Done right, crowdsourcing can deliver valuable insights about your customers and how they perceive your business. You can use it to tap into the wisdom of the masses and identify opportunities for improvement.
But, how do you define crowdsourcing exactly?
As its name suggests, crowdsourcing means “outsourcing to the crowds.” It leverages their knowledge and expertise to achieve business goals. It is also referred to as network intelligence, micro-tasking, mass collaboration, open innovation, or collective wisdom. Ideas crowdsourcing, in particular, is when an individual or organization reaches out to a large network of people to develop, refine, and implement ideas.
According to Crowdsourcing.org, “In a world of widely distributed knowledge, where the boundaries between a firm and its environment have become more permeable, companies cannot afford to rely entirely on their own research and ideas to maintain a competitive advantage.” The ideas can relate to any topic, including product development, process improvement, cost savings ideas, inventions, business maturation, citizen engagement, city planning, and so on.
Crowdsourcing-related projects can also target both internal and external participants via surveys, promotions, contests, and various other methods. Ultimately, crowdsourced input can serve as a key component in open and internal innovation.
Watch the video below and hear Rob Wilmot touch on essential points of crowdsourcing. The video guides you through bringing in more people to create a tight-knit community of crowdsourced ideas.
Crowdsourcing Ideas for Businesses
As the crowdsourcing business grows in popularity, people have been finding increasingly creative ways to use it. Here are some crowdsourcing tips that can help you set you up for success:
- Be specific—The early stages of your crowdsourcing project are crucial. The experience will only be productive if you clearly define your goals and communicate those details clearly and effectively with the crowd.
- Engage frequently—Checking in on the progress of your crowdsourcing project regularly will keep the crowd on the right path. Having an active presence in the process will allow you to monitor the growth of your campaign and increase the likelihood of generating stronger results, especially since you’ll be providing feedback and direction along the way.
- Open yourself up to new ideas—One of the major advantages of using crowdsourcing sites is that no matter what you’re looking for, you’ll see a high volume of ideas come through. However, sometimes finding the best idea among the crowd requires some deliberation. If you have a handful of ideas you like, reflect on them and make a decision from there.
How do You Crowdsource with IdeaScale?
IdeaScale is a crowdsourcing innovation platform that has distinguished itself in the area of open innovation. This means of all the activities that are possible within the field of crowdsourcing, IdeaScale focuses primarily on the collection, organization, and implementation of great ideas.
It is not a platform that is focused on crowd creativity or crowdfunding, although both features are accessible from within the IdeaScale platform. Instead, IdeaScale has built out a comprehensive methodology that is entirely focused on crowdsourcing innovation ideas—gathering great ideas, building teams around them, refining those ideas into meaningful pitches, and selecting the best ideas to help build an effective organization.
So with the IdeaScale, organizations get much more than access to a good set of ideas – they become capable of transforming their business with the collaborative help of the crowd who will populate their innovation pipeline with ideas that will help propel their organization forward. Those businesses that collaborate with the crowd also benefit in numerous other ways, spanning employee or customer relations, improved brand sentiment, product development roadmap, and much more.