Robert Kozinets: Influencer 201

Sep 18, 2019

The second part of our special two-part interview of Robert Kozinets for “The Creative Influencer” podcast is available today for download on iTunes, Spotify, and premier platforms everywhere.

Robert is the Jayne and Hans Hufschmid Chair in Strategic Public Relations and Business Communication at USC Annenberg and teaches a class about influencer marketing. Rob has studied the topic since the early days of the internet and is currently writing the first ever college textbook on influencer relations.

In this part, Rob gives takes a deep dive into influencer relations across platforms and countries and shares his predictions for the future.

______________________________________________________________________________

A transcript of the episode follows:

Jon Pfeiffer:  Now, we're going to take a virtual spring break.

Robert Kozinets:  All right. Okay. Oh yeah, there it is...

Jon Pfeiffer:  Which means...

Robert Kozinets:  Ahhhh. Okay, good. Do I get to go to Daytona beach or something?

Jon Pfeiffer:  No. What I'm going to do is I'm going to ask you some personal questions.

Robert Kozinets:  Oh wow. Okay.

Jon Pfeiffer:  What question do you ask to find out the most about a person?

Robert Kozinets:  Hmm. Well, I usually start my interviews with, can you tell me about yourself? Usually, I interview people and it's called a grand tour question. And then you probe. So can you tell me a bit about yourself? Usually, I find the first thing that people say under their mouth is usually pretty interesting and important. And then I'll try and unpack that and draw on that. But just a simple, tell me about yourself, I think, is a good way to figure out.

Jon Pfeiffer:  And normally, what I do to my guests is I throw that question right back to them. But I've already asked you a lot about yourself so...

Robert Kozinets:  Yeah, you have.

Jon Pfeiffer:  What question would you most like to know the answer to?

Robert Kozinets:  How do we fix this mess we're in? Yeah. That would be a big one.

Jon Pfeiffer:  I think it's called elections.

Robert Kozinets:  It's called which?

Jon Pfeiffer:  Elections.

Robert Kozinets:  Oh, I wish. Yeah. Yeah, that'd be nice.

Jon Pfeiffer:  Do you collect anything?

Robert Kozinets:  Oh yeah.

Jon Pfeiffer:  What do you collect?

Robert Kozinets:  Oh my. I collect books as you can see, I collect comic books. I still have a stamp collection.

Jon Pfeiffer:  Do you actively still collect stamps?

Robert Kozinets:  Not anymore, no. But I actively read and like my comic collection. Yeah. It's mostly down to books now. Yeah. And citations. I collect citations.

Jon Pfeiffer:  Very professorial thing to do. If you had 30 minutes a day to do anything, what would you do?

Robert Kozinets:  Hmm. 30 minutes a day to do... So I can pick the anything?

Jon Pfeiffer:  You can do the anything.

Robert Kozinets:  I would like to plant trees. I wish I was doing more in terms of pulling carbon out of the air.

Jon Pfeiffer:  What TV channel doesn't exist but really should?

Robert Kozinets:  That's a great question. I think an environmental station where we actually get news about how the-

Jon Pfeiffer:  Environment?

Robert Kozinets:  ... planet and species are doing besides just all this political back and forth, this ping pong game that we're all addicted to. I'd like to know on a continent by continent basis-

Jon Pfeiffer:  What's going on?

Robert Kozinets:  ... how we're doing. Yeah. Yeah. I think that would be the station. An animal station would be great too. Not Animal Planet, not just pets, but a whole bunch of different species.

Jon Pfeiffer:  What makes you laugh?

Robert Kozinets:  What makes me laugh? Life makes me laugh, my kids make me laugh. Everything.

Jon Pfeiffer:  What's your guilty pleasure? And you can't say books.

Robert Kozinets:  My guilty pleasure. My guilty pleasure, going down to the beach and just walking, walking in the waves. Yeah. I love that. I love the ocean.

Jon Pfeiffer:  Especially from Canada.

