Written by Jonatan Storesund
During the last decade, the digitalized era have made a huge impact on the society. People use Internet in a new comprehending way to communicate, work and search for information. Web 2.0 has connected us all in a global perspective through the proliferation of digital devices and network. But how can marketers be competitive in marketing and branding through the digitalism jungle, through Co-Creation of Value and Snapchat?
Co-Creation of Value in the Digitalized Jungle
In 2000 the professors from Harvard Business School, Prahalad and Ramaswamy popularized the concept of Co-Creation of value as an economic strategy in their article ‘Co-opting Customer Competence’ in the Harvard Business Review. Their concept and arguments were further developed in their literature ‘The Future of Competition’ Harvard Business School Press, whereas they studied Netflix and Napster, arguing for that firms may no longer created their value entirely inside the firm. But have to co-create the value together with the customer in a higher extent in order to be more successful, which would have been the future of competition back then, but is it today?
They define Co-Creation of value as a phenomenon that brings different parties together, for instance, a company and a group of customers, in order to jointly produce a mutually valued outcome, in their article ‘Co-Creation Experiences: The Next Practice in Value Creation’.
The concept of Co-Creation of value has been further developed and distinguished in different field, for instance in the Service-Dominant logic by Vargo & Lusch (2008), which construction have criticised, by Gröönros (2012) to be strongly metaphorical that creates a barrier for focused empirical analysis. Moreover, Co-Creation of value have been introduced into social media, whereas Jarvenpaa and Tuunainen (2013) studied Finland’s national airline, Finnair, and how they successfully implemented a service based Co-Creation of value through Finnair’s own social platform, whereas the customer can interact with the company. The researchers studied different ‘socialization tactics’, in order to create a more valuable dialogue between the organisation and their consumers, to strive after symmetric communication. Which Grunig (1989) describe as an ideal within relationship building and defines the communication between the organization and the customers are under the same conditions, where open dialogue and contingency to change position and opinion is essential to make the relation equal.
Anyhow, comparing todays digitalized society, whereas the Internet has become an essential tool in order to proactive perform your daily life. Since the Internet makes our lives more convenience in way of socialize, information search and entertainment than before, through traditional media (i.e. TV, radio, newspaper). The concept of co- creation of value has changed to interaction, engagement and experiences that can be illustrated by the web 2.0 and the semantic web of how to, in an interactive way, enhance a created value.
But I want to stress the idea of co-creation of value, and the definition of this concept that Prahalad and Ramasamy are using, within social media’s characteristics’. How a media post gets more valuable, co-created by others throughout the terms of like, share, follow, subscribe, comment, reblog, retweet etc. This way of amplify the content, context and user experience value (text, picture, video or mix of them), which were not possible back during the Web 1.0 period, when everything were about “Me, myself and I” in both the customer point of view and the corporations’.
Web 2.0 has changed the way of the web’s perception, from one-to-many marketing communication to many-to-many marketing communication describe by Hoffman and Novak (1996). But is more philosophic illustrated by Vin Crosbie (1998) in a greater holistic perspective whereas the professor tackle Internet as the ‘New Media’ as a new vehicle of transportation in companions and similarity of how the invention of aviation effect the land and water transportation. Which is an interesting reading but for another story. However, Crosbie further distinguishes the differences between one-to-many communication and many-to-many communication, whereas marketing, as a way of communicate to stakeholders has developed in a new enhancing approach.
In order to gain more value and amplified media content in the extent of interacting and enhancing others, the media goes ‘viral’ and becomes more known than before and the owner and creator of the media gains the tribute and glorification, hence, he or she could not have done it by themselves but created a ‘likeable’ media that had characteristics of co-created value.
Scanning the digital periphery
However, it is common for marketers to experimenting with different and new social media this way of working can be perceived as Scanning the Periphery1 by testing and using different and new social platforms. In order to create a group of followers that will indicate to be loyal in the process of amplify the co-creation of value. Since the followers and subscribers will perceive your content on their social media feed, which creates a higher extent of opportunity for them to like or share the marketers content that will increase the value, which is co-created.
The created value is valuable for both the customers and the organization, which can be perceived as an on-going cycle that in a brand strategy perspective is the Brand Equity Cycle. Sean Duffy Internet Marketing expert at the Duffy Agency, describes this cycle as an approach to increase the eWOM of a product or service in order to increase the brand awareness. Which Singh and Sonnenburg (2012, p.189) describe as brand stories that “can help build awareness, comprehension, empathy, recognition, recall, and provide meaning to the brand” in their study “Brand Performance in Social Media”. The power of online word-of-mouth or eWOM, is further described in Armelini and Villanueva’s (2011) article Adding social media to the Marketing Mix, within they describe how the features of social media and Web 2.0 that increase the many-to-many communication, have made an impact of the marketing mix. Since Web 2.0 have changed the way we all communicate and how eWOM is as much importance as normal WOM, if not even more importance since the proliferation and extension of social media.
Infographic: Google Top tech Trends 2015
As told before, how marketers experiment with different approaches to reach their segments, it is often successful to do trend analysis in order to understand the customers’ behaviour. By doing so within social media’s usage, performance and development it can be helpful to see where the segment is and where organisation have and don’t have social activity.
This year, 2015, Google came out with a Google Tech Trend Report, where they describe how the digitalization and Internet influences the people in our society the last years. The report is based upon Google’s search engine data, Youtube data and studies.
Furthermore, trends should be compared and analysed with other trends sources in order to raise the bar of reliability. I have decided to bring up Ericsson’s 10 Hot Consumer Trends 2015, regarding how the network has and will develop and how Internet users and consumers adapt to it.
Infographic: Ericsson 10 Hot Consumer Trends 2015