Influence is one of our favourite 2.0 marketing ideas: people and not ads, we say.
Peer-to-peer not brand-to-consumer.
People who share their opinions, people who make the rest of us do what we do.
(like ads but actually persuasive…)
We see influence (what folk do to each other on our behalf) where emulation (of what folk around us are doing) is the real mechanic behind the spread of human behaviour
We've just got the wrong end of the stick: we humans are not a species of "influential" individuals but emulators – Homo Mimickus. Like most social creatures, but more so…
Of course, with marketing's selfish concern about spreading "our thing", we find Influence – a push idea – much more appealing than Emulation – a pull one. It fits with how we want to see things.
But just because you want something to be true, don't make it so. Does it?
So let's give "influence" a rest for a bit, shall we?