Influencer marketing in the Social Commerce era is an art. 

As advice changes almost weekly, and the industry’s future becomes more malleable than ever, consider this the blueprint for brand success – taken directly from Wild’s stratospheric rise.

For this episode of Building Brand Advocacy, Paul & Verity are joined by Fiona Macpherson (Head of Influencer Marketing @ Wild). Together, they explore the ever-evolving influencer landscape.

With almost 500k followers across social platforms, Wild has emerged as one of the fastest-growing brands in the UK. Fiona shares how influencer marketing became the brand’s growth engine, driving customer acquisition across new markets and platforms; all while effectively telling the brand's story. 

This tactical deep-dive explores:

  • Wild’s Step-by-Step Guide to Influencer Campaigns: Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Wild plans, executes, and tracks the results of influencer campaigns in 2024. This includes overarching targets, team sizes, budget allocation, and tracking methodologies.

  • The Art of Leveraging Influencers: Delve into the intricacies of content creation, briefing documents, and video content preferences to crafting captivating content that resonates. Across diverse channels, the role of different creator sizes in achieving varied content goals is laid out plainly.

  • The 3 Things Every Influencer Marketer Should Hear: Tap into Fiona’s invaluable advice for other influencer marketers; including the importance of collaboration, diversifying channels, and embracing failure as part of the learning process.

Tune in to unpack the secrets of Wild's success, offering invaluable insight for brand builders navigating Brand Advocacy and creator partnerships in 2024.

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Building Brand Advocacy 058: 


The Influencer Marketing Playbook: Wild's Rise to Success ft. Fiona Macpherson

Paul - Right, hello, welcome to Building Brand Advocacy, the world's number one Advocacy podcast of at least one. And we are, my name is Paul Archer, I am one of your hosts and I'm joined by the exceptionally talented and wonderful Verity Hurd. How are you doing? 

Verity - I'm good, thank you very much for having me on the pod again. And we are joined by Fiona. Impressive CV Fiona, currently the head of influence marketing at Wild, but also Charlotte Tilbury, Farfetch, Michael Kors. 

Fiona - Yeah. 

Verity - Do you wanna just give us an intro and tell us how you kind of landed this iconic role at Wild? 

Fiona - Yeah, sure. So yeah, I'm Fiona, and I guess I've landed the role by accident. So back then I was an influencer marketing exec at Farfetch and a recruiter has reached out to me. I think just like, you know how it goes sometimes, that happens. And back then they were looking for an influencer marketing lead at Wilde and the JD wasn't even public or advertised yet. And then funnily enough, prior to this, I did buy and try Wild beforehand. And so I was kind of a victim of my own kind of marketing efforts. And so I'm originally from Germany. So the whole natural aluminum 3D order ends are a huge topic in Germany, has been for years, much earlier than in the UK. But the problem is to find a deodorant that actually works. That's like a big pain point. So I thought, I saw it influence as we're advertising it and I was like, let's give her a go. And I actually loved the product. And then for me, it was a no brainer to just go for the interview stages. And I guess, long story short, and to the rest of this history, I'm now at Wild for nearly two years. So I joined when… We were around 29 employees and now we're like around 80 within the last two years. So massive growth curve. We've moved office already once, maybe a second move is on the cards, depending on how the next couple of months go. And yeah, and I think one little quote, I always remember that back then the hiring manager, who is now my manager, Harry, he said to me, how would you feel leading a team of like plus 30 in a couple of years? And in my head, I thought, yeah, right. He's just saying that to get me on board. Um, but I was like, yeah, sure. Let's go for it. And I wouldn't say we're like at the 30 mark yet, but we have scaled quite considerably within the influencer marketing team. And I would argue that we probably have more team members than some of the legacy brands out there. And I think that's something I'm quite proud of. Um, yeah, it's quite, quite a machine we have at Wild. 

Verity - Yeah. I mean, I wasn't expecting that, no offense. I mean, I just didn't expect those numbers. I mean, yeah, how old is the brand? 

Fiona - Four years now. 

Verity - Yeah, I mean, that's incredible in that short space of time. 

Fiona - Yeah. 

Verity - And you've been there two years. 

Fiona - Exactly, yeah. 

Verity - Wow, congratulations. 

Fiona - Thank you. 

Verity - So correct me if I'm wrong. So Wild, you've amassed a following of almost 500,000 across social media, and the Times have called you the leading refillable deodorant brand, the fastest growing company in the UK, correct? 

