The Future of Business Is Not Created; It’s Co-created
Customer influence continues to grow. According to Brian Solis, author of Engage! and principal of FutureWorks, how businesses embrace this opportunity says everything about how they view customers—and the relationships they’re shaping as a result.
Solis cites a joint study by Jive Software and Penn, Schoen & Berland that examined how social media impacts business strategy. The study found that companies benefit from a higher level of customer insight when they engage in social media. By engaging in social media, we are allowing the audience to become co-creators of the content, which allows the audience to feel like they are part of the campaign while both parties retain some control. And some of the most effective online content to date was shaped by the audience directing the campaign!
It does take a little bravery to put faith in individuals that aren’t employed by your company, but being brave can pay off. It makes people feel like their voices matter, which encourages them to continue to engage. In the end, this cycle of “co-creation” promotes loyalty and builds pride and a sense of recognition, which lowers customer service costs while building a strong community of customers and advocates.
As communities begin to develop with social media, so does the need to focus on relationship marketing.
Brands and social media have a common goal—to be heard. Co-creation allows for a happy and involved audience. A brand that trusts its audience—and an audience that puts the brand at the center—is a winning combination.