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PROFILE: Nick Hayes - President and founder of Inflluencer50

  Nick Hayes, Influencer50'Between you and your customers lie the influencers.' This is the message printed in shades of green ink on the business card of Nick Hayes, founder and president of influencer identification and engagement company Influencer50. Hayes, a renowned entrepreneur, author and speaker, will be presenting at the IDM B2B conference this month).

A native Londoner with poise and a twinkle in his eye, Hayes, 46, launched Influencer50 in the UK in 2003, expanding to his current home, San Francisco, in 2005. This gutsy move was not the family-man's first venture – after getting a taste for the industry as a marketing executive at EDS and managing the Microsoft account for technology PR company Text 100, Hayes cut his entrepreneurial teeth founding PR agency Noiseworks. The agency climbed in status and in territory, spreading over nine European countries to represent clients from HP, IBM and Sun Microsystems to BT and Sybase. He also founded, an international agency network comprising of agencies in 17 countries, and most recently authored Influencer marketing – Who really influences your customers? (Elsevier 2008).

“I got blank looks every time I talked about influencer marketing,” says Hayes, adding he wrote the book to explain the influencer concept.