Robert Kozinets:  Yeah. Being close to the ocean is just... it's wonderful, having been landlocked most of my life.

Jon Pfeiffer:  And I grew up in Nebraska, so I get it.

Robert Kozinets:  You get it.

Jon Pfeiffer:  What's the one talent you wish you had?

Robert Kozinets:  The one talent I wish I had. I'd like to be able to dunk.

Jon Pfeiffer:  I'll go with you on that one. What's-

Robert Kozinets:  5'10", no chance!

Jon Pfeiffer:  I'm 6'1" and I couldn't dunk. What's your biggest pet peeve?

Robert Kozinets:  My biggest pet peeve, people not thinking. That drives me crazy; people who believe what they believe and won't think, won't use that muscle in their head.

Jon Pfeiffer:  Which is a perfect intro for, tell me something that's true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Robert Kozinets:  Something that's true that almost nobody agrees; that our beliefs are a lot more unstable than we think and easier to shift. I think everybody's so locked into what they think right now, a lot of polarized positions, that they don't realize that everything is a social construction.

Jon Pfeiffer:  So let's go to...

Robert Kozinets:  Thank goodness we're done with that!

Jon Pfeiffer:  Our virtual Spring Break is done!

Robert Kozinets:  Wow! Thank you!

Jon Pfeiffer:  Take away the margaritas!

Robert Kozinets:  That was the most tense Spring Break I've ever been on.

Jon Pfeiffer:  The next two classes you have are the different categories of influencers and how basically they've taken their expertise or their interest and have turned it into their channel.

Robert Kozinets:  The kinds of influencers.

Jon Pfeiffer:  The kinds of influencers.

Robert Kozinets:  Like entertainment or travel.

Jon Pfeiffer:  Entertainment, travel.

Robert Kozinets:  Technology.

Jon Pfeiffer:  So having talked to the people in the field and talked to those influencers, what advice would you have for a budding influencer?

Robert Kozinets:  I think you've got to be passionate about what you do. And I think if you are the kind of person who likes to go deep into a topic, then pursue this. We had a lot of people at the beginning of the class who were asking the influencers who came in, "Is it too late? Is the game over? Is it saturated?" And to a person, the people who were responding said, "It's just beginning. This industry is just starting and there is room for every single kind of influencer."

Robert Kozinets:  So I think it's easy to pick one of the things that's out there now already, like automotive or cosmetics or something, but I think the advice that I would ultimately give would be, find something that's more unique, more you and ride that, have that grow. So we had this one guy, and I can get you his name... I'm sorry, I'm bad with names. I should have boned up on it. But he took his passion for countries and started doing YouTube videos based on each country alphabetically and he's like halfway through the 200 and something countries in the United Nations. And did a feature video about each one.

Jon Pfeiffer:  About each country?

Robert Kozinets:  Yeah, he's a guy who's fascinated by geography, fascinated by politics. He put these things together and he's been very successful at gathering an audience based on his passion for all of these different countries. So, Azerbaijan,...

Jon Pfeiffer:  I would think every middle school teacher would want to get that.

Robert Kozinets:  Oh yeah. But he made it funny and catchy. He really had a talent for bringing these topics to life. And I think that's the kind of thing I really love and I think people need to do if they're going to break through some of that clutter is be you; be yourself and be unique and find something that's a little bit different about yourself and really go with that.

Jon Pfeiffer:  I think there'll always be room for makeup videos, but I don't know how there can be so many...

Robert Kozinets:  There are sub-markets within that too, right?

Jon Pfeiffer:  No, I know.

Robert Kozinets:  It gets more and more striated. So the more you understand, the more you find, okay, well, I don't find something for people like me, people with my eye color or my skin color-

Jon Pfeiffer:  Whatever it happens to be.

Robert Kozinets:  ... or my age or whatever it is.

