Influencer marketing is going through growing pains. Pay rates and proper disclosure are still all over the place, brand expectations are hard to manage, and it’s safe to assume some of the 20-year-old Instagram-famous rich kids are impossible to work with.
But that doesn’t mean the industry is on the verge of fizzling. According to a 2016 study by TapInfluence and Nielsen Catalina Solutions, influencer marketing delivers 11 times higher ROI than traditional brand marketing.
For the latest installment in our Confessions series, in which we exchange anonymity for honesty, we spoke to an influencer marketing executive, who has been straddling both sides of the industry for the past seven years, about the problems still riddling the space. Answers have been edited for clarity.