Sample Marketing Paper on The advent of co-creation and its effects on the relationship between the organization and the consumer

Introduction

Co-creation entails the collaborative growth of new value which can be in terms of concepts, products, services and solutions. Usually, this collaborative development is propagated by stakeholders who work as a team with stakeholders (Hoyer et al, 2010). It is deduced to be a type of collaborative innovation whereby ideas are shared and enhanced by the two groups and not only by the experts as it used to be before the advent of co-creation. Proper use of co-creation enables businesses to come up with new products, models and even services in a more creative and strategic manner. Within the contemporary markets, the advancement of technology has offered consumers with immediate access to limitless volumes of information and ease when it comes to communication among consumers and between consumers and companies globally. As a result, the consumer has been empowered and that is the more reason consumers are interested in taking part during the project creation and development process. However, the involvement of consumers in the creation process does not only have advantages but also disadvantages (Jaakkola et al. 2015). This essay examines the benefits and challenges that the introduction of co-creation has imparted among marketing managers.

2.0 Benefits of Co-Creation for Marketing Managers

Marketing entails the management process particularly involved with identifying, anticipation and satisfying consumer needs in a profitable manner. Since satisfaction is at the heart of effective marketing, managers have significantly benefited from co-creation since customers are now engaged in product development. Through co-creation, there has been an enhanced level of creativity, proficiency and more importantly passion from the stakeholders (O’Hern & Rindfleisch 2017). Creativity, proficiency and passion has been observed from the external parties during project development process which has positively impacted many organizations. Since the consumers are the ones buying and using the developed products, their ideas will significantly reflected their needs. Therefore, even though a company can have an amazing body of experts, they might not have the knowledge of how consumers think and perceive their products. In his theory of class distinction, Pierre Bourdieu  cogitates that social capital is attained through a mix of relationships, responsibilities and social contacts whereby members of a society. He also asserts that social capital can be put into significant use and transformed into becoming economic capital. Putman also echoed Bourdieu’s theory denoting that social capital has the ability of promoting or rather fostering coordinated engagement. Through these theories, it is apparent that co-creation has made use of social capital in promoting customer engagement and satisfaction which are fundamental principles in marketing (Pitelis, Desyllas & Panagopoulos 2018).

Therefore, through inclusion of consumers and suppliers into the product and service development process has been beneficial since companies are able to produce goods and services that cater for the actual needs of the intended consumers. Marketing managers on the other hand, have benefited since they have an easy time convincing the consumers since they took part in the product development stage. Before the advent of co-creation, it was hard for customers to believe in a product or service that was developed by other people whom to them they considered as outsiders (Frow, McColl-Kennedy, & Payne 2016).

Also, the advent of co-creation has given marketing managers an opportunity to engage directly with consumers and enhance their customer experience. The availability of a co-creative community has allowed marketing managers to gather all their fans and get to learn the reasons behind the love for a particular brand and how they use certain products and services. This proved to be a challenge when such insights were acquired via traditional surveys and questionnaires. Having an access to the recent marketing trends and some episodic data snapshots can be insightful for marketing managers but do not make customers feel part of the brand unlike how co-creation fosters inclusion (Jaakkola et al. 2015). Basing on the disconfirmation theory, consumers usually compare a new product or service’s experience with a particular standard that they have established. Therefore, the perception of consumers on the suitability of a product or service is based on the ability of the product to match up to the set standard. This theory has been grounded on the notion that consumers usually buy a product or pay for a service depending on their expectations and attitudes towards a product (Jaakkola et al. 2015).

Marketing managers are currently able to convince their customers that they are valued and involved in a brand. Making customers feel valued and involved makes them become loyal to a brand. Once they are loyal, they become more engaged and turn out to be advocates for a brand thus continuing the marketing task of creating awareness about a product and informing others about the advantages of associating with a particular brand. Value co-creation theory fosters the encouragement of customers to be increasingly involved in the creation of a value rich experience. Drawing from this theory of value co-creation, businesses ought to put more focus on the experience of their customers which can be attained by making them become engaged. Engagement basing on value co-creation theory can be attained through breeding of interactive relationships between businesses and its customers (Ramaswamy & Ozcan 2016).

