You should know this striking marketing trend

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An unusual new trend has appeared in the field of creative marketing and innovative management. This thought-provoking marketing methodology called co-creative marketing is defined as the interaction of the firm and customers, during which the participants’ resources are consolidated to jointly create additional value. We, at Crowdholding, have identified in this article 5 key success factors for outstanding co-creation marketing strategy.

Read also: Why Co-create: Benefits for small businesses

Marketing through co-creation (co-creative marketing) is one of the new trends in marketing and innovative management. In a broad sense, a client is not only a direct user but also a group, community or society as a whole. Crowdholding represents the companies a forum where the exchange and consolidation of opinions, ideas, knowledge, product development, and design, etc. take place.

Examples of "co-creative" marketing are found everywhere: it’s possible to order a pizza with personalized original filling, buy a T-shirt with a customized inscription. We increasingly encounter such appeals to clients: "Develop your tariff plan" (mobile operators) or "Make your credit plan" (banks). The site of Mercedes-Benz contains a car configurator which enables potential customers to independently compile a car by themselves and find out its value without leaving home. The potential customer has the opportunity to choose from his personal computer the options he needs, for example, the body type, the number of doors, the engine, etc., to get acquainted with the price offers, detailed photos of the selected car modification, ask questions to the specialist. A classic example of joint co-creative marketing is software products with the so-called open source code: Linux, Mozilla Firefox. The higher quality of these software products in comparison with their "closed" closest competitors is universally recognized.

Technologies of joint co-creative marketing essentially differ from traditional marketing, which builds on the type of "active company" - "passive consumer". Co-creation involves the client and they become an active party, making suggestions on the characteristics of the goods. In some cases, the customer independently puts forward the terms of the transaction relating to the consumer properties of the goods (for example, the equipment of the car) and even its price.

Realizing that no one is better at using the goods than the consumer himself, companies try to involve the consumer in "co-creation". The authors of the concept of marketing joint creativity Prahalad and Ramaswami noted that the consumer has special knowledge and experience that companies can’t track, but sometimes even can’t understand. So, managers need to first attract and retain customer data, and then create a creative and open environment, a space for communication. In such an environment, consumers will be able to apply and implement their knowledge benefiting all participants.

5 key success factors in joint co-creative marketing

Experts of the consulting company Fronteer Strategy believe that for the success of a project it is necessary to adhere to the following principles.

Joint co-creative marketing - key success factors

  1. Involve and stimulate participants

  2. Select the best ideas and contributors

  3. Establish a creative environment

  4. Share the results

  5. Continue to co-create

1. Involve and stimulate participants.

It is necessary to encourage people to join the project, to open and explain its content. Consumers either be interested in your proposal if it is interesting or for some reason worries them. There are three things to do:

  • Tell about and show the content of the project;

  • Explain why consumer assistance and participation is needed;

  • Show what results will be obtained.

Example. Involvement of clients in co-creation.

Consider this company's project. This open innovation project provides two directions for attracting participants: "inside" and "outside."

The "inward" direction offers to solve the most important internal tasks of the company and become a developer of new products, packaging, business models. More than 50% of innovations in the company's products are obtained from external sources. The direction "outside" suggests to become a business partner of the company and use its available assets (trademarks, technologies, methods of market research) on the basis of licensing agreements. To date, the company has concluded more than 1,000 such agreements.

2. Select ideas and contributors.

Among the many ideas and proposals, companies need to select the best which is a time-consuming matter. We, at Crowdholding, allow participants to choose the best ideas via online voting. You can use the traditional methods of dropping ideas and projects that are traditionally used in the development of new products and described in all textbooks. You should also choose the best amongst participants. Here are some requirements you can consider: past experience, competence, creativity, communication skills. Companies very often clearly announce in advance the requirements for participants and their development. If a team is being formed, its members, in order to complement each other, can include representatives of different regions, ages, spheres of activity, etc. In some cases, companies deal with the problem of solving inventive problems in professional communities. So, the Crowdholding platform (www.crowdholding.com) is a professional community that brings together leading researchers and professionals to solve the problems that you as a company may face.

3. Establish a creative atmosphere.

Co-creative marketing works successfully when the "co" becomes a noun. To attract people is one thing, but it is necessary to combine their efforts with the maximum benefit. Synchronization of participants is what is needed to implement the project, consultants of Fronteer Strategy believe. The task of the initiator is to unlock the potential of the participants. Bridging the gap between the initiator and the participants is the basis of interaction. So, the company "Lego" was able to combine the potential of its users to improve the line of toy robots Mindstorms. In many countries, there is widespread training in schools and colleges using LEGO Mindstorms.

4. Share the results.

It is very important to communicate the results of a project to all participants. However, it's more important to do it right. The results of the project for its participants can be very diverse. New products can be launched, new enterprises opened, social problems solved. But they should show the benefits for participants: monetary, material, copyrights. Such a reward as recognition, popularity for many can be more significant than material prizes. In any case, the initiatives of the participants should not be forgotten, they should be noted publicly.

Apple iPhone App store is a platform on which applications for Apple computers and mobile devices are created. 70% of the profits from their sale are paid by Apple to the developers, and 30% is left to themselves.

5. Continue to co-create. 

Co-creation marketing is a long-term activity that must be made part of a more general innovation process in the company. In most cases, the result of co-creation marketing is new developments that need to be introduced into production and brought to the stage of commercial implementation. In addition, activities to attract consumers to participate in joint creativity - this is not a one-time project. Specific forms, products, and composition of participants may vary, but the activity itself must be carried out on an ongoing basis. As two main prerequisites remain unchanged: the inability of the company to completely take the place of the consumer and the desire of consumers to engage in self-actualization.

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Another aspect that is often overlooked by marketers is their company's UX design guidelines, as a primary method of engaging and retaining users.

2 months ago

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I'd heard about some web design companies starting to use co-creation methods in their advertising campaigns, but I never really understood the reasoning behind it, other than the potential cost savings.

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Good to read it, all examples are perfect, it is a good strategy to developed your business with co-creation with other parties specially for customized product or services, as my digital marketing agency merged with different co-creative companies to developed more business.

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