Why We Integrate Collaboration Into Every Impact-Driven Marketing Strategy
No surprise, we’re a unique Marketing Studio. Our hands-on work with our clients leads us to examining the relationships that define organizational missions and the collaborations needed to bring folks to their visions. While we absolutely love social media for the ability to share stories and engage unexpected audiences, we have found the unmatched success in cultivating collaborations.
Take our dear friends at Good Coworking, for example:
Our work with Good Coworking a few years back brought thousands of entrepreneurs into a space that increased their creativity through the healthy environment that Amy King and her team envisioned. While our team helped them bring an abandoned and collapsed warehouse back to life, capturing the temporary attention of those around them, it wasn’t until we helped facilitate collaborations with green leaders like Downwinders At Risk and partnered with graphic designer Fernando Augusto, that we were able to bring this narrative to life through interactive magazines that allowed individuals to track their impact by working in the space, a free resource library that engaged people in conversations, and programming that fostered dozens of company’s receiving free mentoring and igniting hundreds more collaborations in the process.
This cultivation of relationships launched an in-house marketing strategy that moved the focus from capturing attention from new audiences to supporting the incubation of present coworkers, offering those we worked with the opportunity to grow their work and develop sustainable businesses that are now reaching out to their own unique communities as they lead the company’s external marketing strategy, and thus the growth of Good Coworking. (Since we finished working with this team, Good Coworking has doubled their coworking space and expanded their internal team to manage the growing influx of companies committed to impacting their communities through more affordable or flexible services and a more positive environmental impact.)
While a robust social media presence kicked off our strategy, our work grew organically with the community’s needs and led us to delving into education (through both marketing, interactive art, and programming) that led to groundbreaking businesses being the leader of referrals to the organization.
We get a lot of people that ask how to get thousands of followers or are looking to gain attention on a wide range of platforms. While that desire is understandable and pretty contagious in the world of social media, our work is focused on supporting impact-driven organizations as they keep their marketing budgets lean so their profits can pour into changes or solutions that will better benefit the customer.
Which is what brings us back to collaborations. You are a single part of your customers’ lives. Even your most loyal audiences utilize a slew of other products or services on a daily basis, while purchasing decisions are driven by individuals’ own needs and relationships. Collaborating with other organizations offers you the chance to show your customers how your work effects them beyond their use of what you offer, while also keeping you relevant with other company’s they utilize. Collaboration further offers you the chance to expand your story, while growing the opportunities for your customers to engage in a multi-layered narrative.
But beyond all of that, collaborations show your commitment to relationships — something that is important to every demographic. Collaborations are not just an opportunity for a new post, they offer new insights into your audiences’ needs and give you the chance to form loyal connections that show your commitment to being there for your customers in every way you can, growing a referral network through communities cultivated by your passion.
So how do we begin integrating Collaboration into our Marketing Strategies? This approach requires a few things to start:
Understanding the difference between wanting attention and being driven by your operational and sales needs: This is a place that separates the passion projects from the sustainable organizations; where ego and commitment collide.
While getting your idea out there is vital for expansion, knowing what type of marketing brings you the most success is vital for efficiency and scaleability. We challenge the leaders who we work with to examine why they feel the need to share what, why and where they do. More times than not, the choices to utilize certain platforms are driven by their own personal preferences or desire to feel seen, rather than taking the time to understand the sales goals that will drive their organization’s sustainability. After we help folx shift from personal bias to a community perspective, we then dive into sales funnels that will lead us to our marketing strategy as we examine questions like: where are your audiences’ attention held, how do they engage with their communities, how do they define their relationships / how do they listen, and what desires or commitments drive their decisions?
Learning about the relationships that drive your customers: This is the most important part of our Marketing Strategy development, in the audience research phase. Humans are creatures of habits, we enjoy patterns that reflect our own realities. In understanding the relationships that are important to your audience, you can better understand the outline of how collaborations can support your audience, as well as honing in on what type of collaborators will best engage new demographics or further engage those you are currently trying to connect with.
Designing a narrative that engages your customers in on-going growth (that is directed towards your company’s vision and aligns with a community mindset): People use social media for many things, but one of the most important reasons is to grow their communities.
There are two important words in that last sentence: “grow” & “communities.” People innately crave movement, they desire to expand, shift, and discover. Collaborations offer a narrative individuals can actively be a part of that makes them feel like they are actively progressing individually and simultaneously being seen by their multi-faceted needs through an expanding community.
When you lean into defining a marketing strategy for your audiences’ innate needs, you’ll find customers that reflect the relationships you have cultivated: offering loyalty that stems into repeat customers committed to engaging their own communities with your work.
Curious on how you can cultivate creative collaborations to deepen your Marketing Strategy? Give us a holler! We’d be happy to help.
In fact, thanks to amazing business owners like Dr Lexi Meleski, of Our Wellness Community, we’re even offering free 30-Minute Consultations to help you explore the challenges, goals, and expectations needed to launch a healthy collaboration. Click here to book a free consultation —> Form Follows’ Marketing Consultation Calendar.
Wondering why we chose mushrooms to represent this idea?While this blog was inspired by collaborations between our current clients Our Wellness Community, Texas Olive Ranch, and local leaders, the idea of integrating collaboration into every part of business operations and marketing first began with our research into fungi. This research is most recently driven by our reading of Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake. We’ll be diving deeper into how you can utilize biomimicry to create communities, but for now, we suggest you go pick up the book yourself. You can buy a copy here.