Fiona - I think so, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, no, that sounds about right, yeah. 

Verity - So what we like to do on Building Brand Advocacy is get into the nitty gritty. So obviously with your role, Head of Influencer Marketing, what do you think is the single most important where you have leveraged influencer marketing to kind of earn these titles and cultivated this brand community? 

Fiona - Yeah, I think there's probably not one single one. I would probably break it up a little bit. So I think it's quite important to know that while we are part of the growth engine, so they call us the engine. And so we are responsible for acquiring new customers across different channels and across different markets. And so we started with the UK and then over the time we have kind of skated across different markets quite successfully. So that's like our main goal. And I think number two is, I guess I would always, if you imagine seeing wild on the shelf at like any given store and you don't know about our purpose, about our mission. You just look at the product. You don't really know what we stand for. You don't really know how actually the whole aluminum case and refillables work. So I think with influencers, we were able to very much tell the brand story and educate consumers, because influencers were saying, hey, we are like for sustainable sustainability, but we're also natural, aluminum free. You buy one aluminum case for life and then just rebuy the refills every three months. So I guess education, brand awareness, a huge topic. And then lastly, I think even though we are driving conversion campaigns, we ask influencers to tag our own socials. And I guess we have managed to get a couple of followers through these campaigns as well. So I think that's the most important aspects about what we're doing at Wild. 

Paul - How do you guys sort of split that up as a team? I mean, typically influencer marketing, that's like a brand activity sits in the… social PR sort of team. You were talking there about some kind of quiet performance activities, but also the brand activities to drive purchase through like stores as well, presumably retail stores that aren't yours. Like how do you mix that? Does your team sit in one particular area? Does it just exist as this like harmonious kind of group of people? I'd love to kind of dig into that a little bit. 

Fiona - So we do sit, so we do sit separately from retail. We do sit separately from performance. I think we've put some extra effort at the moment in order to avoid kind of like working in a silo. I think that's like one big issue, I guess, like one big risk that you have, especially when you grow so fast. So many people are being on boarded and then you kind of lose touch about communication. Because I think especially with the performance influencer marketing that we are doing, I think there's so much crossover with our performance team. So in terms of like, can we leverage our influencer content and put paid spend behind it? Or even can we use our influencer content and actually use it for social media, our own channel? So we do sit as our own little team, but I think we've just been over the last couple of months doing some extra efforts behind that. We kind of increase our cross-communication efforts, so we're not ending up in asylum just doing our own thing because I guess it affects so many other teams within the company.

Paul - So you cover the PR side of things, and then obviously you've got a really quite performance mindset to quite a lot of things you're doing as a DTC brand for a lot of your revenue. What was the hardest thing that you had to learn about performance and what's the big tip that you realized a lot of people in PR don't necessarily know? 

Fiona - Yeah, I think the data. Data is key, so I think with the performance influencer marketing, you do have to look at link links, reach. You do have to calculate what you could potentially pay that influencer and then that goes hand in hand with negotiation. I think coming from the PR side of things, you learn to kind of create relationships and kind of keep them sweet. But I guess when you negotiate and want to have a good deal, you sometimes have to be a bit ruthless. You have to potentially kind of leave the room or leave the campaign if you don't find a common ground, you just sometimes have to walk away. And I think that is sometimes quite hard to adapt that mindset that is actually a bit of more of a sales-y role than it is about relationship building. So I think that is like the number one switch that is required. But also I think that's like hard to adapt at the same time as well. You need to be in it if you really want to do that. 

Verity - Yeah. I just want to kind of go back to sort of; you guys have been on a slightly transformational journey. I mean, just going back to some interviews when sort of like researching and am I right in thinking that at first the product didn't really work that well and there was a process of obviously making the product better. And during that time, there was this kind of demand and people were starting to get into this refillable product especially in the UK and obviously you said in Germany, it was much bigger. And obviously you captured a lot of attention and inspired a lot of people. And again, another article from your, is it Harry, your magazine director, your boss? He shared that “customers need to have a product that works and fits into their lifestyle before they think about sustainability”. So how do you use influencers to kind of highlight your products as ones that work? And especially from something that you can't smell across the screen, like how do you guys manage that?

