We have heard the term “in sourcing” and “outsourcing” but for the last few years the term crowdsourcing is in the news.
According to Wikipedia Crowd sourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to a large group of people or community (a crowd), through an open call
In simple terms when you know your in sourcing capabilities are not enough to get the desired outcome, Crowd Sourcing is the answer.
How the Crowd sourcing Works
A problem statement is broadcast along with associated incentives, and people with expertise apply their talent to solving the problem
The biggest advantage in the crowd sourcing model is availability of large pool of internally motivated global experts working towards a single objective of solving your problem.
A Canadian gold mining company, Goldcorp. had outsourced it talent by offering a 500,000 prize for whoever could find gold in their property. The company had released it’s private mining data which was always keep internal and allowed externals geologists to utilize to find gold. Rob McEwen , Chairman and CEO of Goldcorp had innovated in this industry and the company managed to re-coop more then $3 billion in gold.
The popularity of face book, orkut and wordpress are due to its application and themes. These are again developed by enthusiastic folks around the globe with decent web programming knowledge. They downloaded the SDK (Softeare Development Kit) develop the app and hosted it all for free.
After it gets uploaded, the importance of these applications is decided by other users. As more people add a particular application to their profile, its rating goes up. If the application is not interesting enough for the community, it gets automatically pushed down the stack. From the user’s perspective, they can choose and install applications of interest to them, thereby ‘personalizing’ their profile. This is the real power of crowdsourcing – consumers as creators
Wikipedia is another good example of Crowd Sourcing where the content is added and edited by a large group of experts in their respective fields.
Internet is playing a vital role in bridging the gap between the crowd and solution seeker. A website www2.innocentive.com brings the solution seeker and problem solver together. The seeker lists the problem and award on the website and solver from around the glode with related expertise tries to solve the problem.
Crowdsourcing in Indian Marketing Context:
Crowd sourcing in Indian marketing arena is just beginning with more and more organizations are acknowledging its importance.
In the field of marketing Crowd Sourcing can be the perfect tool for consumer engagement as well as gaining insights and product development
Take the example of Frito lay which crowd sourced started a contest for new flavor development with a reward of 50 lakh rupee and 1% of sale of that flavor
Another good example is Tata Do Co MO which has created a website http://create.tatadocomo.com/ where consumer can create their own animations and the best animation used for advertising the brand Tata Do Co Mo
In his recent work on ‘New age of Innovation’, renowned management thinker C.K.Prahalad calls this phenomenon as ‘N = 1 R = G’. In order to provide one unique user experience (N = 1) firms need to leverage resources (R) globally (G). It is mainly because every consumer has his unique preferences when using a product, which cannot be satisfied by the firm hiring more people
The potential for crowdsourcing is so huge that It can not be summarized in this post. The only challenge is to find right experts / communities / consumers who are willing to listen and motivated enough to solve your problem
So the next time you are out to develop / innovate some thing just ask yourself: Am I involving my customers in the process?’