Crowdsourcing in Marketing


Crowdsourcing in Marketing


Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR 

Crowdsourcing entails collecting ideas from a diverse group of thinkers. It offers a productive way to gather ideas that would have been difficult to develop by a single individual. Crowdsourcing has a lot of advantages over internal ideation processes. It can help drive brand awareness and build an audience. It expands the pool of skill sets and gives products and services additional exposure. 

The term ‘crowdsourcing’ had been coined by Jeff Howe in an article about the practice. 

Here are some ways in which crowdsourcing can transform marketing, public relations and branding strategies. 

1) Discovering needs While designing a branding strategy, it might not be easy to understand what a brand needs until it is all mapped out. The initial step in crowdsourcing is to break down the basics of what a company needs in terms of branding. A crowdsourcing experience is always more successful with clearly defined goals. For instance, while starting a blog, it is important to think about its topics, content, and tone. To understand the audience’s interests and concerns it will be useful to revisit previous blog posts and scour through the comments. It will also be helpful to engage directly with the audience by starting a conversation around the content. 

2) Diversity of ideas – Crowdsourcing can also help to develop, implement, and refine diverse ideas. For instance,  an internal team can create a promotional video. If the video is turned over to crowdsourcing, there will be a choice of different scripts written by different individuals from different countries, backgrounds, and cultures. The diverse perspectives of these individuals will be invaluable. 

3) Getting feedback – The feedback received from crowdsourcing is a helpful way to test the market and even build brand loyalty from the beginning. 

As broker Eleonora Srugo has noted, “Popular YouTube reviewers , Instagram influencers, and websites specializing in product and service reviews and ranking are valuable sources of feedback.” 

For example, Angry Joe is A YouTube game reviewer with over a decade of experience. Each of his videos get around 200,000 views. Those who send him games can use his reviews and the reactions of his followers. This type of social listening can help trace flaws in design, product functionality, service quality, and ease of use. 

Quite a few companies have been using various forms of crowdsourcing for the betterment of their business. PepsiCo sometimes asks for input from consumers on different products. Their ‘Do us a flavor’ campaign in 2012 asked customers to share their favorite new potato chip flavor. The campaign resulted in an astonishing 14 million submissions. This clever crowdsourcing campaign was followed by an 8% increase in sales. Amazon’s Pilot Season is another example of crowdsourcing. It enables users to watch pilots for free while voting on which shows should be commissioned for a full season.

About the Author: Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR agency.