Fiona - Yeah, that's a good question. So I think, yeah, I guess just to like reiterate, I guess what Harry said is we want to drive sustainability, but I think in the past, maybe sustainability wasn't something cool or like products aren't necessarily good looking products. I think the key is to combine that in order to kind of like land on a more of a mainstream basis. But I think with influencers, so we do send them briefs. And I think probably our briefs are a little bit longer than what I've kind of experienced at my kind of previous kind of roles. And I think that's because you do have to explain what our mission is. You have to explain actually how to assemble the deodorant cases. Big pain point. You would think it is quite straightforward, but talents and influences still get it wrong. And when we have to when we approve the content, we're like… “Can you please refer to the brief? That's actually wrong.” Yeah. So that is still happening. So a brief is key. And then I think with the scents from our site, we try as much as possible to kind of, um, include words and like talking points that describe the scent. So for example, the top note, the heart note, and the base note, kind of like a perfume. But I think the beauty with really great influences is that they managed to sell the scent without you having to smell it. So, for example, one of our best-selling refills is coconut and vanilla. And I guess some influencers, when they create the content, maybe if they're on holiday on the beach, they have a coconut. And then I guess they incorporate that. And then on the other side, when you're a follower, you think, yeah, I know exactly what that smells like. So I think, I guess it's the beauty of working with really great talents that know how to create content. And I think, yeah, we manage it quite well. Sometimes a bit tougher, but overall I think it's working quite well. And yeah. And then I think like another example is as well where we can showcase our product, but also like combine it with lifestyle is with fitness influences, for example. So I think performance, especially for natural deodorants, is key. Um, so like we sometimes ask them, how about you incorporate the deodorant in your daily routine, you apply the deodorant, you do in your work, you go and do your workout. Um, and then afterwards you tell the followers how it felt.  Do you feel comfortable? Do you maybe smell a little bit more? Or hopefully not. And then yeah, just like explain the product in that way. 

Paul - Yeah. Do you find that you have sort of like more longer term relationships then? Cause obviously you kind of have to do that education piece with your creators and your customers and your influencers before they can then educate their audiences. 

Fiona - Yeah. So like our aim or like main goal is always to have long-term relationships. But again, because we are very performance driven, Sometimes if a campaign hasn't hit our internal KPIs, we would try it maybe one more time. But then overall, if the KPIs are right, we are always open and definitely aiming for a long-term relationship. And that then helps obviously to educate consumers over time. But if we don't hit it, sometimes we do have to kind of maybe pause, reconsider, wait before activating those influences again. 

Paul - How much of your paid campaigns are driven by content created by humans? 

Fiona - Quite a lot. I'm not sure if I can say they're right. The split, the percentage split, but we are probably, sometimes we do spend more than our performance team that spent budget on Meta and Google, for example. So it's like a very high budget that goes towards those paid campaigns from influencers. 

Paul - Interesting. And in terms of actually reusing that content as well, is it part of the performance team? So you kind of like feeding the content created by your influencers and then the ads team are then just using that as their content or is it quite separate? 

Fiona - Still quite a small percentage. It's because like the whole, how do we kind of like make the cross-functional efforts better? So I think we would like it to be a little bit more in terms of the percentage wise. But I guess if you activate so many influencers, it's like, where do you start in terms of like, giving passing that content on and then maybe negotiating about buyout fees. But yeah, longterm we would like that percentage to be much more, but I guess in reality, it's like still a very manual and that's something we just need to kind of make internally a little bit better buyout. We would like it to be a bit higher. 

Verity - And just thinking about the content. So you just touched on that, like how they kind of fit it seamlessly into their content and their lifestyles. Are you finding that particular content styles or formats are working better on platform, like the different platforms? And if so, how does that work for you guys? 

Fiona - Yeah, so it always depends, I would say, on the profile and also the data that we get back, but we kind of activate influencers across YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and some markets as well. Snapchat has had a bit of a comeback moment. I remember when I was at uni, Snapchat was the app, and then it kind of like disappeared. And then I think for the younger generation, it's kind of back and running again. I've tried it again, but none of my friends are still on Snapchat. So I think I'm a little bit too old for this. Um, but I would say video content works best for us just mainly because of the point of that enables influencers to educate followers and explain what we're all about. 

Paul - Let's, let's dig into Snapchat for a second. Yeah. Cause it's, uh, It's huge with Gen Z and Gen Alpha in terms of, yeah, same, I've not used it because I don't have anyone to snap. Yeah. But like, it is still, but- Not sure that's kind of- Is that the right word? 

Fiona - Exactly. There you go. 

