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This isnt a theoretical construct: Brainlabs, Fanbytes CEOs on why influencer marketing can power global expansion

Brainlabs really wants to continue its expansion into fast-growing regions of media like influencer marketing. Fanbytes has influencer expertise by the bucket load, but can only just take it up to now.

Thats the quick undertake why independent agency Brainlabs acquired influencer marketing agency Fanbytes for an undisclosed amount in-may.

With that people can dig deeper in to the latest round of consolidation in advertising. Understand that within the last couple of weeks (and months), WPP acquired e-commerce agency Corebiz and WE HAVE BEEN Social acquired above-the-line agency Metta Communications in Hong Kong. Like those deals, the main one between Brainlabs and Fanbytes stacks up for both sides. You can find issues, needless to say, nonetheless it seems nearer to an ideal match when compared to a marriage of convenience.

Sanguine-soaked as this sounds, the offer can be dipped in a few straightforward logic.

To begin with, Fanbytes didnt need saving. Otherwise, CEO Timothy Armoo wouldve gone with among the private equity investors that wished to choose the agency. Similarly, Brainlabs isnt exactly lacking home based business. It handles a lot more than $1 billion in media billings annually, in accordance with one source who declined to be on the record as the number is confidential. They are two companies which could afford to hold back for the proper deal, instead of accept whatever was available.

As it happens that right deal was basically the one which would give both businesses an improved shot at growing their influencer marketing briefs now. By themselves, this wouldnt have already been impossible just improbable. Together, both businesses have an improved shot at success albeit not just a clear one. The economy is on the skits, in the end. Yes, ad dollars remain being spent, but ultimately (or even already), that may slow. Downturns have a tendency to do this to marketers.

However, Armoo and Brainlabs CEO Dan Gilbert appear to like those odds.

If anything, this era is really a moment when marketers rationalize where they spend their money and spend money on things that actually work, including influencer marketing, said Gilbert.

Not that advertisers needed a downturn to determine influencer marketing goes deeper than likes, comments and a raise your voice.

During the last year, the fastest growing segment of the Fanbytes business was something we built whereby marketers may use influencer content for his or her paid media, said Armoo. Brands were already considering steps to make influencer creative work harder.

That is ideal for attracting more media dollars, however, not so excellent for the commoditization of influencers. The harder advertisers make content work, the more they see talent as a media product first of all, often driven by data. This may lead to too little creativity and authenticity, and a lesser quality of content. The main element is actually understanding what influencer marketing can perform but accepting that it cant do everything.

This is among the items that really stood out to us about Fanbytes, said Gilbert. The team acknowledged that influencer marketing isnt a precise science, he added.

Indeed, its very difficult to attribute breakfast cereal sales and footfall in a supermarket right to an influencer advertising campaign. But understanding an electronic footprint, brand uplift and engagement is more realistic. The main thing is incorporating this in to the wider reporting picture.

Having proprietary insight tech will make this happen for a company: it lets Fanbytes executives understand the benchmarks and channel averages of the influencers theyre dealing with. For instance, what does good appear to be in their mind and does that match the expectations of the brief? Having the ability to answer those questions with data gives marketers the methods to give influencers clear KPIs because of their campaigns and work with a mixture of qualitative and quantitative metrics.

This isnt a theoretical construct, said Gilbert. The Fanbytes team come in market building campaigns that deliver value, that is where in fact the growth rate of our business is via. So were seeing fast-moving consumer goods? clients switch budgets from TV to influencer. The reason behind that isnt due to any trading deals or rebates, its since it drives results over the marketing funnel.

Having the ability to prove those results is more important than ever before.

Increasingly, influencer-led marketing sometimes appears as an essential component within the entire marketing mix, and is therefore playing a far more central role in advertisers strategies. Needless to say, thats likely to ebb and flow through the existing economic storm, but influencer marketing isnt necessarily likely to be among the first line items on a media intend to get cut by clients, if the market go sideways. On the other hand, more big advertisers are recognizing that talent partnerships, when done correctly, certainly are a legitimate avenue for reaching and engaging with diverse audiences, and driving real impact.

We havent seen a ppc advertising my only brief in years its all built-into wider ad spending and exactly the same will happen for influencer marketing, said Gilbert.

Actually, his clients already are requesting it, he said.

Certainly, on the next several years its likely to turn into a significant section of media plans and subsequently integrated with other lines of spending, Gilbert added. Few brands are able to utilize Michael Jordan however they may use people in pockets who’ve influence over more targeted pools of individuals to obtain great results.

There are many caveats to the thought process, particularly if it involves how linked ad spending is in these areas to the growth of agencies, given the seemingly endless blast of financial constraints foisted around those businesses. But as digital communications and customer experience are more central to just how businesses grow, it seems sensible for marketers to utilize that expertise.

Take General Mills, for instance. Marketers you can find moving more of these ad dollars into influencer marketing, specifically for vegan products like Lrabar, that have incredibly engaged communities on social media marketing. These niche audiences demand a reliable and authoritative voice that branded content and traditional advertising often cant deliver.

We realize we are able to impact every section of the marketing funnel with influencers we’ve the info to back that up, said Armoo. But we also understand that the other elements of that funnel are increasingly being managed by marketers in other areas of the marketing team like paid media, SEO and display. Coming as well as Brainlabs we can reach those individuals easier.

Conversations with marketers already are beginning to shift because of this.

Budgets are receiving bigger, the campaigns are longer as will be the partnerships with influencers, said Armoo. The conversations have gone from giving us some cash to launch something for some fans to launching the merchandise but seeing how those individuals could be retargeted or marketed to over a 12-month period.

Theres without doubt they are challenging times for agencies. The pandemic and subsequent downturns of 2020 and 2022 have magnified pre-existing trends talent retention, squeezed margins and emerging competitors to mention a few. In lots of ways, these trends total the best stress test for agencies.

Brainlabs plan has withstood the pressure up to now. It really is projected to cultivate revenue 40% this season in comparison to 2021. Moreover, Gilbert told Business Insider earlier this season that his agency is headed toward $100 million in revenue. The majority of this growth originates from the U.S., where a lot more than 60% of Brainlabs business originates from now. Obviously, talks have been completely had about taking Fanbytes over there.

It’s likely that the expansion for both businesses wont stop there. During the last year, Brainlabs has bought marketing services companies in Canada and India. Also it remains searching for businesses in Germany, France, Australia, China and Japan. Within the next 3 to 4 years, it expects to become a fully global agency.

Brainlabs is in a distinctive host to not being linked with legacy methods to planning and purchasing, said Greg Paull, principal at independent search consultancy R3. They will have built an extraordinary suite of sophisticated tools with the talent to complement. More importantly, they are putting the proper dots on the map to provide global clients the comfort of a solid worldwide presence.

In the post-Covid world, all bets are off when it comes to structure and alignment between agencies and advertisers. Its in the same way likely that more marketers are likely to bring chunks of media in-house since it is that you will see more pitches. The agencies suitable because of this dynamic will be those that lessen friction and measure business outcomes the firms who is able to truly navigate how owned, earned and paid result in real outcomes, said Gilbert.

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