How to use our clients to transform the business

Pablo Foncillas

Increasingly, consumers wish to “co-design” with other consumers, and with brands, the very products, services, and experiences they themselves are going to consume.

That is the central premise on which so-called “collaborative marketing” is based, in which the company has a central role as facilitator of interactions, both among the community of consumers and between consumers and the brand. This article presents six keys that, depending on a company’s objectives, can help us take full advantage of the potential offered by our own clients.

Belén loves music. She likes listening to her favorite bands’ songs in high fidelity. That’s why she searched Amazon and Google Shopping for other consumer ratings of her three favorite models of headphones. Moreover, she read the analytical reviews posted by professional technical evaluators on the technology-specialized website CNET. To complete her purchase process, she went to a Fnac establishment to try the headphones on; once she had selected the ones she liked the best, she used her cell phone to check right then and there where she could buy them at the lowest price. She found out that the best option was an online shop that, as she was “researching” the product, offered her a discount. Finally, once acquired, she went to the manufacturer’s Facebook page to share her views on the new item.

This story – based on real events – shows how the degree of change in digital technology has been revolutionary in the last five years, as a consequence of the emergence of social networks. Doubtlessly, the relatively low cost of Internet access anytime and anywhere, as well as the proliferation of apps, have changed the way we consume information and news, the way we buy, how we create ideas, and how we share knowledge and opinions. This process has been consolidated even more by the adoption of mobile technology with smart phones.

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