Seth Godin wrote a long time ago a post called “The Race to the Bottom”, referring to that race to squeeze every penny out of everything. It might be squeezing money, quality, ethics… you go down the list.
In that post he remarks such an important point:
“The problem with the race to the bottom is that you might win.”
And that’s where I’m seeing the influencer industry going.
When marketers bought TV ads (oh, are they still buying them?), what they were trying to buy was attention. But year after year attention was harder to get, and then the Internet showed up, so TV apparently had a hard time. What could they possibly do to overcome that situation? They raced to the bottom.
Cheaper TV ads.
Longer and cheaper TV ads.
Multichannel TV-interruptive long and cheap TV ads.
Now in 2018, a few years after that race somebody won (congrats?) Alas, I’m afraid there’s a similar race to the bottom to offer cheap attention… The influencer industry.
The influencer industry is clearly in its early days (a guest from Paperkup’s Blog says it’s not even an industry yet), and you can see players coming in and out… racing to the bottom.
Again, the problem is that they might win, corrupting this “new” way of marketing into pure-cheap interruption.
Maybe it’s time to start regulating this industry for real.