Paul - That's how old I am, right? I'm a mid-30s dad. I'm definitely not the demographic to be snapping. I'm a 40-year-old mom and I still know that that's not right. But is it like, is that that - It's more like a WhatsApp, it's peer to peer. You're sending snaps to each of your photos, whatever the word is, to photos. Oh god, that sounds so old, I don't know what to do. But you're sending it to a small group of people you know, like 100 or something. So what does influencer marketing mean on Snap? How are you making that work? Are there some people who've just got large reaches? You're doing it, or are you tapping into a large number of people with smaller audiences? 

Fiona - So I think we would activate talents that have a high reach. So I guess they do have public stories as well on Snapchat that you can access. So it's not just like one-on-one that you have conversation with your friends, but you can also have like that public story. And that's where they would upload content just as they would on Instagram stories. So I think that's basically essentially how it works on Snapchat, yeah.

Paul - Because there's a lot of social commerce bits that fall under there. There's, you can act as affiliates as well, similar to TikTok shops. So there's… There's loads of stuff there, which I think loads of brands haven't tapped into, so excited to see what they're doing. 

Fiona - Yeah, we haven't actually, that's a good point. I might feed that back to the team with the affiliate point of view on Snapchat, yeah. 

Paul - Well, I think so actually. We can edit that out if I'm completely wrong. But if they haven't, then they should. So if you're a product manager at Snapchat, then you heard it here first. 

Fiona - Yeah. 

Verity - Okay, so thinking about, just thinking about sort of like the conversion and using creators from a brand awareness perspective to like conversion, do you find that, I mean do you work with a fixed sized creator? Do you have a set, I know you've kind of performance driven a certain KPIs. How do those briefs look like and with who? 

Fiona - So we work across all kind of sizes of influencers. So if you would look at the influencer pyramid, that very old school kind of to describe the hierarchy. I think the only tier that we are not working with is like the VIPs and kind of like the celebrities because I would say they are very much brand awareness building and kind of like visibility, they drive visibility of a product and a brand. But other than that, we work with all other tiers like macros, but also like nano influencers and the brief actually looks very much the same across all different tiers. It's like a very much, it's like a huge mix between different categories and they're super important. Like I guess each tier has a different purpose and but it's super important to have a bit of a mix in your influencer strategy. 

Paul - And with those macros and celebrities, do you feel that they're not gonna deliver on what you need right now? Like I know they're sort of like brand awareness, not necessarily gonna drive the sales. Is that purely the reason or is it kind of like the authenticity of that level of macro kind of celebrity?

Fiona - Yeah. I think at the moment it's purely the reason that we probably wouldn't see the sales straight away. And I guess it's something that we might tap into in a couple of years, I guess, once we are maybe a little bit more established because we're still in that high growth phase. So I wouldn't say we will never work with celebrities on a brand awareness level. I think it's just priority right now is to grow and it's been decided to do that on like a very performance basis. So yeah. 

Verity - Yeah. And thinking about that funnel is your customers within that funnel. And would you say customers are your influences if they are? 

Fiona - Yeah. So I think we started to kind of, I would say to give back to our smaller, I guess, can you call them smaller influences? Your customers, I guess we all have an influence on a certain level, right?  I have influence, even though I only have 700 followers, but someone… Yeah, I guess it's the same. So we have kind of started building an affiliate platform at the beginning of last year. I actually think affiliate always sounds very negative. Also like our influencers, they always say affiliate sounds so dodgy and we've been trying internally to change it up a little bit and call it partnerships. That's been the feedback. 

Verity - Okay, that's interesting, yeah. It's quite tough because it's like such a... So the influencers don't like... 

Fiona - They don't like it, no. 

Verity - Interesting. 

Fiona - They always find it quite negative. As soon as you say...are interested in joining our affiliate program, they're like, nope. And then if you actually explain it, what it is, they're like, okay, maybe, yeah. 

Paul - And is that a certain level of kind of influencer do you find that they find affiliate? 

Fiona - It's I think across the board, what we've been experiencing. So yeah, it's quite interesting. 

Verity - Yeah, I sometimes wonder if this is coming down to, I think with certain influencers, when they reach a certain level, they find that they're not getting as much work because brands are starting to work with people like more of like their nano size, micro and the nano size. And then I think when they sort of like reach that micro and macro kind of, that's when they're starting to see, not necessarily work drying up, but they're not getting as much work. And so I've started to see a shift of people finding other revenues and their revenue incomes. And part of that has been the affiliates. And then so, and then also for a while, like being called an influencer seemed quite a dirty word. Yeah, so it's just an interesting how this is kind of all working out, but then I'm just kind of surprised. No, actually I'm not. I think people that have kind of grown from one level to the next still want the work, not getting it, probably see affiliate, not where they should be. I don't know. 

