Questions like the title pop out every now and then. Those who’ve already had experience in lead generation tend to think the answer is obvious. On the other hand, even they don’t know its full implications when you consider the hype surrounding influence marketing.
Many of them seem plenty convinced that influence marketing is either the new marketing revolution (with social media leading the charge) while others think it’s playing with fire and hanging your PR over it. Both have actually valid points and showcasing any investors who just happen to be superstars is not much of a different strategy.
But as an enterprise software vendor, do you think it’s a good idea? This article from Fast Company poses a set of four very important questions to challenge your decision:
“Are they Beliebers in your product?”
“In that sense, it doesn’t matter how many followers a celebrity has on Twitter or how much engagement they could potentially create. If they’re not the right fit for your startup–and your product–then it won’t matter.”
The article starts off with what’s possibly the most crucial of the four: Do you they actually believe in your product? More importantly, is their image even relevant to that of yours? The article talks about involvement. Can you imagine a celebrity having that sort of involvement (for instance, demonstrating proper use of your CRM application or HR management tools)? That’s an image you need to project to your prospects if you want to spark their interest that way. Granted, there are a lot of major influencers out there in your own software market but is there a high chance you’ll find the best in Hollywood?
“Are you starstruck?”
“‘Name recognition hasn’t meant anything to us,’ says the entrepreneur with A-list backers–a celebrity endorsement can’t mask a poor product. The product has to be able to stand on its own.”
Celebrity influence isn’t the end-all of your software lead generation campaign. And given that your targets can include highly critical executives and decision makers, you might only just embarrass yourself. (Do you really want to dangle your PR over that lighter?) Furthermore, even your own marketers can’t help you unless you actually deliver what has been promised. Hype and marketing are no major substitute for fulfilling your prospect’s needs and giving them what they pay for.
“Is Kim Kardashian really the new Reid Hoffman?”
“So be warned: Don’t expect Kim Kardashian to lead your Series B round. But also remember that celebrities entourage–for every Vincent Chase, you’re likely going to get an Ari Gold. “They have smart managers, smart lawyers, and smart agents–they’re looking to bet on companies and categories that are going to be winners,” says the startup founder.”
Here you can find a flip side. So if you insist on marketing your enterprise solution with the image of having celebrity backers, you should at least consider consulting who actually advises their decision to invest in your company. Who knows, maybe they’re the ones who can give you an idea on how to use their influence to attract ERP leads.
“Have you considered the downsides?”
“‘One source deeply involved with the celebrity investment community describes the downsides of working with artists and actors: “The problem is most of the higher-level celebrities do not know or understand good design.’”
Getting the wrong people involved is also a bad idea. Again, if they don’t know how your products actually work, you are only going to regret it when they give you feedback without a clue.