Those who came of age during the social media revolution may take it for granted that you, the consumer, are often called upon to be an active participant in your favorite brand's marketing but it wasn't always this way. Until very recently, marketing was a one-way conversation. That's how advertising always worked. Anyone could have imagined saying, "Let's just have consumers come up with the next campaign"
A lot has changed since and the term ‘crowd-sourcing’ has come into brand’s lives.
Suppose a company has a problem. To think about what could be the solution to the problem there are some solution ways like: 1.buying the ready-solution, 2. making the problem to be solved by employees, 3. making the problem to be solved by consultants or experts..
..or ensuring that the solution is solved with the help of a certain group whose solution process is called "crowd-sourcing".
Crowd-sourcing is the combination of 'Crowd' and 'Outsourcing' words. ‘Outsourcing’ is to solve some specific tasks with external sources. So, what is the difference of crowd-sourcing. Crowd-sourcing depends on the management which a company awards wide audience for a particular solution propositions and opinions. Crowd-sourcing could be considered as an application as it is a short term cooperation rather than outsourcing.
To talk about some specific cases, Doritos ‘Hisseli Tatlar’ campaign is one of the leading examples of crowd-sourcing. Also recent Doritos Academy campaign is another example of crowdsourcing; Doritos encourages girls and boys seperately to make the best chips in terms of shape and taste. There will be one winner but by doing so Doritos will get hundreds of new taste and shape alternatives.
When crowd-sourcing became a trend, brands make it crown with the term of ‘good advertising’. Pepsi allocated all of its Superbowl ad budget –nearly $20 million- to ‘Pepsi Refresh Project’. The project supported young people to create world refreshing projects. Campaign is executed through culture & arts, education, food and beverage, health and society categories.The Refresh Project became one of the biggest and most ambitious cause marketing crowdsourcing initiative yet by far. It won awards like 2011 “Best Public Relations Program of the Year" and Platinum and Gold SABRE (Superior Achievement in Branding and Reputation).
Using crowdsourcing brings some genuine advantages to companies and individuals looking to complete defined tasks with affordable price. The main attraction so far has been its fairly lower price, compared to the price for hiring a dedicated professional. Also the best thing with the low price is the high number of people who are ready to work for you anytime.
As with all things, there are disadvantages, and interestingly the main disadvantage mirrors the main advantage: cheap labor results less credible product, compared to professionals. You pay professionals for their expertise, experience and dedicated spirit, but you buy labor for completing simple tasks. Any task considered above simple is risky for crowdsourcing.
Crowd-sourcing also comes with the issue of management. In most cases you have to manage a large scale of workers, which pretty much waste more of your time for management instead of solution. Besides, it’s difficult for collaboration between crowd members as they compete with each other in nature. Worst of all, there’s no contract in most crowdsourcing cases. Workers can run anytime they want, and your design might be reused in anytime.
10 Crowd-Sourcing Types
As you can tell, crowdsourcing can be leveraged in many ways. It is important to note that crowd-sourcing is not the answer. It is only a tool. You need to make sure you understand what you want to achieve and then determine if this approach is appropriate. Too many organizations have tried crowd-sourcing, thinking it was a silver bullet, only to be wildly disappointed. Having said that, when used properly, it can reduce costs, timeframes, and risk, while providing high quality solutions
This is where you use a crowd to solve a complex problem. Are you looking to develop a glass for the next iPhone that won’t smudge? Ask a crowd to see if they have a solution. InnoCentive and BrightIdea are two platforms that help` companies solve these types of problems (the latter is the engine behind GE’s ecoimagination initiative).
2. Opinion Seeking:
Crowds can be used, of course, to provide input and suggestions on how to improve your product. SurveyMonkey is a low-end version of this in action. MyStarbucksIdea.com is a more sophisticated version that runs on SalesForce.com’s “ideas” platform.
3. Content Creation:
Want to create an advertisement for your company but don’t want to hire a single design agency? Why not hire the world? Companies like Doritos have done this for their Super Bowl commercials with great success. Platforms like Tongal help companies crowdsource the creation of videos. News broadcasters are also doing this to help collect videos from individuals who shoot newsworthy footage on their iPhone.
4. Design Competitions:
Need a new logo? You don’t need to hire just one person from an agency, you can use websites like 99designs.com or logotournament.com to get hundreds of designs for the price of one. You select the one logo you like and pay only that one designer.
5. Data Collection:
This is a growing area of crowdsourcing. Instead of sending your employees out to inspect buildings, shelves in super markets, or potentially even read meters, get anyone to do it. For example, when someone is in a supermarket, have them snap a picture of your product on the shelves. This gives you insights into stocking levels and product placement, and the GPS tracking will give you the location without the need for tagging. Think of this as more data for your big data.
6. Manual Tasks:
This is outsourcing on steroids. Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk is an example of this. Break up your work into bite-sized chunks and get people to do these activities for pennies. There are many platforms for doing this in all shapes and size. For example fiverr.com is a site where people will do almost anything for $5.
Do you have something you want to test? uTest is a great platform for this. They can beat the heck out of your website looking for bugs, usability issues, or anything else. You can get hundreds of people banging on your system to stress it and test it.
8. Customer service:
What if you could get your fans to be customer service employees? Platforms like CrowdEngineering.com allow your most knowledgable customers to provide help to your entire customer base. If your customers have a technical problem, instead of speaking to an employee, they can be routed to one of these knowledgable fans. Think of this is a virtual “geek squad” or “genius bar.”
TopCoder is an amazing website which enables a half million programmers, designers, testers and program managers who compete to create wireframes, designs, code, and algorithms, and then test everything for customers. This is one of the best end-to-end solutions out there.
10. Crowd funding:
Need money for an initiative or cause? Crowdfunding may be the way. Platforms like kickstarter.com enable people to raise money for their projects. There are platforms for raising money for non-profits. And now there is the emerging version which can allow for micro-angel investing.