If you’re someone who is always on the lookout for new approaches to drive innovation you already know that tapping into the collective intelligence, creativity, and skills of a large group of people can be a game-changer for your company. As you look for new strategies to outperform competitors and ensure sustainable growth, it's likely you'll discover crowdsourcing and how it can help take your company to the next level - it is fast becoming one of the most powerful tools at your disposal.
The potential of crowdsourcing is as broad as the crowd it engages.
In this blog, we're going to support your efforts to understand why you should shift to the open mindset and put crowdsourcing to work. It is a power tool that is fundamentally reshaping business models, enabling access to a global pool of talent, ideas, and perspectives.
Here are seven compelling reasons for you to consider; from fostering innovation and cost-efficiency to accelerating time-to-market, enhancing customer engagement, promoting diversity, increasing flexibility, and tapping into vast reserves of talent and expertise- the potential of crowdsourcing is as broad as the crowd it engages.
7 Reasons to Unlock Business Growth with Crowdsourcing
Dive in to discover 7 reasons why you should leverage crowd intelligence. Let's go!
1. Innovation Through Crowdsourcing
Innovation through crowdsourcing represents an exciting paradigm shift in the way businesses approach problem-solving and idea generation. By opening up the process to a diverse crowd of people, companies can tap into an array of perspectives, talents, and experiences that extend far beyond their internal teams.
An excellent example of this approach is the LEGO Ideas platform, which invites fans worldwide to submit their own design ideas for new LEGO sets. The crowd votes on the submissions, and any idea that gains enough support is reviewed by a LEGO review board. Successful designs are then manufactured and sold worldwide, with the original designer receiving a percentage of the sales. This model not only stirs innovation but also fosters a profound connection with LEGO's customer base, transforming consumers into collaborators.
Tip: You can build your very own ideas platform, powered by HeroX, where a community will grow within your very own brand page. Ask us how. Here's an awesome example of a company that has done just that! American Made Challenges has over 17,000 innovators and growing!
2. Cost Savings and Efficiency
The crowd can complete tasks quickly and at a lower cost than if they were to hire in-house employees. By outsourcing tasks to a broad network of workers, companies can often complete tasks and projects more efficiently and without sacrificing quality, which is very important.
You can enlist the support of freelancer apps such as Upwork, Fiverr or Freelancer.com. The gig economy is growing at such a rate, it will amaze me if the term salaried still exists in 5 years' time! For instance, a company may need to design a new logo but lacks the in-house graphic design expertise. Instead of hiring a full-time designer, they can post the job on one of these platforms, receiving numerous proposals from skilled freelancers worldwide. They can select the best design based on quality and cost, thereby achieving their goal more quickly and affordably. This efficient use of the burgeoning gig economy not only transforms the cost structure of businesses but also illustrates the potential future of work, as thought leaders like John Winsor have highlighted in their discussions on the subject, check out his latest post.
3. Accelerating Time-to-Market
Crowdsourcing can help companies accelerate their time-to-market by enabling them to quickly gather feedback and insights from a large group of people. This can help companies identify and address issues more quickly, and make faster decisions about product development and marketing.
In an increasingly competitive business landscape, accelerating time-to-market can provide a significant edge, and crowdsourcing is a pivotal strategy to achieve this. By quickly gathering feedback and insights from a diverse crowd, companies can identify and address issues more rapidly, fast-track decisions related to product development, and launch their products or services in a timely manner.
An exemplary use case is that of Procter & Gamble's (P&G) "Connect + Develop" program. Recognizing that not all good ideas originate within its own laboratories, P&G turned to the crowd; inviting scientists, researchers, and innovators worldwide to propose their ideas and solutions. This approach resulted in a plethora of innovative products, like the Swiffer Dusters, making their way to market much quicker than via traditional R&D routes. They significantly reduced development cycles and rapidly brought fresh, customer-approved products to market. Boom!
4. Better Customer Engagement
Crowdsourcing can help companies build better relationships with their customers by involving them in the product development process and soliciting their feedback. This can help companies build a more loyal customer base and create products that better meet their customers' needs and preferences.
