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The very act of opening up decision making and interactive events to customers is an important step in a move towards interactive collaboration
How do your customers view your business? More importantly, do your customers see themselves as an intrinsic part of your organisation or simply as consumers? If you haven’t started asking yourself the question then you may be a long way off from creating a culture which embraces customer collaboration and inclusivity as standard.
For those who are still wavering, who see bringing customers into the innovation pot as a massive undertaking, two recent examples show how quick wins can be gained from simple gestures. The first comes from the Welsh Rugby Union. Hosting back to back games between the Welsh regions on Saturday the WRU went out to fans with an online poll asking if the Millennium Stadium Roof should be open or closed for the matches. Putting the decision in the hands of the fans is a simple gesture but one which shows how the WRU and the regions truly value their supporters.
The second example came from Warburtons and it perfectly illustrates how social media is being used on a daily basis to boost interactions. Launching a new ad starring Sylvester Stallone, Warburtons hit the social media trail in a big way. Asking followers to nominate truck number plates, music to go on a soundtrack and spoof film titles amongst other things, the company generated a great deal of interaction.
It’s easy to dismiss social media campaigns such as these as mere marketing ploys and it is true that generating positive publicity is beneficial to businesses. But far more than that, the very act of opening up decision making and interactive events to customers and others is an important step in moving businesses from ones in which the business sells and the client buys to ones in which there is a genuine collaborative partnership which is mutually beneficial.