Nothing can truly be “designed” for the mass market anymore and be considered a success. To go after the masses you now need to cater to the individual.
The level of customization and expectation of product quality is such that it doesn’t behoove you to meet everyone’s expectations. If you try and please everybody? You will end up pleasing no one.
While this may seem counter intuitive? Bear with me:
Creativity is no longer about the final product. It’s about the inspiration and conversation starter.
Inspiration is now the desired outcome of a product launch or marketing campaign. A company needs to provide a spark, the crowd can do the rest.
The customer needs to have a hand in the decision making and creative process. By doing so you can create true evangelism, dedication to the improvement of the product and cut costs all at the same time.
“Rapid-iteration”¹ is going to become the new norm for products for better or worse.
The model for releasing software and video games already works on this basic model. The company releases game to a players beta test, augment and suggest improvements, then launches the game to the general public. All along the way, players, programmers and the software company are improving the final product.
What makes this model sustainable? Most programmers/players don’t have the money to invest in building, seeding and putting the creative thought into a powerful gaming engine and storyline. What do they have? Time and lots of it. Thus they can augment, tweak and improve the game to their liking.
Player based content and creativity can add years to a game’s life span. Why can’t this same philosophy be tied into marketing and community driven exercises?
It can and it will.
Crowdsourcing is going to be baked into every single creative push going forward. How could it not be? It’s cheap, sustainable and can build on and increase the power of your initial idea. The key is being able to effectively influence, understand and direct the creation of the product/marketing materials.
The new task for creation is simple but requires a fundamental paradigm shift: move to inspiring and inciting for activation instead of pure creation. The more customization and ability to tweak your content? The stickier the content will become.
Come up with a great idea. Create a model/demo. Allow the crowd to execute and riff off of it. This is the future of the creative model.
Image Source: Peter Kaminski