Jon Pfeiffer:  And then as I was going through your syllabus for--this was the most fascinating part for me because I don't have exposure to it on a daily basis,--was the "around the world tour" of influencers. And you turned me on to an Amazon Prime documentary, People's Republic of Desire.

Robert Kozinets:  What did you think?

Jon Pfeiffer:  I was shocked. Tell us about what it is.

Robert Kozinets:  Well, it's amazing. They have these basically live streamers who go on in China and share their lives, but they're also asking for money. And they can make millions of dollars just by building a relationship with an audience and then just straightforward cashing it in. They're not selling anything necessarily, they're just being themselves!

Jon Pfeiffer:  That was the fascinating part to me.

Robert Kozinets:  It's just WeChat transfers of money, which is... In China, they have apps that are your social media, they're like WhatsApp, but they're also your bank account. So it's money and it's social media and it's information and a Twitter type microblog all at once. And so you can watch someone in social media and send them money directly. And this is a huge, huge business in China. And what the documentary really brought out that was fascinating was some of the people who were sending large amounts of money to other people-

Jon Pfeiffer:  Didn't have the money to send.

Robert Kozinets:  Some didn't and some just had so much money that it was like nothing for them to send someone a hundred grand who needed it. And then they have these competitions and contests to see who can earn more.

Jon Pfeiffer:  So tell me about the different platforms. It's a great lead in for the different platforms in China, South Korea, Japan-

Robert Kozinets:  Russia.

Jon Pfeiffer:  ... Russia. How are they different?

Robert Kozinets:  Well, one obvious difference is in China, there's something called the "Great Firewall of China." So if you're in China... My son just did an exchange semester in Hong Kong. As soon as you go to China, boom, this wall comes down and you can't get your Gmail, you can't get your Facebook, you can't find your Instagram anymore. You have to use Chinese apps. And so they have grown up in a protected type of ecosystem on their own. But they're incredibly rich. I would say the Chinese are ahead of anyone in the world in terms of social media and what it can do and how it works and how interwoven with people's daily life it is than anybody else.

Robert Kozinets:  They're very sophisticated programs that they have, they combine all of the things I was talking about, payment systems and social media, with gaming, with communication and they're also tightly monitored. So the government shuts things down too. When things get a little hairy, like the problems that we're having with Twitter now, you don't hear about it anymore.

Jon Pfeiffer:  So it's just gone.

Robert Kozinets:  It's just go stops. Yeah.

Jon Pfeiffer:  What is the Facebook equivalent in China?

Robert Kozinets:  Something called RenRen, I think.

Jon Pfeiffer:  And I assume they have an Instagram equivalent?

Robert Kozinets:  Well, you know-

Jon Pfeiffer:  A photo-

Robert Kozinets:  Yeah. WeChat, I think, does it, and there are a couple of other ones. Now you're catching me at a channel where I haven't gotten my full expertise, but it's not a one-to-one correspondence, Jon, it's a mix and match. So you might have one platform that does what three or four different platforms do here. And then another one that... some that do things like live streaming that we don't even have here.

Jon Pfeiffer:  And which came first? Did the Chinese rip off ours or did we rip off theirs?

Robert Kozinets:  If we're going to use the term "rip off," they "ripped off." I'm proud to say-

Jon Pfeiffer:  Borrowed!

Robert Kozinets:  They developed our technology, but kind of like the Japanese in the 1980s with cars, they've gone beyond where we were and they're now ahead. They're ahead in terms of including things. Because a command economy can kind of push things through and have it adopted really quickly, things like payment systems are well ahead of where we are.

Jon Pfeiffer:  It's as if Apple were a country.

Robert Kozinets:  As if Apple were a country, right. But there's also something different there, which is the cultures are different. So I think, China right now, a lot of the people are focused very much on capitalism and making money and working incredibly hard and incredibly long hours. We're looking a lot like we're slowing down and relaxing and enjoying. We're on momentum. We're running on momentum here. That's not the way it is in China. They're really gearing up.

