Diana Marszalek 12 Sep 2019 // 1:57PM GMT
NEW YORK — With influencer marketing predicted to be a $10 billion business by 2020, a group of marketing and communications leaders have banded together to launch a new trade association to protect the practice.
The Influencer Marketing Association will offer members a range of tools and resources aimed at doing that, most notably information about best practices and measurement standards.
“Even after 10 years of growth, marketers are still at odds about what to expect from influencer programs, what kind of influencers to work with, how to charge for them, and what to measure,” said Kristy Sammis, founder of the influencer marketing firm Clever and IMA.
“The industry is also facing increasing scrutiny about influencer fraud, like fake followers, bots, pod activity, and how to detect — let alone address — these bad behaviors.”
The organization, which is open to membership by agencies and brands, is currently run by a board of directors from companies including Weber Shandwick, 360PR+, Best Buy and Unilever. Currently a grassroots effort, the IMA’s goals include supporting research, thought leadership and organizing events, the first of which are being scheduled for next year.
“Brands and agencies are continuing to invest in influencer marketing and there are significant opportunities to leverage the practice across industries,” said board member Caitlin Melnick, a 360PR+ senior VP. “The IMA will help establish important benchmarks and additional guidelines which, to an extent, have been lacking.”