Working with influencers can allow brands access to real people’s lives unlike any other strategy was the message at this year’s Mike Warne Event ‘The Future of Influencer Marketing’ on Wednesday 28 February 2018 at Bournemouth University (BU).

Some descriptionSpeakers included (pictured top to bottom) Jamie Spafford one of the founders of YouTube's most engaging cooking channel’s, SORTEDfood; James Delves, Head of PR and Engagement at The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Philip Brown, Head of Influencer Marketing & Brand Advocacy at Come Round; Louie Gatas, Digital Marketing Manager (EMEA) at Warner Bros. Under discussion was the value and future of focusing and engaging with a particular individual, or groups of individuals, as a marketing strategy to influence your ultimate target audience.

Philip Brown, Head of Influencer Marketing & Brand Advocacy at Come Round focuses on getting brands into the hands and homes of brand advocates and influencers. Philip commented; “We’ll see influencer marketing turn more into a strategic long-term practice, where earned, paid and owned are combined to harness all layers of influence. Currently, most of what people are exposed to is smash & grab influencer advertising. Going forward, I have high hopes for it turning into something more integrated and strategic, pushing further than just a pay-to-play content creation technique.”

Jamie Spafford,one of the founders of YouTube's SORTEDfood channel has helped build a global community of more than 2 million friends who love socialising around food, his role is looking after community, media and partner relationships. Jamie said: “If done properly, working with influencers can allow brands access to real people’s lives unlike any other strategy - this isn’t like advertising, you shouldn’t be shoving your messages down someone’s throat. You can be positioned as ‘the enabler’, helping people achieve the things they want to do, contextualising what your product/brand stands for in an authentic way that people will want to engage with”.

Brian Doidge, CIM South West Regional Board Chair said; "Since its inception, the Mike Warne Event has steadily built up an enviable reputation for providing a high quality learning experience that takes us out to the very edges of what we know as Marketers.  This year proved to be no exception, when Louie, Philip and Jamie, provided us with an excellent example of this, within their first class presentations, which provided invaluable insights into the ‘Future of Influencer Marketing’ and we are of course extremely grateful to them.  We are also very grateful to the individuals and groups from the University, the CIM and the Dorset Marketing community, who came together to successfully plan, prepare and deliver a very relevant and purposeful event. I know that all who attended, like me, will have found it to be interesting and very worthwhile".

The annual Mike Warne event honours the late CIM Regional Director, Mike Warne, who was a strong advocate of building relationships between aspiring marketing students and the CIM. It is organised by final year BA (HONS) Marketing Communications students, who always select a topical marketing discipline for exploration, analysis and discussion, with the support of CIM.

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Graham Goode, Senior Lecturer in Marketing Communications at Bournemouth University who ed the team commented;"The students raised the bar again with this year's event: on-trend topic, great speakers with contrasting and thought-provoking perspectives on what is influencer marketing and where it is heading as a communications tool: great value-added event for practitioners, students and academics alike".

Pictured: Graham Goode, Senior Lecturer in Marketing Communications Bournemouth University; Brian Doidge CIM South West Regional Board Chair; Claire Sweet CIM South West student ambassador; James Delves CIM head of PR and public engagement. James Harrison on of the BA (Hons) Marketing student organisation team.

Our congratulations and thanks to BA (Hons) Marketing student organisation team led by Graham Goode and Shenel McLawrence, Lecturer in Marketing Communications and everyone involved in supporting the event.

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Pictured from left back: Chris Bowditch, Graham Goode, James Delves, James Harrison and Geneva Guerrieri. Front left: Shenel McLawrence, Brian Doidge, Claire Sweet, Linna de Crissey and Natalie Moseley.