Wiki explains Crowd-Sourcing as, “Crowd-Sourcing is a neologism for the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people or community in the form of an open call. For example, the public may be invited to develop a new technology, carry out a design task“. Crowd-Sourcing is most of the times done over the internet and the generic logic behind doing this is the assumption that most consumers of a product think they could have designed their products themsleves.
Eric von Hippel explains that ‘Crowd-Sourcing’ is a subset of “user-centered innovation” in which ‘Consumers as Creators’ is the motto for a company. By allowing the consumers to design a product. not only does the company gets rid of risks associated with new product management, but also gets benefits such as innovative ideas and free publicity. Here are mentioned some instances and some do’s of Crowd-Sourcing and how do companies milk the masses for inspiration.
The most common buzzword that relates to ‘Crowd-Sourcing’ in the Web 2.0 era is “The Wisdom of Crowds”. True to its rubric, it means that more brains working on one single interest can only help the interest to an elevated extent. Think of this concept’s most famous example and the most prominent name which will come to your mind is Wikipedia.
Josh Catone explains, “Crowd-Sourcing can be looked at as an application of the wisdom of crowds concept, in which the knowledge and talents of a group of people is leveraged to create content and solve problems. Crowdsourcing can be broken down in to three categories: 1. creation (like Wikipedia) 2. prediction (like Yahoo! Buzz) 3. organization (like Google)“. He then explains how does companies practically implement and reap benefits out of it.
ITC Foods used the concept of ‘crowdsourcing’—inviting end-users to give its snack brand Bingo Amd Angles an identity of its own which is unique and will create an equity for the Brand. As I always believe “Markets are Conversations”, ITC approached Contests2win, an online activation agency which then decided to approach the consumers, asking them to design the campaign for Bingo using the angular shape of the chips as the central theme, and win prizes in return.
Livemint verifies the results as 306 print ads and 63 video ads developed by users. The winners were also selected by users who visited the site and used the rating scale to pick the best ad. The prizes included 24 iPod Shuffles and 24 Bingo hampers.
Were there any short-comings?
Ajit Narayan, Chief Strategy Officer, Asia, 141 Sercon, the marketing services arm of Bates David Enterprise adds, “Although the idea is good, the agency should have made it a YouTube phenomenon and not restricted it to the c2w website alone, as the participation could have been wider and the campaign more powerful“.
Ever heard, “There is always a next chance for improvement”.