The Future of Influence

Thought Leadership

Over the last month, we’ve run a series of events and blog articles exploring the future of influencer marketing. Informed by expert interviews, from academics to journalists to creative technologists, we honed in on three key areas across culture, technology and the creator economy. Here, you can read or watch all the content and learn more about how influencer marketing will evolve over the next few years, from our Future of Influence authors and presenters: Mobbie Nazir, Paul Greenwood, Agalia Tan and Gigi Ouf. 

In today’s interconnected world, social media platforms are the new town squares where creators/influencers hold court. And even in the relatively short amount of time that influencers have been around, the dynamics of influence have undergone a profound transformation. The power of influence has shifted from traditional gatekeepers to everyday individuals, who have mastered the art of audience captivation. 

Examined through the lenses of digital culture, the nature of influence – the people who influence, the platforms they use, the ways in which they participate, and it’s clear that influence is evolving into something very different from what we have experienced in the past. Three key themes encapsulate this evolution – and define what it means for brands.


Creators and influencers have been working on their content in isolation. In the increasingly saturated field in which they operate, this is leading to burnout. As a result of this, influencers are banding together in collectives to share the burden of the creative process. This also helps them to have a greater shared impact in a very crowded space. 

Be it hype houses, metalabels, or media collectives, influencers create economic, emotional, and creative alignment between collaborators. Rather than everyone competing for the same pie, thanks to these collectives, they are now engaging in co-opetition.

They are pooling their skills, audiences, and resources in support of a larger creative vision or purpose. This is described as “creativity in multiplayer mode”. For example, RADAR, a gated private community, has its core squad commanding strong presence and influence amongst other members. Another case in point is MSCHF, which is an art collective set up to parody culture. MSCHF has a shared vision and is focused on making a statement through  art and disruptive culture. 

Read more on our blog here, and watch the LinkedIn Live event here


Advances in technology inevitably lead to questions around how it will negatively affect humans and their influence on the world – the typical Black Mirror reference. In this particular case, it is whether AI, which now gives anyone with a device and Internet connection the power to create anything from their imagination, will drown out creators. 

We are already seeing influencers harnessing new technology, creating alternative revenue streams and extending their influence beyond the typical means of a human life into different elements of the Web3.0 world. 

We see this in Grimes getting ahead of the fakery and splitting royalties with creators who use her voice, or Hybe, the Korean music giant behind BTS, using voice AI to launch its latest artist, Midnatt, in multiple languages simultaneously.

Read more on our blog here, and watch the LinkedIn Live event here.  


Creators have major cultural clout with large dedicated communities who have helped shape their careers and make them who they are. However, creators know they’ve built their kingdoms on rented land and are at mercy of the algorithms. Even the biggest of creators are small fish compared to the platforms. In a saturated IM market – one dogged by demonetisation – there’s a recognition to rethink revenue streams and find a healthier way to turn a profit on their terms. 

Having built a fandom from scratch as well as learning a variety of desirable skills along the way and having an entrepreneurial spirit, they’re moving away from endorsement and taking creative control by launching their own creator brands.

Creators big and small are taking creative control – whether that’s Logan Paul and KSI launching their own energy drink to the D’Amelio family’s new management company, DamGood Mgmt, set up to provide consultancy to other creators or Kat and Latisha Clark (TikTok’s top Creator of 2022) moving medium with their “Basically Besties” podcast and a live tour.

The implications of this are vast. In future, brands will not be competing with their established rivals, but with multiple, niche, creator-led brands. As creators and influencers continue to work together in collectives to support a greater vision and harness new technology to open revenue streams and extend their influence, they will no longer be reliant on brands for patronage. This means that the communities that influencers have built will become an even more valuable commodity – and a lot harder for marketers to tap into. 

Read more on our blog here, and watch the LinkedIn Live event here