Robert Kozinets:  And when you're there, I don't know if you've been, you feel that energy, that they're very... they're very hungry still and they're very ambitious. And because of that, I think, a lot of Chinese people don't have the time for social connection. And so they get that social connection-

Jon Pfeiffer:  Online.

Robert Kozinets:  ... online. And social media assumes much greater importance in people's social lives than it does in America, where people still have a lot of impersonal interaction. And so that kind of framing of things really change it. Then you've got countries like Africa where mobile phones are huge, but laptop and internet and desktop use are a lot less and they have a lot of SMS type relations, a lot of... So it evolves for the different country at the technological stage they're in, the cultural stage in, what's happening.

Jon Pfeiffer:  And then how is Europe different?

Robert Kozinets:  I would split Europe into a couple of... So Europe is in a lot of ways still using a lot of American social media technology. So Facebook is still huge there, Google is still huge in most of Europe. Russia is different. Russia's a little bit more like China. Russia has its own social networks that are really strong.

Jon Pfeiffer:  Are there any of the other countries that have the live streaming like China does? Where that's their primary... It was just fascinating to me--and if you haven't seen the movie or documentary, go watch it.

Robert Kozinets:  Yeah. People's Republic of Desire. I don't know that anyone livestreams quite like that. I think Koreans probably have it around things like gaming. We didn't talk about Twitch, but Twitch is a major platform and probably the closest thing to people's Republic of Desire that we have in America, watching people play-

Jon Pfeiffer:  Play games.

Robert Kozinets:  ... play games, and also subscribing to people as they talk about games and give hints and do things like that and having a lot of live commentary flowing. The flow of Twitch is similar to the flow of what you see there. I think live streaming, it happens in a lot of platforms, but nothing on the scale or the scope or the financial implications of what's happening in China right now.

Jon Pfeiffer:  And then after you discuss the different countries, you go to the measurement of influence, which now you're getting to the heart of what marketers always want to measure: the engagement. So what's your take on Instagram doing away with public likes?

Robert Kozinets:  Yeah, really interesting. I think it's a bad move for people who want to understand the media like me. I'm attracted to social media because it's public facing. And the more information you can provide, the better. I just think this is another stain on Facebook, to be honest. I don't think you want to take away peoples' power. I think knowledge is power and information is power. And a lot of Silicon Valley companies have gotten where they are because they gave away a lot of information and thus empowered people through the technology.

Robert Kozinets:  I think when you do these little power grabs, taking things away and then starting to charge for them, you create these elites, and I don't particularly like it. So I think measurement should be as much as possible, transparent, out in the open, verifiable, and those who come up with those numbers should be accountable for them.

Jon Pfeiffer:  And how is the typical influencer... Let's go Instagram first. How is the typical Instagram influencer measured, their influence if they're doing an ad campaign?

Robert Kozinets:  It's pretty simple. So it's reach and engagement. So you've got the number of people who are subscribers or who see that post, and then you've got engagement. And engagement's where it starts to get fluffy. So engagement can be a like, for example, your public likes, or it can be a comment.

Jon Pfeiffer:  Comments.

Robert Kozinets:  And then we get to the level of what some are calling contextual engagement, which means it's not just a comment like yay or-

Jon Pfeiffer:  Or an emoji or... Yeah.

Robert Kozinets:  ... or an emoji. Maybe now we start to look at what the content of that was and what the context was. Was it substantial? Was it a really... Was there a conversation that happened? Did somebody post something and then someone else replied and then someone else replied and then maybe the influencer themselves got involved in the conversation and the unpacking? Was it negative about the product?

Robert Kozinets:  A comment just shows up as a comment, as a kind of engagement. But maybe the person says, "Well, I tried that drink and I thought it tasted-

Jon Pfeiffer:  It was terrible.

Robert Kozinets:  ... like swamp water." That shows up as engagement. We don't really pick that up. So we're getting a bit more subtle, which I really like. We're a little bit introducing quality. Most of it is about-

Jon Pfeiffer:  Numbers.

