Ad industry launches coalition in attempt to bring standardization to influencer pricing
As big brands and agencies have vocalized their frustrations about fraud in influencer marketing and committed themselves to combat it, the industry has realized it’s quite difficult to police. Riding that momentum, an industry-wide coalition is attempting to bring more standardization into the market.
The Influencer Marketing Council (IMC), a coalition of brands, agencies and influencers, released a list of best practices as its first step beyond announcing its existence and its intention in 2017. The 12 best practices include noting engagement spikes on an account and an influencer’s audience location versus engagement location. This list was created by a group of about 20 individuals across different agencies and brands.
This push comes as more agencies and brands have spoken out individually about the need for standardization and took some of their own steps internally. For example, brands like Unilever and Kellogg’s have created their own standards in the last year. While the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has created its own guidelines and repeatedly enforced them, marketers have said they believe little has changed.
The IMC’s hope is to encourage more of that effort inside brands while also create collective bargaining while negotiating with platforms and influencers themselves. The list of best practices is the first step. Krishna Subramanian, co-founder of influencer platform Captiv8 which has spearheaded the effort, said the IMC was a “little too early” when it launched in June 2017.
Indeed, while the IMC stayed idle, for the most part, the call to combat fraud and for more transparency increased in the last two years. Sae Cho, director of digital experiences at Horizon Media, which is involved in IMC, said she believed the turning point was when influencer pricing increased along with clients’ budgets in it. Her agency launched an in-house team focused on influencer marketing in 2011, which has since quadrupled in team size.
“We’re interested in pricing transparency, marketers having a say on how we determine value. With a council we have the buying power together and can say [in our conversations with influencers] this is future proofing your business,” Cho said.
Publicis Groupe, another member of IMC, launched an initiative called Influencer Verified last year that included creating a framework for how they evaluate partners, said Jeremy Cohen, vp, head of global content partners at Publicis.
Cohen said he identified the growing need for best practices in the industry when he saw more of the agencies clients getting involved and increasing their budgets. In a March survey of 719 marketers by Rakuten Marketing, 60% of marketers said they planned to increase their influencer spending in 2019.
“The IMC to me is exciting because the intent is to create a framework for an industry that’s been through stress recently. The shiny new toy nature of influencer marketing has shifted into more of a skeptical approach because of what people have learned over time,” Cohen said.
For now, the IMC operates globally through emails and quarterly phone calls. Subramanian said more than 200 individuals from brands and agencies and other influencer marketing platforms have expressed interest in being a part of the group. Future plans include a goal to host an in-person event at least once a year.
Cohen said he hopes more agencies will get involved so the industry can agree on topics like pricing and measurement.
“It’s a crowded ecosystem and different businesses are approach it in different ways. The ideal goal for me is to create standards that are accepted across the industry, a clear framework for how influencers should work with brands and how brands should work with influencers,” Cohen said.
‘The data strategies of these companies aren’t progressive enough’: 10 Confessions on the pivot to privacy
An inside view of how privacy changes are having big consequences throughout advertising.
Why companies are using virtual concerts to introduce their users to the metaverse
Music is a spectacle, but it’s also a deeply social experience, a pairing of traits that experts believe make virtual concerts a perfect fit for companies looking to showcase the metaverse to skeptical users.
Member ExclusiveMarketing Briefing: ‘Not a hypothetical problem’: ANA CEO Bob Liodice on why there needs to be a unified effort to combat hate speech
This week, GARM and the ANA announced they are working with Pernod Ricard to scale that initiative working with brands and social platforms as well as small and medium-sized businesses.
SponsoredHow retailers can be ready for holiday shoppers this year
Suchi Sastri, managing director and partner, Boston Consulting Group As the holiday season approaches and the pandemic continues to evolve, retailers want to know what to expect. Will e-commerce continue to grow at the rate it did last year? How big of a role will in-store shopping play in holiday shopping? While it’s still early, […]
As non-endemic brands eye the gaming space, a lack of industry standards is delaying their arrival
The caution with which some brands still approach the gaming industry -- and the need for better industry standards to help brands feel more informed -- were recurring themes at last week’s Digiday Gaming Advertising Forum.
Cheat Sheet: How Apple’s ATT is giving it more influence over ad dollars
The signs that Apple is building an ads business is there — here is what we actually know.