No doubt by now you have heard the term ‘crowdsourcing’ you may even have a vague understanding of what it means. It is highly possible that you’ve come across the term once or twice throughout your business expeditions. It is important to understand that crowdsourcing is the process of collecting information from the public then utilizing that information to fit and fulfill a corporate related goal or task.
The information being gathered and used can be either through collaboration or opposition. Crowdsourcing is a means by which businesses can find cost-effective brand new ideas in a timely manner. They can infer what their public needs in terms of the information they collect then work to provide customers with said product and/or service.
As you may have already figured out, crowdsourcing is especially effective with the use of the Internet. Both parties, businesses and customers, engage on medium that enables them to express their thoughts, comments, or concerns on any given topic.
One good example of crowdsourcing comes in the form of ‘crowdfunding.’ Crowdfunding, according to an article written by Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Communication Studies at Northwestern University, Elizabeth M. Gerber and PhD Student at Northwestern University, Julie Hui is “the online request for resources from a distributed audience often in exchange for a reward-provides a new way for individuals and teams to solicit financial support from a distributed audience.”
Conventional Fundraising Techniques
The article proffers that conventional fundraising techniques such as requesting funds from banks is being replaced by online platforms such as KickStarter, Indiegogo, etc. These websites make it so an individual can gather group support from other users instead of taking out a loan from a bank.
Another example of crowdsourcing is crowd voting; which is when a Wrappz Personalised Gifts provides the goods and services deemed wanted by the majority of a digital crowd. Most television programs utilize this form of crowdsourcing as they engage their audiences by enabling to determine a shows outcome.
Television shows like American Idol, Britain’s Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance, are all shows that are determined by user voting and engagement. This kind of feedback system helps companies conduct a wide range, low-cost market study when developing a new product and/or service.
The third and last example of crowdsourcing comes in the form of crowd contest. What this entails is companies recruiting customers to help solve any business dilemmas they may be encountering.
Usually in the form of a contest, a business stipulates the situation they’re in and requests help solving from outside sources. For instance, Mountain Dew asked customers to participate by coming up with ideas of their favorite flavors. By engaging in crowd contest a business is gathering reliable information based on customer feedback and channeling it into its investment of a new product and/or service. Start designing your own personalised drinks labels!
However, some regard crowdsourcing as a form of exploitation; as some businesses are essentially seen as having their customers do their work for them. While this statement does hold a great deal of merit, it is up to each individual company with how they choose to employ and utilize crowdsourcing as long as they are aware and accept what ramifications may follow if used dishonestly.