Open Source Marketing

It has been a slow week for blog posts. I've been distracted with real world matters - moving house, school holidays.

Going through my inbox this morning I found a regular mail that spots consumer trends. The latest issue talk about Generation C - consumers who want to have direct influence on what companies develop and produce for them.

Access to media ranging from the ability to send stills and movies from a humble PXT phone to sophisticated movie making with digital video and PC based editing software gives anyone with access to quite low cost technology the ability to create and transmit ideas with no friction at all. The web gives us all an audience.

Some of the most popular expressions of access and creativity have been where consumers create advertising for companies - such as the Converse movie gallery.

The big question this raises is, what does the future hold for ad agency creatives when literally everyone and anyone has access to both the medium and the message? Brand owners who are savvy will be wondering how to harness the force and truly acknowledge the symbiosis that is inherent in the much flouted idea that 'the consumer owns the brand'.

The risk, one might argue is, that by handing over the responsibility for creating brand messages to consumers you lose control over your brand and its presentation. But, then again, by handing the keys to agency creatives, isn't that what you've always done.

The symbiosis also extends into the very heart of marketing. The products and services we create can now be co-created by consumers. Harnessing the creative power and experiences of consumers makes the outcome far more likely to be relevant.

Where does The One & Only theory fit into the puzzle?

Like a performer we have to create authentic expressions - unique ideas and representations of the idea that marry with the expectations of fans.

In the world of music there is a conundrum:when we buy the music of our favourite band we like it to be recognisably them, but we also want the artistic boundaries to be pushed out a little further. Few performers succeed over the long term by simply reproducing their greatest hits. Fans engage with their favourites through live performance, which is a test bed for new material as well as to maintain the thread with the past.

I guess that, in the future, or today - whichever you prefer - you will have to brief the segment of your market who are most likely to want to play with your brand.

The key, as in all good briefing, is for you to communicate the brand essence, the thing that makes you The One & Only, and then let them express their creativity.

In a way it is open source marketing instead of the hermetically sealed code that marketers have clung to in the past.

LINKS

The Future of Competition: Co-Creating Unique Value with Customers


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