As a music junkie, a few weeks ago I attended the Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores Alabama (which every music lover should go to) and it really got me thinking about crowd surfing. Since I always have marketing on the brain, watching the surfers got me to thinking about crowdsourcing. Here at Team Dukky we’re encouraged to look for innovative ideas everywhere. As I watched the surfers get passed up and down the masses I was reminded of the power of “the crowd”. How can we harness that power to help in spreading our message? Crowdsourcing is the answer. But while jumping into a sweaty crowd of screaming fans is (as you may know) a righteous experience, crowdsourcing is actually more suited for the musician’s agent than it is for, say, the Black Keys themselves.
Crowdsourcing is a hot topic these days, especially in the marketing industry. It allows companies to harnesses the intellect and creativity of the masses, and it is this focus on the “crowd” instead of the individual that gives the term its name. True, it is a form of outsourcing, but not in the way we’ve come to define that term. Through crowdsourcing businesses present a problem to a large group of their engaged followers and/or customers and ask them to solve it. The benefits are two fold – the company gets the valuable insight of what their target audience wants (or in some cases, don’t want) and the customers get to feel like their voice is being heard. If their ideas and concerns are taken to heart, and they see their ideas implemented, they are then encouraged in their relationship and remain devoted fans. It’s a win-win situation.
The rise of the Internet has seen this tactic take a stage dive the likes of which has never been seen. People are gathering at the request of businesses or creating websites of their own and offering their services at prices most could never dream of. Wired Magazine ran an excellent article on the practice right about the time that crowdsourcing started getting noticed in 2006. Among the groups mentioned were amateur photographers offering professional grade photos for fractions of what the pros charge, and the rise of TV shows that featured fan created videos. However, the crowdsourcing practice that really caught my eye was the group InnoCentive, which provides a platform for major corporations to offer rewards to those who can solve their most complicated R & D problems. The starting amount for reward money is $10,000 and some eclipse the $100,000 mark. Bear in mind however, that these problems are incredibly complex. One of the people interviewed in the Wired article explained how it is often the people with no experience in the respective field, who have the best chance of solving the problem.
You might ask yourself what any of this has to do with social media or marketing, and the answer is much more than you might realize. Crowdsourcing, at its core, is the practice of utilizing the untapped resource of the crowd. Facebook is the largest crowd on the Internet these days (though Google+ is hoping to bring an end to that). At 600 million strong, it is still growing daily. Like Facebook, Dukky realizes that the ability of the everyday person to be a brand evangelist is exponentially greater than most businesses give them credit for. If the crowd can help solve the most complicated experiments in the fields of science, than surely they can also help with advertising.
The trick to making the world a better place is allowing the world to help. This holds true in the marketing world as well. Dukky’s unique marketing platform allows you to leverage your customers to reach new ones across a multitude of crowds – through email, Facebook, Twitter and 0ver 340 other social media networks – and track the outreach and its response in real time on the Analytics Dashboard. Harnessing the power of the crowd has never been easier.
So, we ask you, whose up for some crowdsourcing? Take the plunge today!This blog post was written by Brice Sanderford who has been helping the sales team at Dukky. He also got to go to Hangout Fest, which we are all still highly jealous of him for. You can find him on LinkedIn here.