June 30, 2009

Co-Marketing: Customers as Strategic Allies

One of the important contributions of the Internet and especially of the Web 2.0 to modern management is without doubt the fact that these technologies gave voice to the previously passive customer/consumer. This sound like a curse in disguise: While this form of customer empowerment is sometimes seen by marketers as a threat, it has in fact created new opportunities and new ways to establish competitive advantages and enhance customer loyalty. One of these ways is to create "Customer Strategic Alliances" making the customer part of the Marketing process.
Although the term Co-Marketing is not new I use this term to describe something different namely the active cooperation between a firm and its final customer utilizing the best of the collective wisdom in different ways: Co-creation of new products and services or Co-creation of advertising concepts. In all cases involving the motivated and eager customer is the key. I am collecting at the moment literature on the issue as the first step for a review article about this new form of strategic alliances. I will keep my blog followers updated (about the article and the findings).