#FridayFeeling: Why Influencer Marketing Fails, According to Aristotle

Warning: this content is older than 365 days. It may be out of date and no longer relevant.

#FridayFeeling_ Why Influencer Marketing Fails, According to Aristotle

Over the past week, I’ve been doing a ton of market research for a client around social media marketing, and THE topic du jour is influencer marketing. One of the most critical flaws I’ve seen in influencer marketing programs, including some I participate in, is a failure to capture the four main dimensions of influence.

This isn’t new stuff – Aristotle coined this in 322 BCE. The four aspects are ethos (authority/credibility), pathos (appeal to emotion), logos (appeal to logic/rational), and kairos (time and place, context).

  • Brands go wrong with influencers by over-focusing on ethos and pathos – how popular or engaging an influencer is, while neglecting logos and kairos.
  • Influencers fail brands in the same way, just on the other side of the coin, by developing no logos – expertise – and equally by over-focusing on the brand, ignoring or not having any knowledge of kairos.

Watch the video for the full explanation, including how both brands and influencers can use Aristotle’s framework for more impactful influence and better program results.

#FridayFeeling: Why Influencer Marketing Fails According to Aristotle

Can’t see anything? Watch it on YouTube here.

Listen to the audio here:

Download the MP3 audio here.

Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s Friday feeling I’ve been doing a ton of market research for a client around social media marketing and the topic of the day of the period is influencer marketing.

Everyone was asking questions about how do I measure influencers, how do I find influencers, what are the best tools were the best people, etc. etc. And

there’s a lot of flaws in what’s happening and influencer marketing but the core

is a fundamental misunderstanding of what influence is

and how to achieve it. So

influence is not new influence or persuasion or the ability to get people to do what you want them to do has been around for millennia. One of the classical definitions of influence. One of the ones that has stood the test of time is Aristotle’s which he coined in 322 BCE. So we’re talking literally almost 2500 years ago

and Aristotle’s definition of of

not influence because he didn’t use that word he used persuasion had four dimensions ethos,

pathos logos and Cairo’s

ethos is authority or credibility how credible is speaker or in the eyes of the audience what kind of authority, do they have to be speaking on the topic pathos is an appeal to emotion how emotionally engaging as a speaker. How well can they incite emotion from the crowd logos is the appeal to the rational to the logical to the The fact of the matter

and Cairo’s is time and place, Greeks have ancient Greek language had two words for time Kronos which is time itself and Cairo’s which is more time and place, sort of context when

when a speaker speaking, are they speaking when the audience is receptive to their message

now where influencer marketing is going wrong is neglecting half of influence brands have gone overboard on Athos and pathos Athos the authority of the speaker in influencer marketing. This is turned into who’s got the loudest mouth or who has the biggest following and while there is validity to do that in terms of Athos you

by definition, if a million real people are following you.

You have influence my friend Tom Webster says that, but

is it the right audience and

the other aspect where brands over focus is pathos is how emotionally engaging is that influx of how popular are they how how excited they get the audience and and you see in some cases people hiring influencers who they have that emotional appeal, but their complete mismatch with the brand where brands just drop the ball is on logos and Cairo’s logos is is the appeal to the rational

and a ton of influencers

don’t really know what their marketing. They’re just talking about the thing and it shows when you ask any questions in depth

and and brands also neglect that aspect of Cairo’s The context

is an influencer a good fit for the brand is an influencer in the right time and place for them to be impactful for the brand or they just kind of doing their own thing.

One of the criticisms of one of the programs. I’m in

b2b tech program is that

the influencers, the social

influencers that participate don’t know the product and can’t advocate for it effectively and the perception among


brands loyalists or that the influencers are really more

promoting themselves and and taking money from the brand to use the brand’s reputation to promote themselves which can be a valid criticism. So ethos and pathos

go overboard logos and Cairo’s good don’t get invested enough and that’s where influences also dropped the ball to influencers focus on those things because what the brands were paying them paying the bills focus on

but by if an influencer is not developing that logos that expertise that ability to appeal to the rational hey this pack of gum uses no genetically modified chemicals this server stores all of its data in particular type of encryption if if an influencer does not have or does not develop that expertise, then they are presenting an incomplete picture to their audience and in some ways dampening the credibility of their credibility with their audience. And if you don’t have logos eventually it

ends up just corrupting your ethos and then Cairo says the other aspect that influencers don’t

either know about or willfully ignore. And that is the context in which the way the audiences

different influencers will impact different parts of the customer journey you think about the customer journey awareness consideration evaluation purchase

that’s the path to purchase. If an influencer is all about reach, they would have an impact on that awareness. If it influences his focus more on authority or connection authority would be sort of that middle that consideration phase. Hey, is this product or service or company with something I want to do business with. I’m going to go ask an authority that influence needs to pay attention to to that part of the customer journey on behalf of the brand

and then that connector someone who can make those connections there more towards the end, the buyers journey in some ways because

you know when people say, Hey, who do I know that’s a good one resource for analytics. Oh, you should talk to Hillary Mason, you know that person that that connector helps bridge that gap to create that last jump into purchase. So depending on the kind of influencer you are

if you don’t know where you fit into your your your the corporate brand journey customer journey, you don’t have Cairo on your side and influencer who does all for well who has authority who has emotional appeal, who has is backed up by data and facts and understands where they fit into the grand scheme of things is going to be a very successful influencer on behalf

of the brand and then of course the influence themselves can increase the amount of money they charge or the types of work and projects, they’ll take on. So

my feeling is that influencers don’t have that knowledge and brands who don’t have that knowledge of this classical definition of persuasion and using all four pieces are not going to get the results that they want.

They may get some results, but they may not get a maximum

results that they could be getting if they used ethos, pathos logos and Cairo’s appropriately to find influencers to set strategy around influencers and then to measure influencers, both in evaluating them up front and on the flip side at

measuring the performance of a program.

Go and read ourselves rhetoric, it’s out of copyright obviously never had one to begin with.

It’s available for free on sites like Project Gutenberg you can just get it completely, totally for free read through it

and give some thought to the this definition of influence because it will help

enhance your own influence or marketing program. Whether you are a brand or whether you are an influencer if you develop all of these areas. You’ll be much, much more successful. So that’s today’s Friday for feeling as always please subscribe to the newsletter and the YouTube channel and look forward to hearing any comments you have about your experience with influencers,

whether they they were able to do the thing and all four areas or whether you chose them or you are one and you focus just on one of these four aspects of influence and would like to increase the the amount of persuasion, you can do. Thanks for watching. I’ll talk to you soon.

You might also enjoy:

Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:

subscribe to my newsletter here

AI for Marketers Book
Take my Generative AI for Marketers course!

Analytics for Marketers Discussion Group
Join my Analytics for Marketers Slack Group!


2 responses to “#FridayFeeling: Why Influencer Marketing Fails, According to Aristotle”

  1. […] un article paru récemment sur son site : Friday Feeling : Why Influencer Marketing Fails, According to Aristotle,  Christopher Penn réfère quant à lui au principe qu’énonçait déjà Aristote en 332 […]

  2. […] a video recently published on his website: Friday Feeling: Why Influencer Marketing Fails, According to Aristotle, Christopher S. Penn refers to the principle already enunciated by the Greek philosopher in 332 BC. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This