A lot of people talk about “influence” or “influencers” or “influencing the influencers” but no one really talks about the ying to the yang of influence. This line, from “Connected” by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, itself citing Duncan Watts et al really puts this small, but vitally important point, into perspective.
It turns out that influential people are not enough: the population must also contain influenceable people, and it may be that the speed and diffusion of an innovation is more dependent on the proportion and number of the latter group than the former.
I defer to John Dodds on the analysis but for me, it is important to realise that I am more influencable from certain people than others. My level of influencableness varies from person to person, brand to brand and organization to organization, depending on myriad of various things. Things which include the depth of my relationship with the person, brand or organisation. The number of times we’ve engaged. The quality of their contribution to the quality of my life. My pre-existing bias or preconceptions on the person, brand or organisation – which may be based from my on- or offline experiences.
Clearly these things differ not just for the person who is influencable but for the brands who are trying to influence them. You could drive yourself crazy trying to segment down to each and every person but as we know, we can’t be all things to all people.
It’s tough to try and influence people. It’s tough to try and influence the people who influence them. It’s tough to put people into the frame of mind where they are receptive to being influenced.
This post doesn’t have the answers, just a small piece of insight to help guide your own thinking. If you do have the answers, please share in the comments below!