Agencies often act like they know their clients’ businesses better than they do. At Flourish, we’re just not that arrogant. Sure, we have a deep understanding of our client’s business, but we never assume we know it better than them. We prefer instead to co-operate with clients to solve their marketing issues.

We’ve run co-creation workshops with a number of our clients and with other agencies, where we share marketing responsibilities for a particular client. Co-creation sessions enable a greater understanding of a marketing issue because all parties get to see the challenge from alternative perspectives. Ideas formulated together also have immediate ‘buy in’ which means agencies and clients can concentrate on executing an idea rather than spending valuable development time, honing an idea to everyone’s satisfaction.

Co-creation isn’t the answer to every single challenge but they can be invaluable when used at the right time. Here’s where we’ve found them to be of greatest value.

At the start of a big project

Getting all parties into a room including client’s, other agencies and customers or end users, to agree a direction can be hugely beneficial at the start of a large project. Often we’ve used these sessions to formulate or ‘sharpen’ a brief, so that everyone knows the expectations from the start.

We’ve also run initial creative sessions with our clients; it’s a great way to get immediate feedback on ideas and get clients invested in creative. As the ideas generated are ‘ours’ they are much more likely to be advocated for as they make their way up the chain of command and eventually out into the world – particularly good for our multi-national clients.

Formulating a multi-channel creative solution

We’ve run co-creation sessions with ATL agencies, DRTV specialists and Media Agencies to make sure that a creative idea can work across all channels that a client wishes to utilise.

Projects that we’ve approached in this way often run more smoothly than when an overarching idea is simply thrust upon multiple agencies so they can make it work in their specialist area. With all agencies confident they can make an idea work, the client inevitably gets a more coherent campaign optimised for every touch point.

Sharing knowledge and learning

Sometimes client’s want to use our knowledge of a particular topic or channel; eCRM or email for instance. We can just pop along and go through a deck, but we find it can be more beneficial for a client to not just be presented with an answer, but instead to work with us, usually on a live brief to see how we would arrive at an answer. We’ve always received really positive feedback from these sessions with client’s telling us their staff left enthused with new skills they can immediately put into action.

Used on the right projects co-creation is a great tool. Not every agency is up for it as it means they have to be transparent about the way they approach their work – but at Flourish we’ve never been afraid to collaborate. It’s how we work best.