Episode 64: Influencer Marketing With Mercury Marine
Gary Lancina is no stranger to marketing. Prior to joining Mercury Marine in 2016, Gary worked for SC Johnson’s marketing department. Gary promoted personal care brands using a strategy known as influencer marketing. Influencer marketing involves forming a relationship with an influential person to strengthen a brand’s identity on social media or in-person. Gary has established a wealth of these relationships, from connections in the automotive field to minor league hockey teams and the NFL. Gary currently serves as senior director of Global Brand and Influencer Marketing Strategy at Mercury Marine.
Gary says that influencer marketing is all about creating productive, mutually beneficial relationships with potential customers. Utilizing well-vetted influencers within an industry has proven to be an ethical and successful way to increase awareness and product sales. Finding appropriate influencers are both an art and a science. Gary explains that when scouring social media for new relationships, individuals with a big following aren’t always the most sought-after trait. While finding someone who emits a trustworthy, authentic perspective is crucial, you also have to carefully look at their audience’s characteristics. Having an overly bloated or broad follower base can lead to weaker engagements or an inappropriate demographic altogether.
Connecting with Influencers
When Gary first began utilizing influencer marketing, he created relationships through the use of agencies who helped broker introductions. The influencers many of these agencies brought in weren’t always in tune with the demographics Mercury Marine was looking for. Gary says in marine sporting, history or legacy in an activity or industry is the key to reaching the audience you are catering to.
The smaller population of advocates and enthusiasts with marine interests isn’t as cutthroat as other fields, making it feasible to introduce relationships and opportunities to specific people without the use of an agency. Gary says that once a strong relationship is formed with an influencer, other leads follow in the form of referrals.
Mercury Marine’s reputation and legacy helps reach everyday people who fit the profile of the company’s influencers. Whether it be fishing guide services or pro fisherman, most enthusiasts are familiar with the Mercury brand. Creating relationships with these earnest, local aficionados can be tremendously successful in stimulating awareness, loyalty and purchases in many regions. The person-to-person contact initiated by on-the-ground advocacy is just as important as positioning a brand alongside a popular online influencer.
The nature of influencer marketing requires establishing and maintaining relationships. Gary says keeping open and clear channels of communication is crucial. Hearing the perspective of an influencer and keeping an open dialogue about the relationship also helps prolong and strengthen a relationship. Gary says the longevity of relationships is extremely important, and at Mercury Marine some of these connections have lasted for decades.
Social platforms allow for content-creators to access a bounty of valuable statistics and data. Analytics like click-throughs, views, screen-time, sources of traffic, activation methods and location data help determine the effectiveness of the relationship. Tools like Crimson Hexagon also give detailed insights into demographics and audiences. Location analytics allow a detailed look into how word-of-mouth and social posting alone can generate buzz in a region. In all cases, building trust and evoking feelings for your brand without diluting the integrity of your brand is certainly considered a measurement for success.
Connect With Gary