From Influence to Action: Insights from the new influence economy

New research from Time Out examining the influence economy reveals two influencer types and suggests one important and highly influential group is being neglected by marketers.

We christened our two groups of influencers Shakers and Makers.

The Shaker

Breadth, broadcasting, shaking things up.

The archetypal influencer of this decade, the bloggers, vloggers, Twitter celebrities and also, crucially, those who aspire to be them (or at the very least be followed by them). They attempt to use their reach to shake things up.

  • Very large social networks (on average 3,500 followers, nearly 6 times more than a non-influencer)

  • Define their success by the size of their following

  • Very confident

  • Actively advise their friends and followers

The Maker

Depth, meaningful connections and making things happen.

Present in all our on or offline social circles, perhaps the friend or colleague you see as an expert in a given area of product category. They enjoy that more personal, influential relationship and they make it count.

  • Large social networks (average of 1,700 followers, over 3 times bigger than a non-influencer but half the size of Shakers)

  • Motivated by making meaningful connections

  • The go-to person in their social circle for advice or a recommendation

  • More passionate, more curious, and more knowledgeable than their Shaker counterparts

"True influence drives action, not just awareness"

Jay Baer, Author & Business Strategist

Shakers are a highly visible group. Marketers chase them via influencer engagement or blogger outreach programmes. Time Out believes that the Maker influencer is currently slipping under the marketing radar.

Our research suggests Shakers remain a force to be reckoned with, especially if the objective is awareness, thanks to their large social reach. However, contrary to popular perception, it’s the Maker community who are more likely to drive action.

Respondents in Time Out’s study of influencers were asked how they would respond if a product was recommended to them by both a well-known person and someone close to them whose opinion they trust. Both influencer types were equally as effective in getting consumers to research the product further. However, Makers were shown to be 23% more effective than Shakers in giving people the confidence to actually buy or try a product.

Targeting Makers

Maker influencers can be hard to reach; they are more likely to be light TV and radio consumers for example. But they do spend more time consuming digital and printed content. Makers spend 30 minutes per day reading printed newspapers vs. a national average of 18 minutes and at 24 minutes per day consume double the national average for magazine content.

Time Out’s research finds that amongst the general population, 48% of those defined as influencers qualify as ‘Makers’. When it comes to Time Out’s influencer audience, 80% can be defined as an Maker, meaning that a third of Time Out’s total UK audience are Makers.

Here’s behavioural expert Nick Southgate with some of his thoughts on the research findings.

Noel Penzer, CEO Time Out Group comments, “The first chapter of influencer marketing has been dominated by fame and reach, with brands looking to align themselves with the well-known Shaker community. Time Out’s new research suggests a new chapter of influencer marketing is emerging, one focused on the Maker Community who have real power to convert influence to action.”

To download an introduction to the research click here

And if you’re wondering about how to best harness Makers click here to read the thoughts of St John Betteridge, MD Advertising, Time Out UK

Download Research Introduction How To Reach Makers


From Influence to Action is a mixed methodology study conducted by Time Out in association with media & communications specialists Tapestry Research. Our approach included interviews with leading academics and agency planners, an online qualitative community of Time Out’s Tastemakers (Time Out super-users and prolific reviewers) plus quantitative work with more than 2,200 influencers, Time Out consumers and staff.

More Information

When it comes to Influencers and the power of Makers we have plenty more to talk about so get in touch with Saint using the Contact Us link below.

Download Infographic Summary