IBM is a respected company with a legacy, and staying authentic to that core is crucial, even for its influencers.
“When you have a company that has reinvented itself over 100 years many, many times, there’s a legacy that’s quite attractive,” said Michelle Peluso, svp and CMO of IBM in an interview with Forbes. “But we have to tell our story in the right way.”
In influencer marketing, IBM stresses quality over quantity. “It’s not necessarily about how many followers someone has, but rather what makes them valuable and interesting to their audience,” she said.
For the “Dear Tech, Let’s Talk” campaign, for example, IBM engaged celebrities and influencers as well as employees and advocates. “Whoever you choose to associate with your brand—they have to have that authentic connection. It simply can’t be manufactured or bought,” said Peluso.
One brand advocate, Tanmay, was a developer who started working with IBM’s AI platform Watson when he was just a child.
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“He has this uncanny ability to break down the technology in ways that people can understand,” Peluso told writer Kate Talbot. “He does Facebook Live, YouTube, attends our events, and is becoming incredibly influential in his sphere.”
Influencers can be especially helpful in the B2B tech space, because often much of what is being promoted often aren’t actually physical, tangible things that could be photographed or held.
“What I think is really interesting is that, even now, a lot of what we do, you can’t see and touch,” she said. “There are so many ways that AI and Cloud are touching people’s lives that you can start to make real,” Peluso explained.