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Mart Ots

The new "liquid" media environment involves a range of new professions, practices and practitioners (Deuze 2011). Based on a rich ethnographic study containing personal interviews and participant observation, this paper looks at semi-professional Influencers in the social media marketing industry and asks how these new branding professions and their practices emerge and institutionalize. Specifically, the material draws on data collected between 2011 and 2015 among women Influencers in the ‘lifestyle’ genre in Singapore who advertise products and services in the industry verticals of Fashion, Beauty, and Electronic goods on blogs, Twitter, and Instagram.

The paper is an exploratory effort. Based on interview material we identify pre-emptive voluntary pressure and reactive coercive pressure that shape the behaviors of the semi-professional Influencers. The larger impact of this is that the industry professionalizes organically, in a manner that is bottom-up, and consumer-generated.

Co-author: Crystal Abidin, PhD Candidate, Anthropology & Sociology, Communication & Media Studies, University of Western Australia


Mart Ots is director of the Media Management and Transformation Centre at Jönköping International Business School, Sweden. His main research interests are in the decision-making and organization of marketing work, in the effects of advertising media, and in media policy. His research has been published in Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Communication Inquiry, and International Journal on Media Management among others, and he is currently the editor of Journal of Media Business Studies. Mart regularly serves as an advisor to government institutions, industry organizations, and private corporations on issues concerning media, policy and marketing communications.

Recent publications:

Ots, Mart. 2009. "Efficient Servants of Pluralism or Marginalized Media Policy Tools?: The Case of Swedish Press Subsidies." Journal of Communication Inquiry 33 (4):376-392.

Ots, Mart, and Benjamin Hartmann. 2015. "Media Brand Cultures: Researching and Theorizing How Consumers Engage in the Social Co nstruction of Media Brands." In Handbook of Media Branding, edited by Gabriele Siegert, Kati Förster, Sylvia Chan-Olmsted and Mart Ots, 217-229. Heidelberg: Springer.

Ots, Mart, and Gergely Nyilasy. 2015. "Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC): Why Does It Fail?" Journal of Advertising Research 55 (2):132-145.

Sidansvarig: Christine Forssell|Sidan uppdaterades: 2015-09-11

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