Team working together around a table

Presenting completed work vs. co-creating marketing

Too many marketers are expected to present completed work to internal clients — business unit heads, sales region leaders, product managers and others.

As a result, marketers spend lots of time creating, polishing and perfecting ideas before sharing them. When an idea is deemed ready, it’s often thrown over the wall into another organizational silo.

The problem is: ideas that jump from silo to silo seeking approval are more often rejected than embraced.

Smart marketers take a different approach to winning internal clients’ approval — co-creation.

Co-created ideas are stickier

We preach and practice the idea of co-creating your key marketing deliverables.

At the end of the day, business leaders and sales pros have to buy into marketing plans. What if you take an approach that enables stronger buy-in?

A test and learn environmental calls for a big tent
Build a big tent and invite people in to co-create key marketing deliverables.

Why not invite internal clients into a big tent to co-create your marketing deliverables? Together you can hammer out in one or two sessions:

When marketing works on foundational ideas together with other departments, your colleagues experience the Ikea effect. That means they disproportionately value what they helped to create — your marketing mission, strategy and message..

The Ikea effect makes it smoother to:

  • Create content.
  • Get content through the review process.
  • Launch marketing campaigns on schedule.

Start with rough ideas 

People working on a prototype around a table
Start with rough prototypes to gain more engagement.

Stanford professor of marketing Baba Shiv says:

“If you present a polished prototype others will only find flaws. If you present a rough prototype others will see potential …

“So, the way we think about this is in the very early stages of an idea. If you want to influence a stakeholder, just go to the person with a rough prototype. Back of the napkin, on a whiteboard, whatever it is, and seek advice.

“When the person starts providing advice, then your idea will become that person’s baby as well. The most effective way of persuading people … [is] for the person you want to persuade, [to] persuade himself or herself.”

Invite others to own the big idea

Co-creation extends ownership of ideas to others. “You’ve got to pay careful attention to the audience that you’re talking to and allow the person to talk,” Shiv says. “Allow the person to talk because then, the person has ownership of the idea.”

How can we grow ideas generated at weekly meetings into actual acts?Silhouette of a head as a lightbulb that is lit with an idea.
When everybody brings ideas to the table, marketing gets better results.

One reason that taking the co-creation approach works is because people make decisions with their emotions, 9 times out of 10.

“The fundamental premise, this is based in all the evidence out there that most of human decisions and human behaviors are shaped by emotion and not by reason.

“And then, if you ask me to put a number to this based on all the evidence out
there I would conjecture something like 90% to 95% of our decisions, our behaviors are constantly being shaped non-consciously by emotional brain system,” Shiv adds.

People love their own ideas

Co-creation gets participants emotionally attached to their own ideas.

So, it provides marketers these benefits as you create your strategy and message:

  1. The bigger the group, the more ideas, anecdotes and stories they’ll know.
  2. Stories that are co-created by a group reflect multiple points of view.
  3. Groups sniff out untruths and holes in stories much better than individuals do.
  4. Groups that co-create stories are likelier to spread your message accurately.

A successful round of co-creation also prepares you to enlist brand ambassadors, employees and customers who will share your message with others. That’s how you get everyone who speaks for your company to stay on message.