Trendsetters, Influencers & Traditional Marketing – What Do They Have In Common And Where Do They Differ?

Marketing strategies these days need to address a number of variants and possible shortfalls, on a continual and regular basis. Due to the very nature of the consumer market, brands and companies from all spheres and industries are needing to re-evaluate their marketing strategies to implement methods that will serve to optimise their campaigns accordingly.

What we’re interested in discussing is the rise of Trendsetter Marketing strategy, Influencer Marketing strategy and how Traditional Marketing strategies fare in the presence of these non-traditional methods.


Being given the ‘Trendsetter’ accolade is not easily done for just any ‘ol’ Joe or Jane’. When it comes to the marketing sphere, a trendsetter is typically an individual that has a strong enough influence on the public opinion and subsequent trends. Should the trendsetter identify with and endorse any given endeavour, the result will be that the public may be enticed enough, by the Trendsetters association, to get on board the endeavour, whatever that may be. Thus, setting news trends in every which way.

A solid example of an individual that would hold a prime trendsetter profile would be that of a celebrity. It is common knowledge that when a celebrity endorses a particular product or service, organisation or event, soon enough the celeb’s hordes of fans will be ‘all-abuzz’ about that particular product that was endorsed. Next step – you’ve got a trend, hence Trendsetter!

Clearly, this type of marketing as a strategy has its benefits, in that through affiliations with trendsetters, a brand can quickly and effectively establish themselves as a reputable brand that is worth taking the time to check out.

Traditional Marketing

Although some would immediately be inclined to say that traditional marketing may be losing its traction in some areas, it is still most readily utilised when it offers the superior marketing solution. Most often this will be when there is a specific clientele. For instance, a radio advertisement on a local radio station will benefit from a campaign that is targeted to that localised area. Similarly, a direct marketing campaign targeted towards customers could entail a flyer drop-off containing discount prices, in order to offer customers an ‘in-hands’ piece of marketing collateral which in turn gives a feeling of ownership and invokes a feeling of wanting to get in on those discount prices. Again, just a couple of examples of traditional marketing, while highlighting where and how it could be made use of in a practical way.

Traditional Marketing aspects include the customary placements and forms of marketing, namely radio advertisements, newspapers, magazines, flyers, television broadcasts, billboards, cable television, brochures, etc.

Given that traditional marketing strategies have longevity behind them, having also been tried and tested through the years, providing a benchmark and point of reference to jump off of is indeed quintessential to brand trust and brand recognition. It clearly speaks to customer loyalty as well.

Important to take away from this part of the article is the fact that by employing a range of varied traditional marketing methods and strategies, coupled with non-traditional methods, marketers are bound to be able to cover all areas needed, resulting in an optimised experience (and an effective campaign) all around. Furthermore, one should always take into account technological advances which allows businesses to employ traditional marketing methods and strategies more effectively. This is certainly the case when discussing big data and how it helps businesses, especially in fiercely competitive markets.


Any talk of ‘Influencers’ these days is bound to get at least one eye-roll. Reason being: the concept of ‘Influencer Marketing’ has been ‘all the buzz’ for a long while now, and truth-be-told, rightfully so. The metrics alone serve as enough evidence, to keep even the most ardent B2B pundit interested in at least taking a closer look at this marketing strategy solution.

Various independent studies conducted by different thought-leaders and statisticians revolving around Influencer Marketing have concluded some fascinating findings, from the marked increase in Return On Investment (ROI) to positive peer-to-peer and industry opinions and endorsements garnered from first-hand experience and previous campaign results.

  • Nielsen Catalina conducted a study that concluded that ROI increased by 11 times when the content was endorsed (or created) by an Influencer via an Influencer Marketing strategy
  • A Linqia survey has shown that as much as 92% of the marketers in 2017 advised that using Influencer marketing strategies was indeed an effective method adopted to reach a desired audience

The above data is available for perusal from Marketland as it gives a great overview of B2B Influencer strategies.

Influencer Marketing strategies could very well be likened to trendsetter marketing strategies, with the exception being that influencers tend to hold the dominance in the digital arena.

Granted there are many commonalities, yet the key distinction between influencers and trendsetters stands. The fact that the influencer has gained its influential voice via the various social media platforms available out there, predominantly Instagram and Twitter is a key influencer trait. The premise for Influencer Marketing as a strategy is that an influencer will be a social media savvy operator, mover and shaker that holds a large follower base, of which these followers will then also share and engage with the influencer posts. Thus creating brand awareness in one fell-swoop.

Brands and companies benefit from the influencers’ endorsements as the influencer will inevitably bring the four ‘R’s’ to the table, namely Relevance, Resonance, Reliability and Reach.

As far as reaching a verdict as to which of the above-mentioned marketing strategies will determine the best outcomes. What we do know is that marketers are tasked with providing workable solutions to meet the ever-dynamic and ever-evolving needs and demands of their consumers, daily. Perhaps then, what would be best of all would be a fusion and collaborative effort of including both traditional marketing methods, as well as these non-traditional marketing methods of employing trendsetters and influencers and creating a strategy that is campaign specific and all-inclusive overall.

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