fbpixel The Power-Up Series 2023: Transforming Databases into Thriving Communities with Experts from Canva, TikTok and Chief UK - MG Empower
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Written by - Daniel Shale

The Power-Up Series 2023: Transforming Databases into Thriving Communities with Experts from Canva, TikTok and Chief UK


Have you ever wondered what truly sets a brand apart in today’s digital age? What makes a brand more than just a name but a thriving, interconnected community?

These were among the salient questions that were answered and explored at the sixth edition of our flagship event: The Power-Up Series. As one of our esteemed panellists, Sonya Gonzalez Mier, aptly put it, “Brands are realising how powerful niche communities are. That’s what’s happening right now – that’s why community is a buzzword.”

So, what exactly is the secret sauce that turns a database into a vibrant community? 

The Power-Up Series 2023: How to power-up your 2024 community building strategy with data and storytelling.

This year’s edition of The Power-Up Series saw three insightful panel discussions on the fundamental pillars of community building: storytelling, co-creation, data, and consumer experiences. 

The first panel, The Evolution of the Community Economy in the Data-Driven Era, featured experts Camila Nakagawa, Global Advertising Executive & Chief UK Founding Member; Sonya Gonzalez Mier, Author & former Global Account Manager at TikTok; Iana Petkova, Head of Marketing Europe at Canva; and Andrea Cortes, Senior Innovation Manager at MG Empower. 

You can – and should – watch the full discussion on our YouTube channel.

Transforming databases into thriving communities: A paradigm shift

“Social media followers and a CRM mailing list is a database – that’s it. So, how do you transform a database into a community? That’s what we should be discussing.” – Camila Nakagawa.

The move from a static database to a vibrant community is nothing short of a paradigm shift. In the era of social media and CRM systems, it’s easy to confuse followers and email subscribers with an actual community. Camila highlights the crux of the matter here – it’s essential to recognise the difference and actively work towards transforming a passive list into a dynamic, engaged community. After all, as Andrea passionately attested, “Something that is very natural to all human beings is our need to belong, to be heard, and to be listened to.”

It’s a question of reciprocity. 

“Are we just extracting the whole time? Are we co-creating with people, asking what we should be? Asking them to become brand ambassadors? But also, what are we giving back? I think there are a lot of communities out there that aren’t giving back enough, and that’s why they don’t work.” – Sonya Gonzalez Mier

Sonia’s questions put the essence of community building in the hot seat. They emphasise the importance of co-creation, reciprocal relationships, and the responsibility of brands to give back to their communities. In today’s digital landscape, the most successful communities are the ones where both sides engage in a mutually beneficial partnership.

The Canva community is a testament to the transformation that can occur when brands genuinely engage with their communities. Its community members, driven by their passion and belief in Canva’s mission, become ambassadors – not only extending Canva’s reach and influence, but making them an integral part of the brand ecosystem.

“In some cases, our community members are an extension of our brand. They’re so passionate about Canva and what they can do with it, that they’re out there and oftentimes, they’re ambassadors.” – Iana Petkova

One big insight and where to find more…

One big insight that emerged from the panel discussion was that the evolution of the community economy in the data-driven era is a journey that can transform brands and businesses. From passive databases to thriving communities, the key lies in co-creation, giving back, and recognising the inherent value that communities bring to the table.

To delve deeper and gain valuable insights from these all-star marketing experts, we invite you to watch the full panel discussion on YouTube. The Power-Up Series 2023 offers a wealth of knowledge for anyone looking to harness the power of communities to drive real impact and success. 

So, are you ready to transform your brand’s database into a thriving, powerful community? The answers await you on our YouTube channel

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