Tata Motors' Shubhranshu Singh on the rise of influencers in marketing strategies

The Vice President, Marketing, Commercial Vehicle business, Tata Motors, talks about how the landscape of influencers is impacting marketing campaigns.

By Shubhranshu Singh, Tata Motors calendar 29 Dec 2023 Views icon5291 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Tata Motors' Shubhranshu Singh on the rise of influencers in marketing strategies

It may seem as a tool for commercialism, but the growth of the “influencer-content creator” is a revolution. What began as blogging, advisory and "aficionado commentary" is now a global, multibillion-dollar industry touching every aspect of our lives and society. Blogs, social media personas, and their associated technologies of self-commercialisation has enabled a repertoire of tools that allows people to monetise their digital presence. It’s profitable self-expression branded by authenticity.

The influencer industry is a complex ecosystem. It comprises influencers, intenders, technologists, marketers as brand builders and sponsors, social media corporations and many more. Together they have negotiated the meaning, value, and practical use of digital influence. A commodity has been branded with a personal signature for the social media age.

They produce, evaluate, and market “influential” content. It has upended how we interact with our
world and make sense of it. It has demolished traditional barriers and empowered millions of individuals. It has created vast new sectors of our economy, while transforming legacy institutions.

This is not some energised fad but arguably, the greatest and most disruptive change in modern capitalism. Everyone looks at Big Tech and the power they wield. However, it’s not new tools but new habits that create change. The business of Big Tech is not algorithms and innovations. It’s about being a platform for creation and connection. From the first amateur blog to the newest Insta sensation, it has created rich content and collective attention.

Influencers have revolutionised entertainment, advisory, fame, and ambition in the twenty-first century. The internet based influencer dynamics has changed in the twenty-first century and changed the world with it. This transition is accelerating as the online and offline worlds merge. Users change how technology envisages its offerings.

Online creators don't just produce content; they define the norms and dynamics of their medium. As a marketer, I have the chance to create a better system that amplifies independent voices and rejects the flaws of traditional media, conventional advertising and legacy channels and institutions.

This story began when the internet lowered the barrier to publishing, allowing independent authors to gain a following directly, and serve communities who were previously overlooked. Social platforms emerged and lured people online, teaching them to post for an audience. As the platforms scaled, they introduced public metrics, rolled out new content formats, and attracted advertisers, laying the groundwork for users to redefine fame and take advantage of significant new economic opportunities. Platforms now partner greedily with their top users — YouTube first and most notably — and have been rewarded handsomely.  The Covid pandemic brought ‘creator economy’ into the mainstream of the business world and rewrote the playbooks. The rise of social media has meant an expansion of opportunity for the creators with the rise of social esteem and material rewards. An industry has emerged out of nowhere, with almost no guardrails or prescribed methods.

Content creators are the new media

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, you’re in their online world too. The smartphone is a multimedia studio all on its own. The internet has made the world a stage more than ever before. The most powerful online creators build such a bond between themselves and those watching their videos, reading their posts, listening to them talk. They advise, perform, sell, display and build a connection with their audiences.

This blog was first published in Autocar Professional's December 15, 2023 issue.

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