Have you noticed that more and more brands ask you to play a big part in their marketing strategies? From the surveys rating your last vacation at their resort, to online product reviews, to social media feedback on the design of their future products; you are engaged in a daily basis and recruited to become a dedicated promoter and reliable buyer.
Welcome to the “Participatory Marketing”!
Having its roots in the Intrinsic Motivation Theory, which states that people have always been driven by “a desire to join, share, take part, connect, and engage, and find that experience rewarding”; it is strongly applied by brands today because technology and social media makes it easier every day.
In her book “Marketing in the Participation Age” Daina Middleton develops the 5 essential rules to a successful participatory marketing campaign:
- “Embrace test-and-learn values. That means constantly trying new marketing elements, understanding quickly what works, and immediately scaling, then moving on to the next alternative. Nurturing marketers reserve a minimum of 10 percent of their marketing budgets for testing and learning. It’s a dynamic customer environment out there.
- Innovate; don’t perfect. The nurture approach leverages from the best of the moment, quickly adding value before someone else does it first. The concept of continual innovation is crucial, because the best may not last long. Pick something that is good enough and embrace the flaw as an opportunity to learn. Adapt quickly and move on.
- Act quickly and motivate others, including participants, to act on your behalf. Motivate people, including your customers, to do something to improve your marketing today. Inspire your organization to act quickly and create an environment that rewards moving quickly. Estimate and act; because if you don’t, your competitors will.
- Mix and blend; don’t invent. Partner with others to create unique solutions that might benefit your brand, product, or solution. Choose an agency partner who is pushing the envelope and remember to consider technology, media, and creative opportunities. Look for elegant blends of all three, not an elegant single media solution.
- Embrace risks and champion failures. Prepare to learn from mistakes and accept that failures are inevitable in finding success. It often takes several failures to find opportunities that yield the best results.”
P&G often uses participatory marketing and seems to have developed a “success-secret formula”:
The results are stunning since participatory marketing increases 3 times the customer’s propensity to recommend a brand/product!
Coca Cola just launched last month a very successful participatory marketing campaign: a TV commercial comprised entirely of short video clips made by fans. The video has gone viral and has been seen 345,204 times.
Last spring, Coca-Cola collected video clips of young customers showing how they feel when they take a sip of Coke – the “AHHHHH” moments, as the brand called it.
To motivate them, the brand announced that the best clips would be presented in a national Coca-Cola TV ad.
Coca-Cola got over 400 submissions, and chose 40 for the final cut. The clips in the ad come from all over the world, from London to Amsterdam and from Rio to New-York.
That’s definitely digital marketing and storytelling at its best!
– Zwilling, M. (2012, December 20). Ask Your Customers to Participate in Your Marketing – Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/martinzwilling/2012/12/20/ask-your-customers-to-participate-in-your-marketing/
– Nudd, T. (2014, May 20). AdFreak | Adweek. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/adfreak?page=8
– Marketing in the Participation Age: A Guide to Motivating People to Join, Share, Take Part, Connect, and Engage: Daina Middleton: 9781118402306: Amazon.com: Books. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/Marketing-Participation-Age-Motivating-Connect/dp/1118402308
– Coca Cola (2014, May 15). Coca-Cola – “This Is AHH” :30 (The Coke Commercial Made by You!). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XokGFN86ljc