Is influencer marketing taking over traditional marketing?

PR expert Omar Darwish asks, while influencers can instantly create a social media hype - how long will the trend continue?

Omar Darwish is general manager of Not-A-Cliché Consultancy.
Omar Darwish is general manager of Not-A-Cliché Consultancy.

With the rise of the digital era, consumers spend most of their time behind screens. While in the past they used to be enticed by TV and radio ads and big billboards on highways, they now follow influencers that affect their purchasing power.

Due to this new trend becoming a big part of brands’ marketing plans, it makes us wonder if influencer marketing is taking over traditional marketing.

Experts explain that the shift to digital marketing comes from a few factors that have proven to be successful. Being more focused and targeted on a specific audience, influencer marketing is seen as very efficient for brands to reach out to their target audience.

Collaborating with an influencer that has a fan base of audience relevant to a product launch or a campaign has proven to be effective in terms of measuring the success of a specific campaign. Brands have realised that the end consumer became more receptive to messages delivered by a personality that they respect, trust and relate to, rather than watching an ad on TV being acted by a famous celebrity.

Moreover, influencer marketing made it easy not only for well-established brands to embrace it, but also for new startups who don’t have enormous budgets to spend on big marketing campaigns. Tying up with micro influencers proved that it can help small businesses build a database of customers and create a social media hype around the brand in a short time.

Businesses, regardless of the size, clearly saw the importance of influencer marketing and setting aside budgets and including it in their yearly marketing campaigns. Nowadays, they thrive on the various options and creative ways social media have to offer, making it easy to create a series of messages to be delivered in a specific time frame to achieve the best results, without the constraints that traditional marketing offers.

Since its appearance, influencer marketing provided the consumer with the choice of choosing which messages to listen to with a click of a button. Having the option of choosing which influencer to follow willingly through an accessible channel at all times and places offered brands the right medium to communicate with the end consumer directly without a mediator.

This leaves us with a question: how long will this new wave last? Although most brands have decided to take on this new marketing strategy, others haven’t been affected by it and still believe in the traditional way of doing it. Having said that, it is very important to understand the significance of incorporating influencer marketing in a brand’s strategy and utilising it, without completely neglecting traditional marketing, to reach consumers with different preferences.

Omar Darwish is general manager of Not-A-Cliché Consultancy

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