Collaborate to Elevate: Co-Creation in Marketing

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Co-creating in marketing and co-creation with customers has several benefits, from better storytelling to more customer buy-in and shared experiences.

“We are no longer in the era of telling stories, but making stories,” said Jose Gorbea, of HP, on “The Business Storytelling Show.” “People become more involved, and the marketing ROI is double. Brands need to embrace it and amplify it.”

In this article, I discuss the following:

Co-creation definition

C0-creation means that companies work with external people to make (aka create) stories that are somehow related to the company. It’s a switch from teams working on corporate storytelling on their own and then pushing it out.

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Benefits of co-creation in marketing

Perhaps the most significant benefit is that people are more invested, Jose said, and that can lead to better stories and better distribution. It adds diversity of thought, unique angles from all the co-creators. Typically everyone involved will share the content once it’s live as well.

Tips for implementing a co-creation strategy

Jose said it all starts with a mindset shift by teams. From there, involve people and evolve toward solving problems together.

“Look where it makes sense,” Jose said. “Co-creation gives people a feeling of belonging.”

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There are several ways to get started:

Look for existing creators.

Many people nowadays share experiences already on social media. Look for those, see if you can partner on a project, or sometimes it can be as easy as asking them if it’s okay to quote one of their existing social posts.

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Ask questions

Andy Crestodina said on the “Marketing, Demystified” podcast that journalists typically talk to sources and quote them in articles. The same concept can be applied to co-creation in a corporate environment. Reach out to customers, prospects, and anyone in your industry who isn’t a competitor and ask them to participate. Send them a note similar to this:

Hello, xyz

I’m writing an article about topic abc and was wondering if I could quote you. If interested, would you be so kind and ask one or more of these questions. Of course, I’ll link back to your website or social handles.

  • Question 1
  • Question 2
  • Question 3

Thanks for considering and I hope to hear from you.

Engage on social platforms

You could post polls, tag the right people and engage with people in the comments. Here’s how I did that in a post about sitting or standing while recording podcasts. Topics that people have opinions on work well for co-creation engagement.

co-creation on a social post on LinkedIn

About 30 comments into the conversation, many perspectives and thoughts have been shared.

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Potential challenges of co-creation in marketing

The biggest challenge might be that it’s new and must be integrated meaningfully into the overall strategy. Where does it make sense, how can it help your marketing, and what’s the workflow? After all, somebody still has to lead the initiative.

Working with co-creators, it’s also essential to have reasonable assurance that content is accurate. Amplifyng content from people, when it turns out they made something up later, can be a brand image killer. So ensure that content is accurate or truly opinion based.

But overall, working together with external creators, customers, and thought leaders in an industry can take business storytelling to another level.

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