Does Influencer Marketing Make Traditional Marketing Communications Obsolete?

A couple weeks ago, I participated in a mock interview session with some students from ASU’s Cronkite School. One of my interviewees was a soon-to-graduate senior who is currently interning at an influencer firm as a “talent coordinator.”  Since influencer marketing is still relatively new, I asked her if what she is learning in school about more traditional marketing communications is applicable in her role at an influencer firm. Was she able to take the lessons that she is learning in school and apply them in her current position?

And her answer was just what I was hoping it would be.  “Abbie, yes, of course it is.  Influencer marketing is a strategy and a tactic, not unlike other marketing communications tactics.  You still have to have a good story to tell, good content to share and understand who your target audience is.”

So then, does influencer marketing make traditional marketing communications obsolete?

No, it is just another tool in our toolbox and that’s the topic of this week’s Copper State of Mind podcast.

Many organizations and companies are now actively adding influencer marketing into their overall communications strategy.  But the truth is, influencer marketing has been around for centuries – we might have called it something different (propaganda or endorsement for example) but throughout history, we’ve seen campaigns of various kinds, designed to shape the perceptions and actions of a target audience.

Influencer marketing is the process by which brands leverage well-known and trusted individuals who have influence with their target audience to promote their brands online. These influencers have spent considerable time building a relationship, building trust with a specific demographic.  The influencers leverage those relationships, not unlike what media relations experts do, not unlike what community relations experts do.

Influencer and content marketing serves the same function as any other type of traditional or digital marketing campaign. It drives brand awareness, creates lead generation, and increases sales.  And is as much a part of a strategic communications strategy as any other more “traditional” tactics.

Listen to hear more about it:


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at Apr 28, 2021

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