Fiona - It's just interesting. I think it's a little bit off topic of the question, but a huge education piece around it. So we, with some of our, kind of more loyal influencers where we ask them, do you want to join a more commission based kind of strategy or affiliate program? I think their first feedback is always like, no. And then we actually say, but why? And they're like, I don't think I get enough kind of revenue or I don't get enough money from it. Like, I guess they need to finance their life as well. And then we actually say, we actually kind of calculated back and say, listen, if you were to be on a commission based kind of style, you would actually earn much more, you can integrate it much more naturally in your content as well. So it's like, we don't give you a brief. You can just like, whenever you feel like integrating it in your story, you can do it without having our approval. So definitely have, it has pros, but I think there's still a lot of education from brands around it to kind of get the buy-in from everyone, yeah. 

Paul - So I think there's that inflection point where, I don't really, people don't talk about it when they talk about influencers and creators, or I mean creators. You're saying the word influencer, I think the verb is to influence and if you can influence someone to make a purchase, then that's what someone is doing. The influencer often has a big capital I and then influence is this title that one has. But if you think of someone who creates, they will fall under two main camps and there's always a bit of an overlap in the middle, but some are professionals and some are amateurs. And you're professional because this is your job, and this is your primary job and you have this type of food on your table. So it's actually insulting for brands to say, hey, you know, we're not going to pay you, but you want some free product. It's like, well, you know, why would I ever, would you turn up for work for just some free goodies? Like, you know, it doesn't, it that doesn't work. However, then there are those amateurs who, this isn't how they get paid. They've got other jobs. This is something they do for a passion and the way that you build a strategy to deal with amateurs must be completely different to the way that you deal with professionals.

Fiona - So yeah, we've started like kind of building an affiliate program. I still call it affiliate. Let's say it like that. It's probably easier. I'm still trying to adapt as well. Um, at the, uh, well at the beginning of last year, exactly. And I think that was mainly because we did gift like content creator, like just like our loyal fans, um, maybe with a following of 1000 followers. Um, and, uh, they obviously shared quite a lot of love. And then we got to the point where we said we, we do have to like kind of incentivize them and have to give back. So what we then done is like, okay, let's start an affiliate program. And it has grown quite a lot of quarter and quarter to the point actually where we now have two dedicated team members just looking after that affiliate influencer kind of like scope. So I think at the moment we have like around 3000 affiliates as part of the program, maybe 2000 are active. I guess that's always a bit tough. And yeah. 

Paul - Still good, still good. It's a good ratio. Like those are the internet. It's like if you look at a customer base or a CRM, you'd have like five, 10, 20 max percent of people active on it. So having that many is amazing. 

Fiona - But I guess what we haven't done yet is to actually utilise our customer base. So we have not sent an email yet to say, hey, we have like a affiliate programme. Anyone over 1000 followers can apply. So we haven't done that. And I think also like Monica Vinader, I guess they have put quite a lot of paid spend behind it as well to kind of advertise their program. We haven't done that yet. So that was just like purely through proactive cold outreach, yeah.

Paul - Yeah, because there's like, there's an inherent value that actually you can put budget behind, well, I normally put budget to acquire customers, but what if I were to acquire advocates? Even from, often from your customer base is whether you're going to get the higher conversion rate, but you know, anyway, you can acquire them and be like, well, if I can acquire you for 50 bucks and you have a, you, you on average will acquire me, you know, 500 bucks worth of revenue, then actually that's a really good spend and it's often a better spend than what you would do with the customer acquisition, but only if you've got that process set up with the affiliate and it's standardized in scales. Which is quite a challenge, but again, it's something which is a big opportunity for our brands. Are you looking to do that? Do you think it's something that will be on the horizon? 

Fiona - Yeah, definitely. I think we do have to, we're not at a stage yet where we have to probably streamline some of the communication. So as I said, we have some team members dedicated for the affiliate influencers, but then...The rest of the team that are very much split up by markets, they also have like those affiliate relationships. So it's quite, it's not streamlined the communication process. It's getting definitely a little bit more complicated. So it's something that we're currently looking into to also just like offer a bit of a more professional experience for whoever wants to apply. I think at the moment it's still very on the startup level I would say, but I think definitely we need to bring it to the next level now, yeah.