This is vividly illustrated by the ingenious advertising strategy of Doritos with their "Crash the Super Bowl" campaign. Doritos has been at the forefront of incorporating crowdsourcing into their marketing efforts, soliciting consumer-created commercials for their coveted Super Bowl advertising slots for a decade. This innovative contest quickly gained momentum, receiving an impressive tally of over 32,000 entries and awarding a total of $7 million in prizes, all while serving as a launchpad for aspiring creatives to make a name for themselves in the advertising and video production fields.
Their final iteration of this contest upped the ante by offering a $1 million prize and the unique opportunity to collaborate with acclaimed director Zack Snyder on a secretive project for Warner Brothers and DC Comics. A panel of judges, including Frito-Lay executives, evaluated the submissions and recently unveiled the top three finalists.
The resulting commercials, created by seemingly ordinary consumers, have become legendary for their humor and creativity, epitomizing Doritos as a relatable and accessible brand. A prime example is the 2011 winner's ad, featuring a hungry pug and the irresistible lure of Doritos chips - an advertisement that remains a fan favorite to this day. This crowdsourcing example demonstrates how businesses can harness the power of the crowd to expedite the creative process, drive customer engagement, and bring impactful campaigns to market swiftly.
5. Increased Diversity
This strategy becomes especially beneficial for businesses aiming to cater to diverse consumer demographics or tackle an array of social and environmental issues. A powerful example is Unilever's "Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards."
This initiative solicits sustainable solutions from young entrepreneurs worldwide, generating a plethora of diverse and innovative ideas that tackle sustainability challenges while enriching Unilever's commitment to environmental responsibility. By sourcing ideas from varied geographical and cultural backgrounds, Unilever ensures a diverse and comprehensive approach to sustainability, demonstrating the immense potential of crowdsourcing in harnessing diversity for business growth and social impact.
Ask yourself if having the ability to quickly scale up or down your workforce as needed would be beneficial. Crowdsourcing allows companies to rapidly adjust their workforce size according to specific needs. This can be particularly useful for companies that need to complete a large project on a tight deadline, or for those that experience fluctuations in demand for their products or services. This adaptable model offers several benefits, from cost savings to increased productivity.
If you're looking to get started, consider these three tips:
- Identify Suitable Tasks: Not all tasks are well-suited for crowdsourcing. Identify tasks that can be effectively distributed across a diverse crowd. These could be tasks that require a variety of perspectives, tasks that can be completed independently, or tasks that need specific expertise.
- Choose the Right Platform: Based on your needs, choose a crowdsourcing platform that aligns with your project. There are several platforms available, each with its own focus, such as innovation (HeroX - you're here!), design (99designs), or freelance services (Upwork).
- Communicate Clearly: Clear and concise communication is key when engaging with a large, diverse group. Ensure you provide detailed instructions about the task, timelines, deliverables, and the reward system.
By implementing these tips, you can enjoy the flexibility and scalability that crowdsourcing offers, allowing you to adapt swiftly to ever-evolving business needs.
7. Access to Talent and Expertise
Harnessing talent and expertise through crowdsourcing is an ingenious strategy that allows companies to tap into a vast global pool of specialized skills that may not be readily available through traditional hiring channels. Whether it's for niche technical skills, unique artistic abilities, or specific industry knowledge, crowdsourcing can help companies find the expertise they need to drive their projects forward.
Steve Jobs once aptly said, "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." Crowdsourcing is indeed an innovative path to leadership, as it enables businesses to go beyond geographical and organizational boundaries to find the best talent, positioning them at the forefront of their industries. This access to a world of talent and expertise is one of the most powerful advantages of crowdsourcing, facilitating not just the completion of tasks, but also the birth of new ideas and the acceleration of innovation.
Ready, Set, Crowd!
Get ready to be amazed at the products and services you will uncover that better meet the needs and preferences of your customers. You are going to start getting into all the clever ways you can use crowdsourcing, and tapping into a wider range of insights, ideas, and skills than ever before. Do your research, there are tons of case studies demonstrating successful ways companies are tapping into the crowd. Steal like an artist and use them as a blueprint for your next project.
Ready to Start Crowdsourcing? Launch your first challenge with HeroX. Get started... here.