Debunking Roles of the Influencers
But what was being debunked was just the concept of roles of people involved in making a trend “tip”, and most importantly the influencer’s. Sounds terrifying to most marketers because the whole idea of finding and cultivating influencers is often the cornerstone of “seeding” viral/WOM campaigns, and as they say in the article marketers spend millions on this process.
The article is on fast company and key point of the article though is to point out that it is not the people spreading an idea that matter as much as the idea itself, and societies readiness for the idea. I think this is one of the reasons that ideas that are laser focused on a niche often succeed, it’s because the idea can be much more finely tuned to appeal the people who will initially receive it. Once it is successful in that very small niche it’s likely you will have the critical mass to get out to the broader audience you seek. It’s kind of like starting a fire, the niche is the kindling
“If society is ready to embrace a trend, almost anyone can start one–and if it isn’t, then almost no one can,” Watts concludes. To succeed with a new product, it’s less a matter of finding the perfect hipster to infect and more a matter of gauging the public’s mood. Sure, there’ll always be a first mover in a trend. But since she generally stumbles into that role by chance, she is, in Watts’s terminology, an “accidental Influential.”