Verity - And then we wouldn't be doing a podcast on building Brand Advocacy if we didn't talk about Brand Advocacy. And I suppose, like in, we obviously know it as the future of creator marketing. Like what are your thoughts around Brand Advocacy and the future of creator marketing? 

Fiona - Yeah, so around Advocacy, I actually...

I kind of like, created that term. I was part of like the ‘Camilla Craven Advocacy school’ because obviously I was part of her wider PR & Advocacy team at Charlotte Tilbury a couple of years back. 

Paul - First ever guest on this podcast. 

Fiona - Was she? 

Paul - Yeah, very number one. So if you go back to episode number one, you'll find Camilla and it's a good one. 

Fiona - So I think I've kind of like been trained that this is like obviously amazing and she was obviously one of the first ones to preach it. So I remember doing my time at Charlotte Tilbury, I didn't really know what Advocacy meant to be honest. And then obviously over the time you kind of got to know it. And I think she was also the first ones to say, hey, your employees are actually your biggest Advocates. And if you don't have them on board, then you potentially have a problem. So definitely believe in it. And I'm very happy that I've experienced her knowledge as well. I think at Wild, we've been trialing it as well. So like last year, Black Friday, we all know DTC retail peak, very stressful. Everyone is head down. And we just wanted to like, have a little bit of more fun. So what we've done, we kind of set to the wider company, that everyone is allowed to have a unique promo code and just do whatever they want to do. Like a content on TikTok on their, on Instagram stories for the 700 followers or just word-of-mouth. And maybe disclaimer, it didn't kind of like affect the end of year review and also like you didn't get penalized for not doing it. It was just very optional. And basically we did have a bit of like research, like we analyzed the promo codes as well. And it's crazy that we all had so much power and like we all made sales and then the winner, we gave them a price to that winner. And we're actually now thinking as well to say, how about we're all our own like affiliates as well and like get a your finance team and people team is okay with that. That's maybe like a way as well to just get, get kind of the brand out there because yeah, we work with the brand every single day and like, we breathe it, so why not and use it, yeah. 

Verity - Yeah, 100%, I mean, we used to do sort of Brand Advocacy masterclasses and as part of that was, you know, getting brands to look at their brand network and it was surprising, wasn't it? Like, you know. 

Paul - One, they just weren't recognising all these different pools and they're sitting on a goldmine of people and one of them is your employees. They, it's, yeah, it's funny. Particularly if you're a retail brand with stores, often you've got a younger demographic who are like this hyperlocal connector in their local towns. So particularly if you think of someone like the US when these big brands have tens and tens of thousands of employees, each one of those will probably have about a thousand followers on… TikTok or Instagram, because they're 21, and a lot of 21 year olds do, but the majority of those people are in that town. So when they create content, they know the brand narrative, because they work for the brand, they have the products because they work in the store, you know it's gonna be on brand, and then actually the people who are gonna consume that content is all around that store, and then they can go and visit that store or they can buy online. Just the incentivization is tricky, as you were saying. Often it's okay if it's in... in the UK, if that's just where you're employee based, but in the US, when there's like 50 different states, there's 50 different tax and things like that, it gets quite tricky. Often you can just do it for the love of it, and maybe some free product and some other cool things as well. So a huge opportunity for so many brands. 

Fiona - Yeah, I mean, I remember at Charlotte Tilbury when we did events, like there was always one dedicated day for inviting the makeup artists from the retailers and they kind of experienced the exact same kind of location and event and like influencers and content creators and VIPs did. So they were treated like VIPs as well, because they were selling the product in the end. 

Verity - Yeah. Nice. I just thought you should actually definitely add on your CV sort of like being in Camilla's, like one of the- Advocacy school. 

Fiona - Yeah. Advocacy school, the best school. Maybe she should create a brand out of that. Maybe she should include on her LinkedIn as well. 

Verity - Camilla Craven Advocacy School. Queen of Advocacy.

Fiona -  Yeah. Oh, this is a new title. Tell her to change her name to this, is it? 

Verity - Okay, let's kind of get into some nitty gritty stuff. We'd love to kind of hear, if we're thinking about your influencer campaigns, like step by step, like what's the playbook for the campaigns in 2024 for you guys?

