Five Keys to In-House Celebrity & Influencer Marketing

Damon Duncan (flickr) .jpg

There are significant benefits around using an in-house, trusted team to identify, negotiate, contract and service endorsement deals for celebrities and influencers.

Despite beneficial relationships that marketing agencies and corporate producers build every day, there is also a power struggle dictated by market trends and the effectiveness of campaigns. I have laid out before the benefits of partnering with a specialist agency. Some brands are moving their work in-house.

Managers face tough decisions, and some may consider moving operations in-house to cut costs and gain greater control over content. There is a lot to consider.

For reference, in this post the term celebrity also includes influencers.

Successful celebrity marketing takes a significant operation and constant collaboration. It might not be possible to satisfy necessary requirements with current resources, and an expansion of staff may be in order to maximize effectiveness.

When deciding who will lead and execute celebrity identification and contracting, consider five key areas:

1. Experience

Does your team have years of celebrity experience? In my agency, it takes 10-20 deals before an account service person with the most sophisticated training can independently lead a best-in-class celebrity campaign. Even then, pitfalls put deals at risk from lack of experience.

2. Networking

How deep is the team’s network with agents? Managers? Publicists? Many deals take weeks or months too long or fall apart because there are not strong relationships with Hollywood, sports and entertainment management teams. Credibility, trust and rapport take time to build and maintain.

3. Brainstorming

What process does the team have to move beyond white boarding and brainstorming? This is only the FIRST step in a process of considering all celebrity options. How can one hire a game changing celebrity if they are not identified up front? My agency created a nine-step process to identify celebrities who are the perfect fit, within budget and willing to participate in the campaign.

4. Speed

A celebrity deal takes on average two to four weeks to complete if executed well. Celebrity deals can be shorter or longer depending on how knowledgeable the team is and how quickly the agent who represents the celebrity in question works. Can your team devote hours over a number of weeks or more to execute? Should the team take its eye off core work to execute a deal from start to finish? Is it the best use of time? It may or may not be depending upon what is going on with the brand at the time.

5. Time

Multiple team members may be working on this. Do they have time to do their “day” job plus work on this and deliver the work that is expected? After 48 years plus executing successful celebrity campaigns and making every mistake in the book, we use a 25-step process which leads away from pitfalls and moves a brand through a successful, turn-key celebrity endorsement.

photo credit: Damon Duncan via (flickr)



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