For Event Marketers, Stars Can Be Black Holes

When people pick celebrity endorsers, they think they just need to pick the brightest star on the sky. Perhaps it’s because so many big-name brands get big-name celebrities in their ads.

What you’re forgetting is that even the brightest stars can turn into black holes where not even light can escape.

Michael Bay’s recent slip-up at CES is one example. With all the work he did with Transformers, Bay’s name is getting closer to a household word. It is shouldn’t be surprising that electronics giant Samsung wanted this name to showcase their new TV products in CES.

Unfortunately, a single teleprompter malfunction was all Bay needed to lose his pace. Barely the start of the year and already things were looking grim for the company’s PR.

Event marketers should take extreme care when you decide to use a little ‘star power’ of your own. Granted it’s an excellent strategy for situations like product launches, rebranding, and scaling across cultures. However, a really balanced B2B marketer knows that picking the right star isn’t about picking the brightest one.

On a survey of consumers over age 55, 81% said a celebrity scandal did not change their feelings about a brand but 28% of consumers between ages 45-54 say that they felt badly about a brand because of a scandal.  How much of the people in those sensitive age brackets are likely to include your target market of B2B prospects?

Fortunately, here are some well-known tips in selecting the right market influencer and prevent that from happening.

  • Let it match. For example, celebrity chefs tend to tie well with lifestyle channels. There are many professional thought leaders out there you could use to tie your B2B brand.
  • Know their histories.  Is the person credible enough? Have they been wrong about market trends on too many occasions?
  • Do these celebrities understand the product? Obviously, getting them to participate must mean they already know what you want their help marketing.

There is a need for star power in B2B, especially in a world where influence and social media are making an impact, even on B2B sales. Don’t let brightness be your standard lest you end might end up diggin those sales into an inescapable black hole.