As reliant as marketers have come to be on influencers and consumers for content creation, most are collaborating with both in a single capacity and struggle to connect influencers’ value with business performance. As it stands, the majority of influencer collaborations are happening within the Creative or Media functions of a brand organization, impacting one or two touchpoints within a larger customer experience. Below, we share a self-assessment survey that helps evaluate the strengths of your current influencer marketing strategy and identifies opportunities to evolve your influencer marketing practice to unlock greater value (read: time, money) for your marketing organization.

The transition to customer-empowered marketing requires marketers, influencers, and consumers to be co-creators in customer experience and design. It’s no longer enough to ‘leave an empty chair’ for the customer in every business meeting, as Jeff Bezos famously claimed as key to Amazon’s customer-centric success.

Marketers now have the opportunity to not just leave a chair for the customer but include the influencers and consumers who are driving customers’ purchase decisions in every step of the marketing process as the ‘12th man’ on their marketing team to validate and share insight to what really motivates purchase behavior.

Unlocking the full potential of influencers and influencer marketing includes both understanding how they can benefit every function of the marketing organization and customer experience touchpoint, as well as how to include them in the process itself. The most successful influencer marketing programs today are those that fully leverage the dynamic capabilities influencers have to offer marketers that allow them to connect with consumers beyond the feed. Influencers, by definition, have such rich customer empathy and knowledge, that to not involve them in marketing research, strategy, planning, and ideation – as well as creative and media – is a missed opportunity for marketers to dig into what is resonating with the hearts and minds of consumers.

Just as there is a spectrum of maturity for marketing at large (e.g. ‘digital transformation’), the same is true for social and influencer marketing.  Assess your influencer marketing strategy here to determine where your opportunities for growth lie in the spectrum of Influencer Marketing Maturity Quadrant.

Step 1: Describe Your Marketing and Communications Goals (select all that apply):

Step 2: Assess the Depth of Your Influencer Relationships (select all that apply):

Step 3: Assess Your Influencer Marketing and Relations Process (select all that apply):

Assessment Complete: How to Expand and Evolve Your Influencer Marketing Strategy

Result: Deepen Your Relationship

You are ready to take your influencer marketing strategy to the next level by deepening your relationship with influencers and expanding their role to impact every phase of your marketing and communications process. This can include creating not just content, but also: sharing insights with your research team, verifying ideas and storyboards with your strategy and creative teams, submitting ratings & reviews that benefit your e-comm and customer service teams, as well as amplifying brand and other high-performing influencer-generated content.

Result: Ready to Garner Efficiencies

You are ready to take your influencer marketing strategy to the next level by improving efficiencies in your influencer marketing and relations process, increasing your time, media, content, and/or software savings.

Time Savings: Scale or accelerate the output of your existing influencer-generated and consumer-generated content efforts (including insights, feedback, and reviews) without increasing headcount.

Media Savings: Increase paid media efficiencies by leveraging influencers and repurposing high-performing influencer-generated content as ad creative.

Content Savings: Increase production efficiencies by collaborating with influencers on-demand to generate and curate high-quality brand content, including images, videos, reviews, surveys for a fraction of the cost of agencies, research firms or consultancies.

Software Savings: Enterprise influencer marketing software enables cost savings by replacing or consolidating a number of point solutions. Mavrck, for instance, has the ability to power influencer, ambassador, advocate, referral, and social loyalty programs concurrently for consumers, influencers, and employee programs.

Result: Ready to Deepen Your Relationship & Garner Efficiencies

Why do one when you can reap the rewards of both? At this stage of influencer marketing maturity, you’re ready to expand your relationship with influencers by collaborating with them on different content use cases, as well as, engaging them across your marketing organization, as mentioned above.

It’s also time to evaluate your influencer marketing processes to determine where you can improve your time, content, media, and software implementation and practice to understand the opportunities available to increase efficiencies. The time and money saved can be re-invested in implementing how you plan on deepening those influencer marketing relationships.

Result: Ready for Innovation

At this level, you’re not wondering if ‘macro’ or ‘micro’ is better – you already have an integrated influencer marketing strategy that incorporates multiple influence personas. You’re probably leveraging influencers to inform multiple stages of your marketing processes and have an efficient program in place that’s designed to scale as you do.

So what’s next? It’s time to test, learn and optimize to stay ahead of (or create) the curve. To take your influencer marketing strategy to the next level – consider what knowledge and expertise influencers possess that’s not going to show up on your next media landscape report. What social networks or platforms are they engaging that don’t even have paid or branded opportunities yet? In what ways are you combining signals of social proof – for instance, loyalist reviews, advocate ratings, and influencer-generated content together to amplify the impact of key touchpoints? In what ways are you acting at the intersection of those personas – Macro X Micro, Micro X Referrer – to create customer experiences that accelerate their path-to-purchase? How are you integrating your influencer marketing strategy to incorporate your influencers, consumers, and employees? Are you at the point where you could power 90% of your next marketing campaign entirely through your own influencers, consumers, and employees – saving more of your budget to double down on and amplify your best performing content?

The possibilities are infinite.