The State of Influence: Challenges and Opportunities in Influencer Marketing | Research Reports | Research Studies | All MKC Content | ANA

The State of Influence: Challenges and Opportunities in Influencer Marketing


The ANA surveyed its members to gain a greater understanding of marketers' experiences with, usage of, and needs surrounding influencer marketing. The ANA defines influencer marketing as, "Marketing that identifies and activates individuals who can sway brand preferences, buying decisions, and the loyalty of the broader population using their own opinions, beliefs, and/or marketing channels." This report covers the findings from both quantitative and qualitative research, with data from 97 respondents.

The key findings are:

  • Incidence: Sixty-five percent of ANA marketers have used influencer marketing in the past 12 months.
  • Budgets: Fifty-one percent of marketers were increasing their influencer marketing budgets prior to the pandemic, while only 5 percent reported spending less.
  • Satisfaction: Seventy-one percent of marketers report being satisfied with their influencer marketing results, compared with only 6 percent being dissatisfied.
  • Top Benefits: Reaching new and different audiences (93 percent), greater brand awareness (91 percent), and authenticity (86 percent) were the top benefits of influencer marketing.
  • Top Challenges: Marketers ranked measurement (79 percent) and ROI (76 percent) as the top challenges with influencer marketing by a wide margin.
  • ROI: Thirty-four percent of marketers cite influencer marketing as having better-performing ROI than other marketing activities, while 39 percent are unsure. Only 9 percent reported that the ROI of influencer marketing is worse than other marketing activities while 18 percent feel it's the same.
  • Metrics: Marketers view engagement, reach, and impressions as the most important metrics when measuring the ROI of influencer marketing.

In order for influencer marketing to further increase its importance in the marketing mix, respondents made clear that the issue of measurement must be improved. According to a member who participated in a qualitative discussion:

"The biggest challenge in influencer marketing is not having a consistent form of measurement since we work with different vendors and the metrics/definitions vary across them.

To address this barrier to growth, the ANA recently formed the Influencer Marketing Advisory Board, a leadership community of senior-level marketers from across sectors, to help members and the industry at large optimize influencer marketing. The Board consists of marketing leaders from Cigna, Hilton, Mastercard, Procter & Gamble, PUMA, Nationwide, Reckitt Benckiser, SAP, Sephora, Target, and Unilever.

The Influencer Marketing Advisory Board has established as a top priority the creation of standardized measurement definitions to address the variance across platforms and inconsistent usage and reporting by different partners in the ecosystem. The ANA will survey industry leaders to better understand definitions of common metrics, and based on the results, will be releasing standardized measurement guidelines that will be available by the end of the first quarter in 2021.

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"The State of Influence: Challenges and Opportunities in Influencer Marketing." ANA, 2020.