Fiona - So yeah, I think Topline Senior Leadership Team, they kind of… decide what our budget, but also our target is because our kind of influencer strategy plays very much a lot of influence into our overall business plan. And then we reviewed that on a quarterly basis. So we don't work like on six months, we just review every three months to see how are we pacing towards our targets? Do we need to make amendments? Are we overpacing? Are our targets high enough? And then it's like kind of up to me to kind of divide this by market, divide this by team member. Of course, what I take into consideration is the maturity of the different markets that we're in, but also like the seniority level of those team members in terms of like how many campaigns they can handle. Like if someone has just started, I will not give them a massive target. That's very dis, that's like not really encouraging or motivating. And then, at Wild we do launch some limited editions every now and then, so I think we are very much known for our wacky scents. We just launched, for example, Sherbet Lemon. We will incorporate that as well because the new limited editions, they help us to create a little bit more of noise and just let influencers and campaigns have a bit of a different spin rather than just going live with our business as usual standard products. And then, yeah, I think each team member is responsible for numerous influencers and campaigns per month. They are responsible from the end to end. So it's like quite an independent working as well, which I had that at Farfetch and I've really liked it, but again, you need to be up for this kind of working. It's like all going, drawing back to the whole performance, influencer marketing and kind of what the personality traits that you need. And then each campaign is getting a promo code, a track link. And over the years we have a very, very amazing team member at Wild, who's actually a finance director, but he's also our Excel master called Arthur. Um, he loves Excel. He actually claimed that he wants to take part at the world championship as well. 

Verity - Didn't even know that this existed. 

Paul - A world champion in Excel?

Verity - I didn't know. I mean, you obviously knew cause you're a bit of a nerd.

Paul - Yeah, this is like management consulting gold. They’re like, I think it can stand back, this is very cool.

Verity - Yeah, I want to talk about that now, but let's not digress. So many questions. 

Fiona - And he kind of perfected our just normal Google Sheet over the years, and that's where we basically see our promo code performance twice a day. And based on that, we can very much make changes, we can react quite quickly. I guess ideally we would like to see real-time performance. So we're not quite there yet. Um, maybe give Arthur a couple of months. Maybe we will be there at the end of that. Um, and then just so I can make decisions based on that. And that's a very top line how we work. And then I guess afterwards we will request post campaign stats. Um, and that's like across all the different channels, obviously affiliate will work a little bit different and probably like, some of those bigger deals, the timeline will look a little bit longer because the negotiation and there's a lot of stakeholders involved, but I guess very top line. That's how we work on our day to day basis. 

Paul - Amazing. What would you say has been some of the most successful campaigns over the last two years? 

Fiona - I guess like one of the most recent one is Stacey Solomon. So we've just kind of entered a one year contract with her. So she went live in February for the first time. We also like, I think it's the first time we utilized an influencer on a more 360-basis. So she's not just going live for the influencer channel, but we actually get a lot of content that will be kind of pushed out on paid. We will get content for the website. She will also be like featured in email. So that's like the first campaign that has gone live. And that was one of the, like a really amazing campaign. And now it's that kind of up to us to find another similar campaign across all the different markets. 

Verity - She's very likable, she's so sweet.

Fiona - She's great, yeah. 

Verity - Do you know who she is? 

Paul - Not clear. 

Verity - You mentioned at the start, like your briefs are probably a bit longer than maybe what you've worked with before. Is there room for experimentation with the briefs and the way you work with creators? 

Fiona - Definitely. Like, I think in my opinion as well, I would love to have a one-pager ideally. Or like when I worked at Farfetch we actually, or like when I was still responsible for end-to-end campaigns, I would actually just include information in the email body because what happens is that actually some influencers, they don't read the briefs. And then you spend a lot of time just creating that brief, attaching it to the emails, sending it out, and then it doesn't even get read. So I think ideally I would love to condense it to a one pager or even like include it in an email body where everything is summarized and kind of like the most important information. Maybe it's very German, like very concise to the point, but definitely room for experimentation. We're really open to changing things. And definitely one of our kind of priority points on the to-do list as well in the future. 

Paul - Yeah. And do the creators ever kind of push back and just say, this isn't gonna suit my audience or do you find that it's a nice balance? 

Fiona - I think we never had a pushback in terms of the brief because we, in our brief, like it's not very much a dictation in terms of you have to say A, B, C. It's very much just some talking points to help the influencer maybe come up with a narrative, but if they want to go down a complete different route, then we're up for that as long as they're like mentioning some of the key information.  So we're not dictating what they have to say. So I think there's not a lot of pushback. I think the only pushback we sometimes get is that the brief is maybe too long. And then I guess if we get content where they assemble the deodorant case wrong, we all… We know that they haven’t read the brief. 

