Step Up the Game: Harness the Power of Crowdsourcing

Step Up the Game: Harness the Power of Crowdsourcing


What is Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing can be described as the process through which a business gains support from content generated by a community that was created for that purpose. More than even the usual social media marketing strategies, crowdsourcing can be regarded as the mostpowerful business trend that has dominated the last five years. Crowdsourcing pools the energy of people within a company who have time on their hands so that they focus on solving a particular problem. Businesses have found this as a viable means of gaining solutions to their internal and external problems. With the community in place, the company simply broadcast the existing problem which would then reach a diverse audience who would in turn be asked to contribute their own ideas on the solution to the problem.

Crowdsourcing is all about harvesting innovative ideas and finding out what the consumers need by tapping in to the collective intelligence of its community (or the public). This collaborative method of solving company issues is most appropriate/useful as a part of a business process as it helps businesses capitalize on this era of social marketing. With Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms now being a seemingly permanent fixture in the lives of many people, and certainly as a part of many businesses, crowdsourcing is here to stay. As users become more engaged generating and sharing their own content the business benefits from a broader content base, and they gain legitimacy in the eyes of the end user. Companies have been able to find innovative solutions to problems without using up their resources to find those solutions.

Success Stories of Crowdsourcing

iStockPhotos is a good example of what is possible with crowdsourcing. The site is a stock image gallery that allows independentphotographers to upload quality pictures which then become available to anyone who want quality pictures to purchase. There are no restrictions on who can upload images and collect royalties on them when they are downloaded by other users. What iStockPhotos has done is to create a business that did not cost a fortune, take up a great deal of time, or required a great deal of original content. They built instead a community of people who share their own ideas (photos) that others find useful and purchase/download for use. iStockPhotos simply maintains the community. They now have vibrant community of photographers, and a thriving clientele of advertisers and marketers who use their site to obtain pictures for their work.

Crowdsourcing for Market Research

Crowdsourcing rely on direct feedback from the community. A market survey would relt on the same, but with crowdsourcing the results are delivered directly to the company in real time. It takes up less time, cost less and requires no additional resources or third party to retrieve the necessary information. The company would be able to hear directly from their niche market and to benefit from their knowledge and experience. Businesses presently exist in a community centric era where customers enjoy being a part of the solution and knowing that their ideas are taken seriously.

The ideas generated through crowdsourcing can sometimes result in the creation of products that turn out to be revolutionary, and create a new phase in the business experience.