Crain's: What exactly did my influencer influence?

An old advertising joke goes: "Fifty percent of my advertising money is wasted, I just don't know which half."

This was true until something called the internet arrived. Then in 1994, AT&T paid HotWired, a subsidiary of Wired, $30,000 to run a banner ad that said, "Have you ever clicked your mouse right here? You will." That's when the future of advertising was changed forever.

For the first time, a marketer could actually observe how the consumer interacted with an ad. AT&T now knew that 44% of visitors clicked on the ad.

This created an evolution! Digital ads started to target specific demographics and ROI tools were introduced such as DoubleClick to measure CPM (Cost Per Impression).

In 2000, Google AdWords was introduced and marketers started to turn to paid search and pay-per-click.

Then, something called social media began to get popular. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram ruled the ether and the most popular accounts began to realize they were modern-day celebrities. They could post workout videos and get paid $100,000 to promote a protein drink. They were sent fancy articles of clothing for free to show off their style to their followers (all while making a sizable checks, too). Influencer careers were born.

The full read.