Trends Report

Category Influencer Programs Are The New Paid Endorsements

Influencers Create Reach But They're More Like Celebrity Spokespeople Than Customer Or Employee Advocates

January 6th, 2017
With contributors:
Melissa Parrish , Ryan Skinner , Wei-ming Egelman , Laura Glazer


In our report "Clear The Word-Of-Mouth Marketing Haze," Forrester defines three word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing types: customer advocacy, employee advocacy, and category influencer. Marketers are increasingly excited about this third type as a word-of-mouth strategy. Category influencers offer an alternative to advertising and a new tactic to reach audiences. However, while category influencers are a unique mouthpiece for brands, they are not all that they seem. This research explores why category influencers represent the new paid brand endorsement and how marketers should navigate category influencer relationships.

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