Paul - So what was the most surprising one? So obviously that's the biggest one with Stacey Solomon. But like what's just blown you away but you did not expect that to go as well? 

Fiona - We have some very, in my opinion, very, not; I wouldn't say weird, that's like a not great word, but like very interesting niches that work for us. So just like over time, because I think at Wild, we don't really have like harsh brand guidelines – who we are allowed to work with and who aren't because we try to get and push sustainability across the board. So that means also with in terms of influencer, we have to work with a lot of different kind of influencers, but we discovered the horse riding community to be working extremely well for us. I know. So I'm personally not a big fan of horses, but I know there's like… When growing up, I had a lot of friends that loved horses, loved horse riding, and they have a really engaged community, and it's working extremely well for us. And when one of the girls in my team said, it's working, I was like, wow, I did not expect this, but it's working. Yeah. 

Paul - How do you double down on something like that? So you're like, right, we're big in the horse riding scene. Like, this is the, we are the deodorant of choice for equestrians. How do you like, be like, I want to do more of that. Do you go find more creators in that space? 

Fiona - Yeah.

Paul - Do you buy ads against it, tell me what the next steps were? 

Fiona - Yes, I think it doubled down. So it's also like trialing out in other markets, it's actually working across other markets as well. And I think with like our tools, just with keywords, trying to find more horse riders. And then I guess next quest will be finding another niche that is working really well for us that we would never expect to work.

Verity -  Yeah, I love that. I'm going on a horse trek in April, so if you want me to take any products, I'll send them out. I'm sold.

Paul - That happened with Charlotte Tilbury as well, didn't they? They found a niche in gamers, which they never knew about. Yeah, we also have some customers who, yeah, they just found just random people. So like, we do, because TikTok's so meritocratic in its nature, it's not necessarily about how many followers you got, it's about how good the content is, or how good the algorithm thinks the content is and just like a very normal person can create content and actually attach an affiliate link to it and it's driven hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of dollars worth of revenue for them and that person, which is great for them. They're like, hang on a sec, what's going on here? Which I always find funny. 

Fiona - Yeah, and we haven't tried like the whole gaming sector yet. I think one YouTuber who loves playing Sims that worked well for us, but I guess- 

Verity - Do you remember Tabby by any chance? 

Fiona - I can't remember, I think she kind of ended her career as well, like she's certainly not around anymore. But I guess it's like how to incorporate it. I guess with games you could say, oh, it was such an intense game, I need to top up the deodorant, I've been sweating. Maybe you could turn around like this, but I think you need to find a good kind of angle on how to incorporate product. Otherwise it's a bit random if they, you know, whack out the deodorant. 

Paul - This is a huge growth opportunity. I can see it. That's exciting. Yeah. 

Verity - Fiona, what are the three things every influencer marketer needs to hear right now? 

Fiona - I think nothing really new, but I think just another encouragement in terms of we're all in this together and we're all doing a great job. And I think especially the influencer marketing industry, there's a lot going on. It's fast paced, so many changes. It can feel to the point where you're being asked like where to start. And I think definitely encourage to kind of knowledge share with other brands, with other peers, network. I think it's so empowering to speak to someone who's in the same industry and who faces the exact same pain points as you have, or like maybe you can help each other. I think that's something we don't do enough and I would definitely encourage that to kind of like help each other out. That's one tip that helped me along the line as well, just to kind of like a bit of a check in, I'm like, am I going the right path? Am I doing the right thing? Yeah. So that is definitely number one. Then number two in terms of like from a performance point of view, I think don't put all your eggs into one basket. So diversify your channels. I think we've just seen Instagram was down two weeks ago, luckily just for a couple of hours, but everyone freaks out exactly. And then I guess if all of your budget is behind Instagram, like what do you do? You're quite dependent. So I would say definitely diversify your channel. And then just be open to take risk and to also to fail. I think failing is not a bad thing. It's actually great for your development, for growth, for like trying out new things, personal but also professional. And I think these are like the three top tips. 

Verity - Love those. 

Paul - Yeah. Fiona Macpherson from Wild, if anyone wants to contact you, how can they get in touch? Via email, LinkedIn maybe. 

Fiona - LinkedIn is probably the best way.

Verity - You’ll just get all these horse riders – get me some deodorant! 

Paul - What a brand and really great to learn more about you. 

Fiona - Yeah, or just sign up on our ambassador program on the website or email our customer service. They will send us or send their request to the right person. 

Paul - Amazing. Thank you so much. 

Verity - Thank you. 

Fiona - Thanks.