Robert Kozinets:  ... it's still about reach. It's still very much about, what is the audience size? And I think the move, which we haven't talked about yet, to using more micro- and nano-influencers in particular-

Jon Pfeiffer:  And how do you define micro versus nano? Everybody I've talked to defines them differently.

Robert Kozinets:  It's fluffy, but let's say a nano influencer would be somewhere in the level of 1,000 to 10 or so thousand followers on Instagram. Usually Instagram's kind of the basis for everything. And then I'd say a micro is somewhere on the level of 10,000 to a hundred thousand-ish, roughly. Everyone is slightly different. But I think for me, the way I would define it would be a little bit more tactically; I would say that nano influencers are people who still read and can interact with a large number of-

Jon Pfeiffer:  Their followers.

Robert Kozinets:  ... most of their followers. That they actually have that ongoing relationship. Once you get big enough, you start to lose-

Jon Pfeiffer:  It's impossible.

Robert Kozinets:  ... that ability. You can't do it.

Jon Pfeiffer:  Or there's a staff person that does it.

Robert Kozinets:  Yeah, exactly. Which sort of defeats the point.

Jon Pfeiffer:  We're now finishing your class.

Robert Kozinets:  Oh wow.

Jon Pfeiffer:  Oh, I know.

Robert Kozinets:  That was a quick 15 weeks. Exam time. That's where I get to ask you questions, Jon!

Jon Pfeiffer:  Well, I was trying to think of... The question I had down was, what type of influencer deals exists? But let me change that.

Robert Kozinets:  Hmm. You know that better than I do. Sure. That's easy.

Jon Pfeiffer:  But where do you see brand deals going? Where do you see the future of brand deals?

Robert Kozinets:  I like to think that the PR perspective of relationships is going to more longer term contracts. So that maybe you don't have these X number of posts for X number of time, but maybe you sign on with an influencer-

Jon Pfeiffer:  Two year deal or something.

Robert Kozinets:  Yeah. They become like a spokesperson. And you maybe bring them on board with product launches, maybe you bring them into meetings to help design. I really think that a huge amount of potential exists in having influencers speak directly to companies for their audiences so that they're even a proxy so that you actually use them for consumer insight, for marketing research, that they become someone who's involved in the new product development process, for example, as another voice.

Robert Kozinets:  We've placed them in this category as advertising, as sort of mouthpieces, but I think one of their great talents is that they're able to incorporate the perspective of a particular segment, a particular group of people, and then express that really well. Why wouldn't we use that in order to have them speak for those people in a corporation?

Jon Pfeiffer:  Well, my view is because it's so new, that they're not really understood. But I think that's changing. Which leads to prediction time.

Robert Kozinets:  Okay. I like predictions.

Jon Pfeiffer:  This is prediction time!

Robert Kozinets:  Okay. All right!

Jon Pfeiffer:  What are some of the greatest challenges... Let's set the baseline: What are some of the greatest challenges currently being faced by social media?

Robert Kozinets:  I think we know what these are. It's polarization, it's filter bubbles, it's a small group of people with very strong and extreme opinions dominating the conversation. And I think it's giving us a very slanted view of what the average person thinks and does. And it's very hard in a free society to shut that down in a way that is respectful and responsible to the fact that people are going to have strong emotional reactions-

Jon Pfeiffer:  You have the whole on YouTube controversy of the First Amendment on the one hand, with violation of terms of use, hate speech on the other.

Robert Kozinets:  Sure. Copyright too. YouTube has been struggling with that for a long time. How do we deal with that? That's a really vexing problem and a big question. I do think... Okay, you're going to ask me to make some specific predictions, so I'll wait. I'll hold up what I was going to say.

Jon Pfeiffer:  No, tell me-

Robert Kozinets:  Well, I do think that regulation is necessary and around the corner. I think we've been very slow, here in America, to actually regulate this in a way that's ethical and smart. The thing about-

Jon Pfeiffer:  That was on my list, actually.

