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Great article! I absolutely agree that brands would be wise to realize the value in recognizing the female as both a brand ambassador as well as a brand influencer. But I also agree with David in that I too see a difference between an ambassador and an influencer. Albeit a fine line.
An "ambassador" as defined by Webster's is "an authorized messenger or representative." I suppose you could split hairs by further defining "authorized" and suggest that a user of a product could be considered an authority, but the definition implies authority granted by someone else.
But I'm not sure semantics is the issue as much as the difference in paid versus organic recommendations. I personally have no problem with paid recommendations as long as there is very clear disclosure and transparency. Women view several bloggers as their "friends" because they "trust" them. It's up to the blogger to maintain that level of trust. And if they are not being honest with disclosures, they will eventually be exposed and trust will be lost. So, unlike David I do believe this study could include female bloggers/ambassadors when it says "friends."
So, yes! Agreed! Brands should absolutely view brand ambassadors and brand influencers in the social media realm as not only valuable advocates, but sometimes literal salespeople.