You may have just got your head around social marketing and are happily measuring engagement with customers through likes, shares, comments or retweets. But social tech marketing has morphed into a new trend: collaborative marketing. So what does it mean and what do you need to do to keep up? Find out in this article.

What is collaborative marketing?

The main difference between social and collaborative marketing is that instead of marketing ‘at’ consumers, you’re marketing ‘with’ consumers.

Social media shouldn’t be seen as just a mass communication channel. Those companies that are succeeding are the ones that not only communicate but also collaborate with consumers and develop them as brand advocates. Nowadays, people are increasingly receiving information about brands from their social connections. And it’s this power that you are harnessing in collaborative marketing.

So what do I need to do?

Develop brand advocates: The first step is to move away from seeing social media as just a channel for putting out mass messages. In fact, the effectiveness of these mass messages may be more limited than perhaps you realise. Did you know, for instance, that one-third of display ads that companies pay for never get shown?

The truth is that currently 80 percent of online content is consumer generated through shares, likes, retweets, Google or Facebook reviews. And so what marketers need to be focusing on in this era of peer-powered media is developing brand advocates for their products or services.

Measure influence and not impressions: In the mass marketing world of social marketing it was impressions that counted and it offered a simple numeric measure of success. However, in collaborative marketing it’s quantity and quality that counts. Brand influencers will also be considering the quality of the message and engagement. Businesses now need to develop ways to optimise the quality of the message in addition to its reach and frequency.

Promote close relationships with consumers: It’s not rocket science. In order to succeed in the social digital marketplace you need to develop close, ongoing relationships with consumers. Keeping pace with rapidly changing consumer tastes is essential and the only way to do so is by developing a genuine dialogue with your brand influencers and wider consumers. This requires having an intimate knowledge of your target market and the social media platforms they primarily use.

The future is collaborative marketing

The collaborative marketing trend is likely to see consumers influencing their favourite brands more and even taking co-ownership. The most successful brands of the future will be those that continually create and improve their products and messaging in partnership with their brand advocates and consumers.

It’s time to examine your marketing strategies to make sure you’re up for the challenge.