Engaging Customers as Co-Creators of Value

So much is being written about the power of customers right now in the field of marketing, that I’m really excited to hear more from Dr. Peter Honebein at our next Reno-Tahoe AMA luncheon, which will be held on Tuesday, August 20th. Dr. Honebein is a University of Nevada, Reno professor of marketing who will speak on the topic of “Engaging Customers as Co-Creators of Value.” He is co-author of the book Creating Do-It-Yourself Customers, and also co-founder of the Customer Performance Group, a management and consulting firm.  (Note: you can download a copy of the presentation from his web site, here.)

In the below video, Honebein talks more about the concept of customers as co-creators of value in this panel discussion, which was recorded at the Edison Foundation’s 2012 “Powering the People 2.0” conference in Washington, DC where he discussed how utility companies can better engage their customers:

The Power of the Customer

According to Brian Solis, “The future of business is all about dazzling people with amazing customer experiences.” In short, understanding, working with, listening to, engaging, and putting customers to work for you are all important aspects of a modern-day marketing plan.

Recently, CEO of Union Metrics Hayes Davis wrote an article for FastCompany that outlined the many ways that brands are listening to and engaging customers as co-creators of value, whether that be Wal-Mart using social media as a listening channel to better understand what types of products to carry, or Frito-Lay using Facebook as a platform for placing its customers at the center of its product development.

In Kimberly Whittler’s article entitled “The CMO’s Path to Power: Customer Experience Management,” the proposition is made that customers play a very important–if not the most important–part in the overall marketing equation.  She argues that a CMO should shift his/her focus to the totality of the customer’s engagement (as an alternative path to traditional power within the organization), and specifically, that the path to profitability must be seen through the eyes of the customer and their aggregate experiences. She writes:

While managing the “brand image” and “customer satisfaction” have long been important, these are outcome metrics that represent either individual experiences the customer has with the brand (in the case of customer satisfaction) or a holistic impression they have of the brand (in the case of brand image). The notion of customer experience management acknowledges that to achieve brand, satisfaction, loyalty, and financial outcomes, there must be a holistic understanding of–and influencing of–the customer-brand interaction. It’s simply an acceptance that the path to profitability must be seen through the eyes of the customer and their aggregate experiences.

With that being said, what better way is there to bring the customer-brand relationship to life than by acknowledging and working with customers as co-creators of value?

Now it’s your turn: what are some examples of how your company listening to, utilizing and engaging customers?

(Image Source)

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