Over the last six months, we’ve been focusing on influence – blogging about it, talking to client and colleagues, researching the impact of online influence.  What started as a basic premise – the idea that amidst all the new dynamics in the market, influence still matters – has grown into a full-blown methodology that is shaping the way Trier and Company does business.

We call it the Building of Influence.

We’ve all experienced how much marketing and communications has changed over the last several years with the advent of social media.  That’s old news.

Trier and Company’s new framework is based on a data-driven approach that uncovers the real influencers in a market, not based on gut feel or old assumptions but what the data tells us about who really matters.  On top of that, we layer our smarts about the market and how those influencers work in order to drive awareness and influence sales.

We’re talking evolution not revolution, but the change is an important one and makes it possible for us to measure the results of communications in terms that matter most to our clients – market awareness, influencer engagement and customer preference, to name a few.

Building of Influence

The Building of Influence starts with the Influence Map – a graphic overview of the top influencers in a market, ranked by reach (eyeballs on content), resonance (virality of content) and relevance (to a particular topic).  With the map, we do a deeper dive on individual influencers, providing a Power Profile of the person, their online footprint, and hot buttons.  The Influence Map drives the communication strategy and guides when, how and where we’ll engage with key influencers.

The Power Profile

From there, we build an integrated set of programs that blend inbound communications (helping customers find you), outbound communications (getting messages in front of customers through direct and indirect channels), and peer influence initiatives that foster word of mouth.

One of the keys to the framework is integration.  Many of our clients have learned the hard way that the scattershot approach doesn’t work.  The Building of Influence creates synergy between marketing programs by building on a common influence model, strategy and content.

The other key is analytics. Putting the right analytics in place up front ensures we’re measuring the outcomes accurately and allows us to feed that data back into the strategy to keep us on track and delivering against business objectives.

Communications Strategy

From the earliest concept stage, we’ve been socializing this new approach with clients and friends of the agency in order to get a reality check and feedback.  Almost without exception, the response has been positive.  These days, when budgets – especially in marketing – are under a microscope, people are responding to the idea of an approach that allows them to make decisions and allocate resources based on data and facts.

We’ve gotten more than a dozen Influence Maps under our belt now and continue to refine the concept.  So to the clients who jumped in with us to test these new waters, and the friends and colleagues who listened to us pitch the concept, thanks for your feedback, trust and candor.   We feel like we’re on to something here and have created a framework that is results-oriented and strategic.  The days of the airy-fairy “the value of PR can’t really be measured” are long gone.

Bring on the data!