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March 22, 2024

Create with Them Instead of For Them: The Future of Consumer-led Marketing

As we navigate 2024, it’s time to question if consumer relevance and marketing outcomes should solely rely on the mountains of quantitative, analytics and social data.

A look back

In 2008, I found myself at the forefront of leveraging the booming social media landscape for brand value—a topic on everyone’s lips back then.

Initially, many brands missed a critical evolution: the shift from push marketing to engaging in meaningful conversations with consumers. It was about dialogue, not monologue.

The big data buzz

By 2012, “Big Data” became the buzzword. Having worked with pioneering brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Coca-Cola, L’Oréal, Carlsberg Group, Microsoft, and LEGO, I witnessed firsthand their desire to connect with consumers more intimately. The challenges? Relevance and responsiveness.

The buzz around big data led me, to champion its potential for creating more targeted, persona-based marketing strategies from public stages.

I have lost count of the number of big campaign briefing meetings I’ve attended where we got bombarded with a 219-slide presentation about the persona, the buyer, the user, when they wake up, and that our male consumers all sit down when they pee—or so we assume from the data scraped on Facebook.

However, reflecting on those countless meetings drowning in slide decks about hypothetical consumer behaviors, it’s clear: the approach needs revitalization.

We are not in 2012 anymore: rethinking our approach

Sorry guys, we need to rethink and be bold again. With technological advancements in 2024, we can’t keep relying on the same data sets to speculate on consumer behavior, perception, and relevance. It’s time to engage directly with consumers to much more often get the Why.

My colleague, Jonas Alexanderson (indeed, many of us at GetWhy share the name), wrote a great piece on the value AI brings to research, beyond just technological advancement.

A call for boldness

As a seasoned marketer, I’m convinced that brands (and their creative agencies) must dare to involve consumers more directly and more frequently. AI technology offers a unique opportunity to listen, understand, and create value daily based on real consumer feedback.

I might be biased but joining GetWhy a little over a year ago, was a decision rooted in my belief in the power of engagement and genuine conversation with consumers.

The power of inclusion

I recently wrote a blog post about incorporating qualitative insights throughout the development of TV and video commercials, which has sparked valuable discussions with many marketing, creative, and research pros. The consensus? Regular consumer input across any part of the go-to-market process can only enhance the consumer experience, thereby increasing brand and business value.

My commitment

Advocating for a consumer-led approach, emphasizing responsiveness and involvement, is the stance I’m prepared to defend tirelessly. The future of marketing hinges on collaborative creation.

I’m eager to hear your views. Let’s shape the future of consumer-led marketing together. Reach out via email, LinkedIn, or even a homing pigeon.

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