3.0 Disadvantages of Co-Creation for Marketing Managers

Besides the advantages of co-creation for marketing managers, there are also several disadvantages that have been identified. Research has identified that consumer innovators always have a strong propensity towards being the first individuals to but a product once it is released into the market. As a result, researchers for instance Rihova et al (2015) assert that this group of consumer innovators usually have a strong influence over the final product to suit their individual needs and not that of the general population. This is a huge setback for marketing managers since if the chosen consumers will not provide insights representing the general population, it might be challenging to market the product outside the group of customer innovators. Usually, the primary task of marketing managers is identifying and recruiting new customers. If the product will not suit the general public or the targeted customers, it will be challenging for marketers to market a particular product or service (Hidayanti, Herman & Farida 2018).

A customers experience plays a critical role in determining whether they will be loyal a brand. Drawing from disconfirmation theory, after consuming a product or service, customers’ perception of the performance of a product or service is dependent upon the experience that the consumers have had with a product or service. In the case whereby the product was made by a minority group of consumers who designed the product basing on their individual and not collective interest, then the general public consumers might find the product not suitable for them. Such an experience can paint a very bad image for a brand thus affecting the marketing managers’ goal and vision for a product which in turn lowers the return on investment (Marcos-Cuevas et al. 2016).

On the other hand, in societies that have low degrees of individuals that is depicted through cultural patterns, it is challenging to expect a high level presence of consumer innovators and customized customers which is a setback for marketing managers since in search communities, co-creation lacks significant impact in terms of marketing.  Additionally, in regions that have empty or rather low reservoirs in terms of social capital, these societies are usually considered to have high levels of distrust towards institutions and even among their fellow society members thus making co-creation have insignificant impact for marketing managers (Hsieh & Chang 2016).

Another challenge for marketing managers that has been brought about by co-creation is the risk of consumer innovators passing on significant information to competitors. Since there is no definite way that can be used to gather only the loyal customers, there is a possibility that some consumers who take part in the innovation process can pass secret information to consumer considering the co-creation process is usually transparent and the consumer has a significant impact in the final product. Lack of privacy limits the marketing team from effectively executing their strategy in the planned manner (Ernst  et al, 2017).

4.0 Conclusion

Summing up, it is apparent that the advent of co-creation has brought about significant changes to the relationship between the organization and consumers. With these changes, there are benefits and challenges that marketing managers face in the running of their daily operations. From the essay, co-creation has bred an environment whereby marketing managers can easily learn the needs and behaviors of their target consumers. Also, the consumers have felt valued and included in a brand. Co-creation has also made marketing easy as loyal customers have taken up the role of marketers in creating awareness regarding a product, service and the brand in general while at the same time recruiting new customers. On the other hand, some of the challenges associated with co-creation include the risk of losing privacy for innovated products, lack of control for the final product and biased product development.

 

 

 

 

 

5.0 References

Frow, P., McColl-Kennedy, J. R., & Payne, A. (2016). Co-creation practices: Their role in shaping a health care ecosystem. Industrial Marketing Management56, 24-39.

Hidayanti, I., Herman, L. E., & Farida, N. (2018). Engaging customers through social media to improve industrial product development: the role of customer co-creation value. Journal of Relationship Marketing17(1), 17-28.

Ernst, H., Hoyer, W., Krafft, M. and Soll, J.H., 2017. Virtual Co-Creation with Customers in the Early Stages of New Product Development. Available at SSRN 3053800.

Hsieh, S. H., & Chang, A. (2016). The psychological mechanism of brand co-creation engagement. Journal of Interactive Marketing33, 13-26.

Jaakkola, E., Helkkula, A., Aarikka-Stenroos, L., & Verleye, K. (2015). The co-creation experience from the customer perspective: its measurement and determinants. Journal of Service Management.

Marcos-Cuevas, J., Nätti, S., Palo, T., & Baumann, J. (2016). Value co-creation practices and capabilities: Sustained purposeful engagement across B2B systems. Industrial Marketing Management56, 97-107.

O’Hern, M. S., & Rindfleisch, A. (2017). Customer co-creation: a typology and research agenda. In Review of marketing research (pp. 108-130). Routledge.

Pitelis, C. N., Desyllas, P., & Panagopoulos, A. (2018). Profiting from Innovation through Cross‐Border Market co‐Creation and co‐Opetition: The Case of Global Pharmaceuticals. European Management Review15(4), 491-504.

Ramaswamy, V., & Ozcan, K. (2016). Brand value co-creation in a digitalized world: An integrative framework and research implications. International Journal of Research in Marketing33(1), 93-106.

Rihova, I., Buhalis, D., Moital, M., & Gouthro, M. B. (2015). Conceptualising customer‐to‐customer value co‐creation in tourism. International Journal of Tourism Research17(4), 356-363.