Gone are the days of thrusting your message at the audience. If you want your target to appreciate what you are trying to say to them, you need to engage with them actively and even allow them to be part of the creation process. People are involved the most where they have been part of the process of evolution.
It is remarkable how few marketers understand this very basic logic and continue to tread the same beaten path. They continue to follow the same ways of pushing their message—one-way ads. If that process were made two-way, the results would grow exponentially.
People today are bombarded with messages across mediums. What are the chances of your message getting their attention? That will happen only if they have been part of the creation process. And for that, the engagement between a brand and its target group needs to be high. This can only happen once you can get inside the consumer’s head.
This is not as difficult as you might think. If you allow the consumer to customize the brand and its message to his or her own specific needs, you have a buy-in and the trust of the consumer.
This concept is what I call Open Marketing. It is a concept we developed for Blyk in 2007. Open Marketing is where the consumer and the marketer both participate and both create value. It is my opinion that if anything will work with the consumer today it is this sense of co-participation and co-creation. It allows them to develop their own solutions and gives them a sense of ownership for the brand.
Ultimately, the brand that partners with the consumer to co-create solutions will be the one the he or she will choose. People embrace things they create. For that, marketers need to open up their messaging fiefdoms and allow the consumer in.