PREDICTING THE FUTURE OF INFLUENCER MARKETING : How Public Relations Experts perceive and measure the impacts of Influencer Marketing in their organizations. A Critical Study reflecting the discussions and future thinking of this particular phenomenon
Abstract: The body of marketing is drastically changing, pushing frontiers in numerous of domains, geographically, behaviourally and strategically with much enhanced technology in an increasingly globalized world. As this phenomenon pushes forward on many fronts, it is worthwhile to ask what will happen in the near future in this field. In today’s society ‘Influencer Marketing’ is known to be an incredibly popular and successful marketing tool, where one might be wondering: What is a plausible future in this area? What are the potential threats and challenges (if any) that we may encounter? What drives Influencer Marketing in organizations and what questions do they have about its impacts and measurements? I am hoping to fulfil this gap with the assistance of Critical Future Studies, Inayatullah (1990,1998) Luke Goode, Michael Godhe (2017,2018) in analysing the various facts and information that are being addressed and most importantly critically assess what is being missed. This Master thesis is a critical study, reflecting the future thinking and strategies relating to Emotional Branding, Danny Brown, Sam Fiorella (2013) made by experts in the fields of Public Relations, using a quantitative content analysis and semi-structured interviews. The chosen methods demonstrate two distinctive results, the content analysis showing a rather positive overview whereas the semi-structured interviews unpack the complexities and challenges in Influencer Marketing and has a negative stance towards its future. Future Studies, is a rigorous branch of study, where unfortunately no one can know for certain what the future holds, however I believe that it is important that we acknowledge values and invite scholars to join this critical dialogue about possible futures and the way we can imagine and discuss the future. The results in this thesis also further demonstrates the necessity in studying this branch of study due to the contradicting answers that are being addressed in the analysis. This thesis also intends to signify that it will not be closure but an encouragement to consider the impetus for a much larger conversation.
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