Robert Kozinets:  ... yeah, the thing about regulation is you don't always get it right the first time, but you see what works and what doesn't and then you make adjustments. By not doing anything, we haven't given ourselves an opportunity yet to really figure out what will and won't work. And we're leaving this up to Silicon Valley companies that have proven that they are not responsible enough to be handling this. Unfortunately, we've regulated every form of advertising, but we've left this thing alone because we've been seduced by the language and the imagery of extreme difference.

Robert Kozinets:  There's there's a couple of great books, one by Josie van Dyke, who's a European researcher, wrote a book called The Culture of Connectivity. And she charts out how Facebook played the language games that were required around this term, sharing, which takes things out of the commercial realm and puts them into the social realm of what we would call, as anthropologists, gift economies, that people are just... it's just a social version of sharing. It's not actually sharing that goes on. This is content distribution, and it's not regulated and not seen in that light because they've been very successful at doing this social marketing to the public and to government to say we should be different. Now this has been different in Europe for a while. It's getting more different in Europe. China's the extreme end of it. But the US, I think is, is looking like a laggard in terms of how they're managing one of their biggest industries.

Jon Pfeiffer:  What do you think the impact of deep fakes will be?

Robert Kozinets:  More confusion, more lack of trust, things that are disruptive to public relations, anti-marketing. There's a real serious question here, if you're in this business, about what the longterm future is if you degrade people's belief in the truth and their trust in experts, their trust in government, their trust in authority. Currently, I think the last Edelman [Trust Barometer] poll showed that people trust corporations more than they trust their own government. Some people take the light in that, I don't think that's a good thing for us. And I think corporations are still at a very low level of trust historically. They're trying to regain that.

Robert Kozinets:  But I think what's also happened is people don't trust each other. People don't trust the average person. So the average American wants to know what side of the political spectrum someone is before they can talk to them,-

Jon Pfeiffer:  Trust them.

Robert Kozinets:  ... trust them, marry them, like them, shake their hand. That's not a good place for us to be as a nation. That's something that has to change. And I don't see strong positive action being taken in any sphere in order to really address that problem. Social media has made it a lot worse.

Jon Pfeiffer:  Your prediction for the interplay of privacy and social media. Facebook did his famous privacy turn, which is only after a $5 billion fine.

Robert Kozinets:  Well, is it a turn, do you think?

Jon Pfeiffer:  No.

Robert Kozinets:  Are there teeth to that?

Jon Pfeiffer:  No, of course not.

Robert Kozinets:  Of course not! You're asking me, on the day that Capital One just came out with a breach of how many? 100 million or more Capital One accounts were breached today--that was the first story in the news. It's terrible, it's getting worse and it's likely to only get worse. We don't have privacy. We're getting used to being spied on. I just talked to a colleague of mine who's gone on a two year cell phone hiatus. So he gave up his cell phone for two years. And the reason was, he said, "Because they know everything. They know where I am, they know what I'm thinking, they know what I'm doing, they know who I call..." He's like, "I don't trust these companies." And he works with these companies. "I don't trust them enough to want them to know every single personal detail of my life."

Jon Pfeiffer:  About myself...

Robert Kozinets:  And we've got a generation of kids growing up that are so used to trading off every element...

Jon Pfeiffer:  They've never known privacy.

Robert Kozinets:  Right. They've never known privacy. It's just a word to them, it doesn't really mean anything. And so I think that's... I think it's bad for our civilization, it's bad for our democracy, and it's bad for us individually.

Jon Pfeiffer:  Where do you see the industry in five years?

Robert Kozinets:  Influencer or social media in general or?

Jon Pfeiffer:  Let me ask it both ways? Let's do social media first and then influencer.

