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Bottom Up Is Not Enough: co-creation and crowd-sourcing for research, innovation and planning

Barely a day goes by without a website, campaign or competition cropping up, promising to harness the collective wisdom of crowds for the benefit of brands. Consumer generated inputs are playing a more and more prominent role into research, innovation and planning.

However, it is still not very clear what are the most suitable approaches, frameworks and methodologies available for for doing this.

This presentation, recently discussed at a number of conferences in the UK, Spain and Italy, looks in particular at crowd-sourcing and co-creation: when to use them, what are the advantages, the drawbacks and the workarounds, what are the deliverables and how could these grassroots practices fit into the existing marketing processes.

Using crowd-sourcing and co-creation as complementary frameworks is key to harness the wisdom of the crowds both at an individual and group-thinking level, bringing together bottom up and top down approaches, online and offline, to make sure the richness provided by mass collaboration is effectively shaped and leveraged by informed strategic thinking and expert insight.

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Bottom Up Is Not Enough: co-creation and crowd-sourcing for research, innovation and planning

  1. 1. bottom up is notand crowd-sourcing co-creation enough for research, innovation and planning francesco d’orazio, face, september 2009, london
  2. 2. setting the scene
  3. 3. brave [old] world
  4. 4. evolved consumers huge untapped creative potential
  5. 5. empowered consumer quick, easy, cheap ways for voicing your opinion, super connected, always on
  6. 6. participatory culture ...way beyond media and consumption
  7. 7. post-consumer era “this is not a question of scale. It is a different way of existing” J.Murdoch
  8. 8. omnivorous remix “it is no longer about what your brand does to the consumer but what consumers are doing to and with your brand” Mark Earls
  9. 9. “where the truth lies”
  10. 10. not only trust in ads has fallen but also its structural capacity of generating influence (reach) media clutter
  11. 11. sea of niches personalization, diversification, fragmentation, niches culture, tailored approach
  12. 12. always in beta personalization and diversification also mean that systems have to be flexible and adaptive to incorporate the users input
  13. 13. around me: pull NOT push fragmentation also means the new and only potential center is now “me”
  14. 14. real-time immediacy getting information that’s relevant to who I am, where I am and what I’m up to sharing information with the right people, at the right time, in the right way
  15. 15. ambient model continuous togetherness
  16. 16. how is marketing [still] responding to all this?
  17. 17. ivory tower mentality
  18. 18. consumers don’t really know what they want
  19. 19. still dreaming of raising the perfect consumer
  20. 20. consumers as passive respondents
  21. 21. campaigns consumers engage with brands every day why should brands engage with them quarterly?
  22. 22. one size fits all supposedly consistency... actually, blindness to organic diversity
  23. 23. command & control
  24. 24. monolithic brands
  25. 25. planning in silos
  26. 26. not invented here syndrome
  27. 27. asynchronous mode
  28. 28. the world has changed marketing, branding and the “agency model” haven’t changed that much...
  29. 29. in s ig ht ra d io agencies in t pr brand agency brand tv insight new exp on lin e channels new consumers
  30. 30. marketing : social media = tin pan alley : rocknroll
  31. 31. how do we move away from this model?
  32. 32. social media is NOT another channel is the platform where all media converge and the glue between brands and consumers +insights +idea generation +testing & validation +distribution +wom & advocacy
  33. 33. brand don’t own the space anymore, consumers own it strategy should be built around them not around the brand
  34. 34. people not alien consumers
  35. 35. it’s all about immersion
  36. 36. tapping into the richest insight field, free, spontaneous, always up-to-date
  37. 37. consumers as partners
  38. 38. the web as world’s largest creative department
  39. 39. continuous engagement, not campaigns
  40. 40. conversations and relationships, NOT messages
  41. 41. cross-media experience-driven not channel-driven
  42. 42. one size doesn’t fit all 1000 heads for 1000 msgs
  43. 43. agile branding responding to change over following a plan [adaptive brand planning]
  44. 44. old vs new model consumers people observation immersion respondents partners messages relationships campaigns story one size niche tailored channels experiences silos collaboration monolithic adaptive
  45. 45. From this… in s ig ht ra d io agencies in t pr brand agency brand tv insight exp on lin e channels consumers
  46. 46. To this… ra d io social media we b ide as ts igh ins tv brand agency consumers print communities ide as s ht sig in p ex t en facilitate channels bi am brands
