Here is a fun play on influencer marketing or influencer relations. I am not going to write a big post on the importance of influencers. However, Paul Greenberg just wrote a comprehensive post on influencer relations you can see here. Net-net: Most technology companies recognize that influencers write (blogs, whitepapers, etc) and talk (speaking engagements and lots of 1-to-1 end user conversations) to their target customers. As such, they want influencers to stay close to what they are doing.
Here is a tip: Everyone likes to be recognized and everyone likes to have fun (not just influencers, I mean everyone). Chris Bucholtz from SugarCRM for SugarCRM‘s annual user conference had some fun and created memorable leave-behinds for his influencers. Here is what he did: Chris had baseball cards created of each influencer that attended. They had their pictures on the front with brief bios and one “fun-fact” on the back. Unlike other chotskies that don’t make my desk, my card already has and I see SugarCRM every day. I was honored by having the card made and I am reminded of that fact all the time! For Chris, mission accomplished. Oh and Chris loves baseball so I am sure he enjoyed this even more.