Most brand managers, marketers and communicators have some inherent knowledge of the people who influence their brand in the media world (whether offline or online). Beyond this surface-level understanding, there is often the expectation that someone, somewhere, has detailed knowledge of exactly who drives influence, and how to get in touch with those people. In many cases, this is the agency’s role.
As an agency representative myself, this is the simple call to action I would issue to brand managers, marketers, and communicators:
1. Call the agency who manages your influencer lists and ask to see the most recent version.
2. Open the list on your computer and look for one critical indicator: how is the list sorted?
3. If your media list is sorted alphabetically, it is time to decide – do you jolt your agency into the 21st Century? Or do you fire them on the spot?
The point here is not a disdain for alphabetization. The point is that in today’s market, there is no reason to tolerate any lack of precision into who exactly influences your brand. Your influencer lists should be leveraged in ranked order, from #1 on down, so that you know with complete clarity who the most important people are for your brand. If you are working from an influencer list that prioritizes the person whose last name begins with an ‘A’ then you are working at a competitive disadvantage.