Robert Kozinets:  I think in five years, I think there will be some big changes in terms of new rules. I think it's going to be... There will be some sorts of verification because we're getting to that. The companies are slowly but surely throwing things against the wall to see what sticks in terms of verifying. I think we're going to get more of that. I think-

Jon Pfeiffer:  I think that's where the role of deep fakes comes in too.

Robert Kozinets:  I think it's all going to sort of come together. There'll probably be some event or series of events, probably not such good ones, that are going to draw us to this level of realizing that we have to have some level of verification of whether someone's got expertise, who's talking, what they're trying to do, a bit more transparency in that process. Five years is a long time in social media as we know; things could be very different.

Robert Kozinets:  I think we'll continue to see some of the same major players, but I think that at some level, and I'm suspecting it might be the EU who's leading the charge here, we get more and more ethical regulation and more and more regulation on the level of really, really major fines and major regulations. So the companies like Google and Facebook, that have to deal in Europe too, they've made changes that affect us in America because their systems are global, a lot of them. And so we're benefiting from regulations the-

Jon Pfeiffer:  In Europe.

Robert Kozinets:  ... Europeans are putting in. It would be nice if Americans could put in some regulation that everybody would also benefit from.

Jon Pfeiffer:  And where do you see the influencers being in five years?

Robert Kozinets:  I think it's going to be bigger than it's ever been. I think influencers are going to cross over into Hollywood a lot more. I think we're going to see this being much more of a farm team for major media, and I also think we're going to see more go in the other way, that major media is going to shrink in a lot of ways. I also think we're due for some kind of reckoning in terms of television, which is a very overpriced medium for what it's been delivering, and there will be an adjustment and a shift and a lot...

Robert Kozinets:  As some of that television money, which has been really staying in television a lot longer than a lot of us thought it would start to shift into the influencer economy, that economy's going to bloom and the micro systems are going to bloom. A lot of areas... That ties into the advice I was giving before. A lot of areas that we haven't seen a lot of activity are going to get active and we're going to see a lot of flowering of niche areas, a lot of activities. I think what we're seeing in influencers right now is going to double or triple in five years. Probably more.

Jon Pfeiffer:  So this is not going away.

Robert Kozinets:  Not at all. Not at all. No. I was teaching social media classes four or five years before everybody else. The fact that I'm teaching an Influencer Relations class should be a signal-

Robert Kozinets:  And indicator, yes.

Robert Kozinets:  ... that this is going to be around for a while. We're writing a textbook so that we can systematize this. But I expect as we talk about it more, as we teach it more, as it becomes part of the business school curriculum and communication school curriculum, it could turn out more and more professionals, it's going to be more professional than it's been, measurements or are going to get better, and the people who are doing it, I think, are going to get a lot of benefit because people are going to understand that this is about relationships and openness and not just treating them like marketing mouthpieces.

Jon Pfeiffer:  One last question.

Robert Kozinets:  Sure. Oh, one last question. Well.

Jon Pfeiffer:  One last question. From a lawyer, I actually am going to ask one last question. Where can people find you on the internet?

Robert Kozinets:  Oh, that's an easy one. My Twitter account is @Kozinets; that's probably the best place to reach me. My Instagram has a lot of art other things, but yeah. Or they can look me up on the website here at USC. The Annenberg site's got a long bio and-

Jon Pfeiffer:  Google Scholar has many articles about you.

Robert Kozinets:  Google Scholar. Yeah. If you're interested in the academic side, definitely take a look at Google Scholar and keep your eyes posted to the conversation. I've got articles in the works there as well. Thank you so much, Jon.

Jon Pfeiffer:  Thank you. It's been a pleasure.

Robert Kozinets:  It's been a really great interview. Thanks a lot.


The Creative Influencer is a weekly podcast where we discuss all things creative with an emphasis on Influencers. It is hosted by Jon Pfeiffer, an entertainment attorney in Santa Monica, California. Jon interviews influencers, creatives and the professionals who work with them.

Sign Up for Pfeiffer Law's Monthly Newsletter

Contact Jon and his team today.

Subscribe