Budget Shifts, Market Lifts. The Rise of Influencer-Driven Growth

July 2, 2024 12:29 pm Published by

In the aftermath of the budget speech, it’s not uncommon to see businesses clutching their wallets a little tighter. The immediate reaction often zips straight to cost-cutting mode, where marketing budgets might be the first on the chopping block. Yet, cursory slash in marketing investment, as some savvy minds would argue, could be a classic case of being penny-wise but pound-foolish.

In the mix of marketing strategies vying for a slice of your revised budget, influencer marketing stands tall. It’s not just a matter of following trends; it’s about leaning into a measurable, data-driven approach that stands up to scrutiny just as firmly as any ‘hard’ marketing tactic. Gone are the days when influencer marketing was a gamble – today, it’s a science.

Albert Makoeng, Head of Sales at influencer marketing platform, Webfluential, says: “Unlike traditional marketing avenues, which may require significant upfront investments with uncertain returns, influencer marketing offers a more agile and measurable approach.” This is where a sophisticated software as a service (SaaS) platform becomes invaluable. It’s a far cry from the ‘spray and pray’ methods of old. Here, you have a dashboard that demystifies the journey from content to customer, spotlighting the paths leading to conversions and those needing rerouting.

The tug-of-war between survival instincts and the pursuit of growth is not new. The wisdom to discern between cost-cutting and value-creating investments is what sets resilient businesses apart. In this vein, insights from McKinsey & Company, are particularly salient. Articulating a compelling strategy for marketers facing budget constraints, McKinsey cites that by eliminating inefficient spend and reinvesting it in high-growth areas, resilient marketers will weather pending storms while also creating opportunities to rebound stronger. 

Recognising the fiscal shifts outlined by Minister Godongwana, where a net reduction in non-interest expenditure meets a cautious upward revenue revision, savvy businesses are already recalibrating their sails. It’s a clear nod from the 2024 Budget Speech that the winds of financial prudence are blowing, and with them, the need for shrewder marketing strategies that don’t just cut costs, but smartly invest them.

Amidst this landscape, influencer marketing emerges not as a luxury but as a linchpin for businesses aiming to navigate through economic ambiguity. With its ability to create authentic connections and drive consumer actions, influencer marketing stands as a testament to the power of prudent yet proactive spending.

Says Makoeng: “Humans naturally seek connections and value trust, especially in their purchasing decisions. Influencers, by sharing their genuine experiences and recommendations, tap into this psychological need, fostering a trust that traditional ads can’t replicate. This trust is the foundation of influencer marketing’s effectiveness, making it a powerful tool for brands to connect on a more personal level with their audience.”

“The versatility of influencer marketing allows it to transcend industry boundaries. Whether it’s fashion, tech, or finance, influencers can tailor their content to reflect the unique values and selling points of any product, making it relevant and appealing to their followers. This is gold in any marketer’s books,” says Makoeng.

This adaptability makes influencer marketing effective across all industries and maximises the impact of marketing budgets by targeting and engaging the right audience.

Here’s the deal on why a tight budget doesn’t mean you’re out of the game, especially when you’ve got influencer marketing on your side:

  1. Targeted reach: Influencers are like the sharpshooters of the marketing world. They’ve got the niche audience you’re after, which means less wastage on eyeballs that aren’t going to buy.
  2. Authentic engagement: Billboards don’t talk back, but influencers do. They create conversations around your brand, drumming up genuine interest that feels more like a recommendation from a friend than an ad.
  3. Agile campaigns: Influencer marketing campaigns can turn on a dime. Market shifts? Consumer behaviour changes? No stress. Influencers can pivot faster than a start-up in a Silicon Valley accelerator.
  4. Trackable ROI: With the tech that platforms like Webfluential offer, you’ll know exactly where your money’s going. It’s like having a GPS for your investment, tracking the journey from post to purchase.
  5. Content that keeps on giving: The content that influencers create doesn’t have a shelf life. It’s evergreen, it gets shared, and it lives on long after the campaign’s done and dusted, giving you more bang for your buck.

This is a clarion call for businesses to not just survive but to thrive – by making intelligent choices that will set them apart in the marketplace. 

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Marketing industry insights from the Cannes Lions festival 2024

June 28, 2024 11:32 am Published by

Key Insights: 

  • AI in Advertising: Shift from hype to pragmatic use with a focus on efficiency and responsible AI, despite only 12% of Cannes Lions entries using AI in 2024.
  • Creator Economy: Significant presence and influence at Cannes Lions, with a 21% increase in Social and Influencer Lions entries. US marketers projected to spend $8.14 billion on influencer marketing.
  • B2B Marketing Integration: Growing acceptance of creators in B2B strategies, highlighted by successful campaigns and industry panels at Cannes.
  • Advertising Budget Shifts: Brands are moving budgets from traditional channels like TV to creator-led content, with social video ad spending expected to surpass linear TV ad spending by 2025.