  47. 47. Fast Company predicts "Ad agency executive" to be among six jobs that won't exist in 2016
  48. 48. but is it really all about bottom-up and crowd engagement?
  49. 49. some reactions... “only works with a simple and well-defined brand” “I don’t want 1000 ideas, I want one really good one” “you won’t get a collaborative process” “you need to have arguments” “crowd-sourcing doesn’t lend itself to the big idea” “no access to strategy or insight” “all you get is a bunch of one-off ads”
  50. 50. let’s take a step back
  51. 51. what you get +bottom-up richness +global crowd +diversified crowd +wider range of talent +cost-effective +lots of ideas +rich insight +consumer-brand relationship +peer-rating +buzz
  52. 52. what’s missing -it’s many-to-one -not very targeted -it’s bottom-up but still vertical -access to insight and strategy (confidentiality) -collaboration -editing, building on, refining -funneling process -face-to-face -strategic thinking
  53. 53. bottom up is not enough “the bottom-up mind will take us much further, but will never take us to the end goal” (kevin kelly) Crowd-sourcing needs to be part of a bigger process
  54. 54. let’s take a look at another approach
  55. 55. co-creation Is the act of company stakeholders collaborating directly with selected (usually smaller) groups of consumers to work on a specific brief. Is about leveraging consumers’ creativity without preempting the results of the process Can take place on-line in communities or/and offline in workshops
  56. 56. 1. Download Offline workshop to draw out and share existing knowledge, drive out gaps, and co create the brief 2. Explore the 5.Advance online community with Offline workshops with client and stimulus to encourage stakeholders to define pipeline, category exploration and priorities and short and long term insight, team bonding, and co-creation work streams. creative stimulation. process 3. Co create 4. Refine Consumers, clients and wider stakeholders brought Best ideas taken back online to further together in an offline distil, evaluate, combine and develop.. workshop using our co Extra validation can be provided by creation process to adding fresh consumers to community generate, define, explore, to get an objective perspective and validate ideas.
  57. 57. structure of a co-creation session
  58. 58. ideas selection clustering arguing! refining pitching voting
  59. 59. what you get +few-to-few-to-one +more targeted +bottom-up and top-down +collaboration, editing, building on +refinement and funneling +online & face-to-face +access to insight and strategy (confidentiality) +strategic thinking +faster process +immersive +robust and tailored concepts
  60. 60. what’s missing [compared to crowdsourcing] -smaller crowd -local -less diversification -fewer ideas -more expensive than crowd-sourcing
  61. 61. the case for a hybrid model bottom-up + top-down crowds + individuals group thinking + individual thinking
  62. 62. the hybrid model consumer crowd-sourcing co-creation immersion listen plan engage measure download workshop
  63. 63. bottom-up consumer crowd-sourcing co-creation immersion listen plan engage measure download workshop top down
  64. 64. the hybrid model consumer crowd-sourcing co-creation immersion listen plan engage measure download workshop No longer a linear process but a loop
  65. 65. the process media immersion B.research community C.crowd-sourcing final concepts output
  66. 66. media immersion
  67. 67. media immersion/2 1. brand social media presence 2. quantitative & qualitative visibility 3. topics and perceptions 4. brand social network 5. brand influencers • identify the issues • identify the co-creators
  68. 68. idea generation process B C D Once the platforms for co-creation have been identified we engage our creative communities through a) exploration tasks, b) crowd-sourcing tasks and c) co-creation tasks
  69. 69. B. exploration Online community with stimulus to encourage category exploration and insight, team bonding, and creative stimulation. 360° view of users to see how the brand fits in their everyday life. Specific tasks are designed to investigate further the themes emerged in the monitoring stage.
  70. 70. C.crowd-sourcing Emerging themes and issues are broken down into smaller creative problem-solving tasks and broadcasted to a targeted group of solvers in the online community in the form of an open call for solutions. The users generate, define, explore and validate ideas and also sort through them, finding the best ones, voting on them, commenting on them to improve and develop them further.
  71. 71. C.crowd-sourcing/2 hypothesis ideas validation generation tasks tasks users users response clustering response ranking key insights & ideas
  72. 72. The best ideas are selected and then taken to a selected group of users who develop them further with the help of the brand stakeholders, the experts and Face planners and researchers.
  73. 73. strongest ideas dev tasks final concepts insights + refined concepts
  74. 74. currently being assembled in a factory near you
  75. 75. @abc3d