Marketing and co-creation: the consumer at the center of the brand
The traditional concept of marketing reduced to planning a campaign and paying for its diffusion in different channels or media is a thing of the past. The reason is that the environment and main actors involved in a product or service have experienced a radical change, due to the digital revolution.
The audience has changed, the way to reach them, the consumer’s role, the number and nature of competitors, the necessary speed for products to reach the market…
Many products and many competitors: that is the scenario that digital marketing is confronted with.
Today we think of concepts that move beyond packaging and selling a product, or shooting an ad for TV. We are talking about marketing and co-creation, customer experience and customer journey, data analysis, social media…
How has marketing evolved? This article in the Harvard Business Review, supported by interviews to different executives in the sector, offers five keys to understanding a field in a constant state of change.
1. Create with the client, not only for the client: placing the client at the center of your strategy will take you beyond marketing campaigns that focus on a specific target. Today’s consumers are no longer passive, they are creative: they have social media accounts, they suggest and drive new ideas, and they seek to interact with the brands they consume.
So why do these brands not take things one step further than a one-on-one conversation in social media? There are more and more exceptions, as is the case with brands who create their own platforms for dialogue and co-creation with their clients.
2. User experience is a whole, not a part, since it not only includes a product’s purchasing process, but also the product itself, the pre-sale process, technical support or renewals.
Hence the term customer journey, which revolves around several points and comes more and more into play as a way of achieving satisfied consumers, who are therefore loyal to the brand.
3. Consumers are also predictors for your product, since they have never had such a powerful voice and channels to express their opinion; an opinion that can be just as powerful as the most expensive TV ad, since consumers tend to give messages from their peers more credibility than messages from brands.
This point involves a radical change of mentality for many brands, and if well managed, can bring many rewards. For example, recruiting clients as part of your marketing team brings the advantage of an external co-creative element.
4. Do a lot and measure it,because the digital–apart from allowing us to multiply our actions–provides a stream of data to evaluate its effectiveness, not to mention the fact that we can receive real-time feedback from consumers. Winning a prize for a campaign (although enormously prestigious) is no longer the only guarantee that something works.
5. Think like an entrepreneur, not just like an administratorin charge of managing a budget and assigning resources. The digital world requires a swift mentality and working continuously on adapting the product to the market.
There is no doubt that changes in various areas–technology, media, consumer behavior, to name but three–are redefining the way we do marketing. It is therefore time to consider new creative ways to reach (and conquer) consumers.