Every year, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity sets the stage for the latest trends and innovations in the advertising world. This year, two hot topics dominated the conversation: creators and AI. Although these themes were also prominent in 2023, the discussions at Cannes in 2024 revealed new insights and directions for the future of influencer marketing.

The Shifting Focus of AI in Advertising (from hype to efficiency)

In 2023, the buzz around generative AI was all about its potential to revolutionise creativity. Fast forward to 2024, and the conversation has shifted towards a more pragmatic approach, emphasising responsible use and return on investment (ROI). The euphoric excitement has been replaced with serious discussions about the ethical considerations of AI-generated content and data practices.

Generative AI has not yet fully penetrated public-facing creative assets, as evidenced by Cannes Lions reporting that only 12% of entries used AI in 2024. This modest figure indicates that the industry is still navigating the complexities and capabilities of AI in advertising. Kate Kenner Archibald, CMO of Dash Hudson, highlighted that the primary benefit of AI at this stage is efficiency. “For now, time savings is the biggest opportunity,” she said, emphasising that AI tools can save significant time for creative teams.

Personalisation is another critical aspect where AI is making a mark. Josh Campo, CEO of Razorfish, pointed out that AI can integrate siloed data to provide sharper consumer insights, ultimately enhancing campaign strategies. Despite the advancements, nearly every discussion about AI included the term “responsible,” underscoring the industry’s focus on ethical AI use. TikTok’s President Blake Chandlee emphasised the need for clear labelling to inform users when AI-generated content is being presented.

The Power and Evolution of the Creator Economy

The creator economy was prominently on display at Cannes Lions 2024. Marketers couldn’t walk far along the Croisette without encountering creators, reflecting their growing influence. For the first time, Cannes Lions hosted a dedicated creator program, marking a significant milestone for the media and ad industry.

The number of entries for the Social and Influencer Lions category rose by 21% year-over-year, partly due to the inclusion of creator content. This surge in entries underscores that influencer marketing is becoming a staple in brand strategies. US marketers are projected to spend $8.14 billion on influencer marketing on social media alone this year.

Creators are at various stages of development and maturity, creating a diverse landscape. Established creators like Tinx and MrBallen have built thriving businesses that rival traditional brands. In contrast, newer creators are still learning the ropes of securing brand deals, which remain a primary revenue source.

Integration of Creators in B2B Marketing

B2B marketing has been slower to embrace the creator economy, but that is rapidly changing. At Cannes, LinkedIn hosted a panel discussing the future of B2B influencer marketing. Industry leaders like Neil Waller, CEO of Whalar, and Rahul Titus, global head of influence at Ogilvy, shared insights on successful campaigns that incorporated creator content. Ogilvy’s B2B Grand Prix-winning campaign highlighted the effectiveness of this strategy.

Shifting Advertising Budgets

Brands that have traditionally hesitated to invest in influencer marketing are now redirecting budgets from conventional channels like TV to creator-led content. This shift is significant as it aligns advertising spend with consumer behavior. By 2025, social video ad spending in the US is expected to surpass linear TV ad spending, indicating a major transition in the advertising landscape.


The insights and trends from Cannes Lions 2024 paint a vivid picture of the evolving landscape of influencer marketing. The focus on responsible AI use, the burgeoning power of the creator economy, and the strategic integration of creators in B2B marketing highlight the dynamic changes shaping the industry. As brands continue to adapt and innovate, influencer marketing will undoubtedly remain a pivotal element of modern marketing strategies.

For brands looking to stay ahead of these trends and leverage the power of influencer marketing, partnering with experts can make all the difference. Discover how Webfluential can help you connect with the right creators and maximize your marketing ROI. Visit us at Webfluential for more information and to get started on your influencer marketing journey.

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Social Commerce: The evolution of e-commerce

June 10, 2024 5:07 pm Published by

Welcome to our in-depth presentation on social commerce and its transformative impact on the way we shop online! 🚀

In this video, Murray Legg dives into the evolution of e-commerce to social commerce, highlighting how social media platforms are now integral to the shopping experience. Discover why influencers are becoming the new sales reps, driving engagement and sales through authentic connections with their followers.

What You’ll Learn:

The Evolution of Commerce: From traditional e-commerce to integrated social commerce. Global and Local Trends: Insights into market trends and how different regions are adapting. Role of Influencers and AI: How influencers and AI are shaping consumer behavior and driving sales. Getting Started: Practical tips on how to leverage social commerce for your brand.

Key Topics Covered:

Historical Context: How consumerism has evolved with the internet, mobile phones, and social media. Influencer Marketing: The rise of lifestyle influencers and their impact on consumer behavior. Social Commerce: The projected growth and how it differs from traditional e-commerce. AI Influencers: The emergence of virtual influencers and their role in the digital marketplace. Case Studies: Examples from China’s advanced social commerce landscape and local market trends. Practical Insights: Steps to start your social commerce journey and measure its impact.

Why Watch This Video? This video is perfect for entrepreneurs, marketers, and anyone interested in the future of online shopping. Gain valuable insights into the dynamics of social commerce and how to harness its potential to grow your business.

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