Keeping a careful eye on Influencers
OMD USA
8 January 2019

At CES 2019, OMD Create’s Katharine Ricci sat down with Ryan Detert, CEO and founder of Influential, to tackle the hot topic of how artificial intelligence and machine learning can help advance the cause of Influencer marketing. If you read any of the walk-up stories about what to expect at CES, then you know AI’s application in marketing is one of the hottest topics here.

Detert immediately answered the opening question to what Ricci heard others ask: Is it AI or is it BS?

“It’s augmented intelligence.”

Influential uses machine learning, or augmented intelligence, to help marketers sift through the trillions of interactions across all social platforms to find and execute the most effective uses. That can take the form of creating an MPAA-like ratings system for Influencers out there, in the era of greater scrutiny from marketers (Unilever’s Keith Weed made this one of his major talking points at Cannes last year). “We’re the NSA for Influencers,” says Detert, adding that Influential can sniff out Influencers’ bad behavior or violations of their contracts (as in showing up in social media holding a Coke can if you’re under contract with Pepsi) and other no-nos. It led to the creation of the I-Score, which OMD partnered with Influential to launch almost a year ago. “We wanted to make sure what happened in programmatic didn’t happen in social,” he cautions.

It also turns out that size doesn’t always matter in this field. Detert believes sometimes a brand is better off going with a micro-Influencer rather than a mega-name, because the micro-Influencer often has a more engaged and committed following that delivers more effectively for the client.

The bottom line is, Influencer marketing is staking a claim for the long haul, and any help we can get to suss out the players and the strategies, the better. The numbers of interactions are staggeringly huge, which is why the aid of machines is so vital to evaluating properly for our clients.

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