Thursday morning when I began seeing and hearing everywhere about the new study showing the link between smoking and circles of family and friends, I was interested, but not surprised. Marketers have been talking about the impact of “influencers” for years now. And many spend a great deal of time looking for the influencers in their market (in technology also known as “early adpoters”).
It will be interesting to see how the picture emerges as the research evolves. Recent consumer research (see Journal of Consumer Research) seems to show that marketers are better served looking for the “easily influenced” than the “influencers”. Will we learn which is the chicken and which the egg?