Sometimes as marketing leaders we find ourselves getting caught up in the latest shiny object, over-priced course, or TikTok challenge and lose sight of the core marketing principles that got us to where we are today. Of those core sets of principles, Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point is one of the most impactful lessons I’ve learned as a marketer. Now 22 years old, the premises of the book are as true as ever.

For those unfamiliar, Gladwell explores why certain trends reach critical mass (read: scale) and others don’t, and the moment at which they do is referred to as the Tipping Point. Gladwell’s three core principles for explosive growth include the Law of the Few (it only takes a few key people for something to catch on), the Stickiness Factor (how “addicting” your product or experience is), and the Power of Context (the environment must enable the spread of your brand/product/experience).

Gladwell explains that for marketers like the loyal subscribers who open our email every week, there are three sorts of people that are critical to helping a trend or campaign scale beyond the Tipping Point: Mavens, Connectors, and Informants.

Mavens are your resident experts. They’re passionate about your brand, product, or industry, perhaps even irrationally so. Connectors seemingly know everybody and are happy to make an introduction. Informants are critical for sharing information and are viewed as trusted sources of information.

If these people sound familiar, it’s because they are. As marketing leaders, we often refer to them as influencers. We’re constantly seeding product, lobbying for “UGC-style” content, and cutting checks for promotional content and giveaways as we seek to resonate with their audiences.

Influencers aren’t a novelty to marketing leaders at this point; they’re simply another weapon for deployment as brands look to win the war for attention using as few dollars as possible to do so.

But finding the right influencers that are a mix of connectors, mavens, and informants is only half the battle. Marketing leaders must set them up for success with the right context and stickiness for a brand’s marketing campaign to really take off.

As with many things in marketing, what’s old is new again. Need help crafting the perfect influencer campaign? Let’s connect!