Atique, can you please give an introduction to GroupM.
GroupM is the world’s leading media investment company responsible for more than $45B in annual media investment. GroupM creates a competitive advantage for advertisers via its worldwide organization of media experts who deliver powerful insights on consumers and media platforms, trading expertise, market-leading brand-safe media, technology solutions, addressable TV, content, sports and more.
I am excited to hear about GroupM’s recently launched influencer marketing solution, INCA. Do tell our readers about that.
INCA is GroupM’s Data-Driven, Outcome-Based Influencer Marketing Solution. It connects brands and influencers to create meaningful content that resonates with the brand’s target audiences and influencer’s followers.
Influencer Marketing’s promise to advertise is tall and there is massive potential. However, the pitfalls are alarming: most planning is done based on personal intuition; costs are opaque; there are brand safety and work-flow management issues; and of course, return on investment is never guaranteed. INCA aims to alleviate these problems and help brands realize the full potential of Influencer Marketing on a single unified platform.
I am curious about the proprietary algorithm that will be powering INCA. Enlighten us, Atique.
INCATech is an AI-based platform which self-learns and continuously improves by the second. It features a proprietary algorithm that uses real-time data to the source, curate and match influencers to a brand’s campaign needs to deliver the most credible partners and content for the greatest impact. This answers the age-old question that brands have when it comes to influencer selection – which influencers would be the most effective investment for my campaign? In a nutshell:
The platform harnesses information about influencers, their content and their engagements to make meaningful recommendations in the context of specific marketing challenges. For example, the AI platform can identify which influencers are parents and estimate how old their kids are. It can identify whether an influencer has endorsed a competing brand within a given period of time. It can differentiate between sponsored posts and organic posts. The platform also has the ability to decode complex content pieces and categorize them into types or behaviours that brands want to target.
In this current climate, the metrics of an influencer’s follower count, likes and comments can easily be faked. With this in mind, how does INCA aim to rectify this problem in order to have much more effective marketing campaigns?
We analyse various data points to detect suspected fraud and mitigate the brand’s risk of working with an influencer that has faked metrics. Our tech is able to identify anomalies, such as sudden spikes in follower growth, engagements or views. Additional filters such as geographical distribution, time of day and more can then be overlaid to create a ‘Genuity’ score. We continuously assess Influencers in our database and ensure they are free of such practices. Our contracts with partners also include a formal pledge to ensure they don’t partake in any false practises.
Let’s talk about influencer marketing a little; is it a dying trend or you see it going forward and evolving in the coming years?
Influencer marketing is here to stay. Consumers are smart at navigating content and paid ads.Many of them are using subscription or pay-wall services, making it increasingly difficult to draw their attention. Brands want to reach consumers, convert them and keep them as brand loyalists. Influencer Marketing offers exactly that – if done authentically.
The mantra of an ideal influencer marketing campaign is ‘Relevant Content, Right Data and Reflective Creativity’.
There are talks saying how influencer marketing is becoming increasingly complicated these days in data-rich and technology-intensive environment. What are your thoughts on this, Atique?
Influencer Marketing is the new frontier of AdTech and MarTech platforms. In the last year alone, over 300 companies have been incorporated trying to solve the puzzle and unlock meaningful results from the promise of influencer marketing. At times, the silo-based approach of these companies has created confusion for marketers. The use of data in this space will be game-changing – the question lies in how brands will utilise this information to create a more seamless and authentic relationship with their audiences through their brand influencers. Some of the tech used in Influencer Marketing is path-breaking and is definitely helping brands to make informed decisions. However, the existence of many of these companies is also dependent on the API relationships they have with major social platforms. One press of a button, one change in legal policy or government regulation can render many of them useless.
In the future, I feel that Influencer Marketing will gradually move beyond influencers on social platforms– and will instead be subjected to anything or anyone that has the power to influence. I predict that one of the first movers to innovate will be digital out-of-home and its power to influence. Nonetheless, it’s important to take the best this space has to offer and leave the surrounding noise to shape its own course.
I’m sure you get this question over and over. Why should one choose INCA?
INCA is a comprehensive turnkey solution which works across the Influencer Ecosystem and delivers everything required under one unified platform. It’s an end-to-end solution that is sorely missing in this siloed ecosystem. Other companies in this space are trying to solve one or two problems in the mix, I am yet to stumble upon a comprehensive Influencer Marketing platform like INCA.
INCA has outcome-based offerings, hence advertising investments are de-risked. Brands pay for a guaranteed outcome. INCA offers IP rights usage solutions, which help in amplifying hero content on other channels. INCA’s tech uses a trusted pool of influencers which are vetted by technology and governed by a strict onboarding process, mitigating brand safety issues.