screen capture you and you don’t friend me. Not only does this bring into question marketing effectiveness, it also widens the risk of being embroiled in battles you don’t want to be in.

There has been far too many of these weird marketing campaigns all executed in the name of “social media marketing”, but time and again its effectiveness has been called into question.

Events staged to play on the public’s emotions will spark a backlash on your brand when your bluff is called – and in today’s connected world, it is just too easy to discover a fake.

And anyway, if something was so interesting that it would go viral…it would go viral whatever the platform. There is no need for an “influencer” to act as a catalyst.

 

 

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About the author

Tay Leong Tan

Tay Leong Tan is a collective of 3 writers. Tay, Leong and Tan. (Who were you expecting?!) We are enthusiastic about labour issues, economics and current affairs in particular.

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