Crowdsourcing is becoming increasingly popular in today’s business world. Defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, it is clear to see why a company would want to engage in the use. One of the main reasons why crowdsourcing is increasing in popularity throughout the business world is due to the positive influence that it has on innovation performance. Although there are pros and cons to using crowdsourcing for businesses, I would argue that the pros far outweigh the cons.
In this article, I will specifically be discussing three ways in which crowdsourcing can enhance your business’s innovative performance.
Tells You What Consumers Want
Anytime you are trying to make an important decision or come up with a new idea, the more opinions that you hear, the better chance you have of succeeding in your efforts. Crowdsourcing allows you to hear many different opinions and ideas. For example, if you are in the snack industry and are trying to come up with a new flavor for a potato chip, the more opinions you hear, the better chance you have of creating a flavor that will sell. This method is far more effective than just hiring someone to create a flavor for you. By using crowdsourcing, you are creating a flavor that already has positive feedback from your consumers. The key to staying in business is providing customers with things that they want, and there’s no better way of finding out this information than by simply asking them.
Additionally, there are many ways in which your customers can voice their opinions with you, but one of the easiest ways to obtain their opinions is through the use of surveys. However, when conducting surveys, you want to make sure that the information that you obtain is accurate. That is why you should implement APIs on your website before releasing any survey on your webpage. Implementing APIs will ensure that your results are accurate, will make it easier for consumers to give you the information that you are asking for, and is also an excellent way to innovate.
Engages Your Customers
Keeping your customers engaged with your business is extremely important, but often overlooked by many business owners. According to a Gallup poll, customers who are fully engaged with a business represent a 23 percent share of profitability, revenue, and relationship growth compared to the average customer. This means that making your customers feel like they are a part of your business is very important.
Crowdsourcing allows customers to feel this way by asking them for their opinion. Asking them for advice or their opinion, leads them to believe that they have some sort of say in the company. Developing trust with your customers will increase sales and will make it more likely for your customers to continue doing business with you in the future.
Provides Faster Information Than Traditional Methods
If you hire one specific person or organization to come up with an idea or a solution to your problem, it could take them a long time to find the right answer, and the solutions become limited. Crowdsourcing allows a business to come up with answers much faster than traditional methods, and it provides a wider variety of potential solutions. This is simply because there are more people working on it. If you have one person trying to help you come up with an idea or solution to your problem, the odds are that they are going to take longer to come up with an answer than if you had a group of people working on it. This can greatly impact your innovative performance because the faster you can fix a problem or come up with a new idea, the more efficient your company becomes.
In summary, crowdsourcing will not help solve all of your business’s innovation problems, but it can definitely help to improve on them. Crowdsourcing tells you exactly what consumers want, engages your customers, and provides your business with faster information, all of which aid in how you can enhance innovation performance overall. Crowdsourcing is becoming more and more popular in today’s society, and it looks like it’s here to stay.
This article is a guest post by Nick Rojas. Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer at Writerzone who lives in Los Angeles. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. He has contributed articles to Visual.ly, Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas