Crowdsourcing is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people rather than from traditional employees or suppliers. Essentially, it is the process of obtaining information or ideas from as many people as possible whom are not associated with your business. By obtaining information from as many people as possible, you are increasing the likelihood of innovation for your business, and innovation is something all business owners strive for.
Most businesses understand the importance of crowdsourcing, and as a result, are implementing it into their business plans. According to a 2014 study done by the company Eyeka, in the past 10 years, 85% of the top global brands have used crowdsourcing efforts within their company. As you can see, crowdsourcing is gaining notoriety in the business world. There are many different crowdsourcing trends that have taken place over the past several years, but there are three in particular that I believe are shaping the future of innovation more than the others. In this article, I will be discussing those three trends, and why I believe they are shaping the future of innovation.
Decentralization is the process of assigning important tasks and responsibilities to lower or mid-level management as opposed to all of the important decisions being made from the top down. The reason why this trend has become so popular is because it allows upper management to focus on other tasks that may be more important. This crowdsourcing trend has the potential to shape the future of innovation because it allows power to be spread out within a company as opposed to one person holding all of the power. The more people who hold positions of power and authority, the more chance of innovation occurring. For example, if a company has ten people who all have the power to make important decisions, the likelihood of innovation occurring within that company is ten times greater than if there was only one person who had the authority to make decisions. Many companies have brought in outside help and implemented decentralization for this exact reason.
User Generated Content Campaigns
A user-generated content campaign allows your audience to get involved with your brand, increases your brand awareness, and also provides you with new and innovative content. For example, you can run a campaign that rewards anyone who comes up with a new slogan for your brand. Since there is an incentive for consumers to engage, you will most likely receive many submissions and many different ideas and opinions. This inevitably will provide more opportunities for innovation, and will also increase your customer engagement and brand awareness. This crowdsourcing trend is shaping the future of innovation because it allows consumers to have a say in the decisions that brands ultimately make.
It is important to understand what your customers want so that you can effectively sell to them, and there is no better way to find out this information than by asking them directly. Many big brands have already implemented user generated content campaigns, it’s highly encouraged that you do the same.
Micro tasks are small tasks that require human interaction, and are usually apart of a larger project. For example, identifying street signs in order to help self driving cars would be considered a micro task. This crowdsourcing trend is shaping the future of innovation because it allows work to get done faster, and it compiles data more efficiently. By allowing many different people to work on small parts of a larger project, you are increasing the time in which it takes to complete the task, as well as increasing the chances that the task gets done efficiently. Micro tasking is typically used by museums, data scientists, and AI researchers for this exact reason. Those jobs require fast and accurate information, and micro tasking helps them meet that goal.
In summary, crowdsourcing is becoming more and more popular in the business world, and many businesses are starting to use it in order to increase their overall efficiency. There is no doubt that crowdsourcing trends are shaping the future of innovation, and the three mentioned in this article are the ones that are impacting it the most.
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