Keynote speech on influence networks at Evolve


Kimberly Palmer of Networx has put together what looks like a fantastic conference on 14 June in Melbourne, titled Evolve. Its highly diverse content is refreshing after the usual run-of-the-mill marketing events. I’ll be doing a keynote titled: We, Evolved: networks of influence:

The power of the social network – word of mouth, buzz, curation – has never been stronger. This fascinating session examines the structure of influence in a world driven increasingly by social, rather than status-based, opinion.How does the structure of these influence networks evolve? Can we, the marketer, influence these networks overtly or only covertly? How can you identify, drive and reward influences, gaining advantage rather than taking advantage?

In my keynote I will start by going through some of the underlying network science, which surprisingly few marketers and online people are familiar with, considering how useful this is. I will then drill down into the critical distinction between the crude “identify the influencers and influence them” approach to word of mouth marketing, and the value of uncovering the structure of influence networks, the better to craft effective influence strategies. I’ll discuss both consumer marketing and B2B marketing, drawing for example on my research into technology purchase influence networks. I’ll then cover the specific dynamics of online influence, including blogs and recommendation systems such as Digg and Techmeme, before looking at some case studies and concluding action steps for the audience. I will post on this blog again soon on some of the detail of what I’ll cover, including my commentary on the latest research coming out on influence networks.