Tapping the crowd

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crowd sourcing and marketingWhat do you do when your current resource pool does not meet the requirements of a task and you are cash strapped to hire new resources? Tap the potential of the crowd and solve the problem. Welcome to the world of crowdsourcing!

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As the term suggest, it is a process by which businesses outsource their work to an online community or crowd in the form of an ‘open call’. The task is then assigned to one or more members depending on the task and the respective person is paid after the successful completion of the task.

Crowdsourcing technically has 3 primary features:

  • The task that is being outsourced was initially performed within the organization.
  • The task is out sourced to either a totally unknown crowd or a pre-screened crowd.
  • After the successful completion of the task, the concerned person/persons need to be paid.

However there can be alterations/modifications to these features.

Crowdsourcing and Marketing

Crowdsourcing is primarily used in marketing for:

  • Product Development,
  • Advertising and Promotion and
  • Market Research


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From software to nail polish, marketers use customer inputs to develop their products. Sometimes customers are also asked to design products through contests and the best product is then chosen for mass production. Such methods of product development serve the dual purpose of developing the product as per the end-user’s requirements as well as cutting down on R&D costs. Sites like Wikipedia, Istockphoto add to their content base by allowing users to upload content on them.


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With Social media sites getting popular day by day, more and more marketers are looking for people who can act as Brand ambassadors for their businesses on these sites. These people talk about the brand on social networking platforms and help to generate the buzz around the brand. Sometimes brands also have open competitions to design campaigns for their brands.


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This is one of the most primitive methods of crowd sourcing where people are asked to fill up questionnaire and they get paid for their response. However this type of crowd sourcing has been questioned by a lot of experts because in such a scenario, the crowd might not be the actual target segment and the results out of such research might be misleading.

With evolving technology and discovery of more opportunities, crowdsourcing has the potential to grow big and more and more businesses would opt for crowdsourcing as a means of generating more ideas for their businesses as well as cutting down costs. Its high time the worth of the crowd is realized!

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