The unplugged influencer

I’ve always thought that the best way to watch TV talent shows like the X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent is to record every episode of the series and then play them in reverse sequence.

In that version of events, airbrushed and auto-tuned stars shake off fame and return to the unplugged, authentic joy of performing.

Those early audition episodes are by far the most inspiring. The stars become people who are closer to us and I think we connect more closely with their experience.

Witness the recent Icarus crash-landing of the celebrity influencer. The same principle of connection (or lack of it) is applying. Who honestly believes that that A-Lister gives a hoot about that soft furnishing brand they are pimping on Instagram other than for a share of the profits? Who really thinks that that ludicrously posed picnic lunch with the weirdly-prominent chemical-enriched lo-cal mayonnaise is done for anything other than a full-fat fee?

The best influencers are the people most like us – and closest to us. The ones that really share our interests. The ones that are likely to be enthusiasts. Your friends, family and expert acquaintances are the ones that steer your behaviours.

Like most forms of marketing, Influencer marketing carries with it some practical truths: that the behaviours of others affect our own.

But that trajectory so far in Influencer marketing has been inverse to the gain. It has quickly become industrialised.

We are now witnessing a market adjustment. Work by companies like DPL is enabling marketeers to get a much closer understanding of how their customers genuinely think and in doing so aligning their influencer strategy much closer to enthusiasms than to strategies that only enrich the jaded stars. It is those closer to us that are more likely to strike an unplugged chord.