How Crowdsourcing is Changing Business
By Space Coast Daily // July 19, 2019
The power of crowds is proving a valuable resource for businesses of all kinds. The development of crowdsourcing has been driven forward like never before due to new technologies.
Mobile technology is proving a valuable disruption to established and traditional power bases. This is occurring at all levels, from politics to corporations, media output, and the financial sector.
Crowdsourcing is a very visible process that can be seen in popular political leaders making greater use of social media, or in programs like Airbnb’s Open Homes that helps displaced people after natural disasters. The empowerment of the individual via an organized crowd is decentralizing vital control, and businesses are recognizing its value.
Crowdsourcing is changing industries fast. It is now easier than ever for a brand to access areas of knowledge, valuable experience, and the resources of the crowd. Businesses have been able to leverage crowds so that they can secure vital funding, provide more useful services, and navigate the minefield of popular culture.
As technology continues to make access to the crowd even easier, innovation and problem solving are becoming accelerated. Fears of technology replacing humans couldn’t be more wrong when it comes to crowdsourcing. Instead, technology is empowering people more than ever before.
This is the most well-known version of crowdsourcing. For entrepreneurs, it has been vital. Rather than needing to find a single investor who is willing to provide financial support to a business idea, entrepreneurs are now able to build a business or product using more investors, investing minimal amounts.
That reduction in risk makes investors far more likely to back a new venture or idea. Rather than chasing down and wooing one angel investor, the modern entrepreneur can create a campaign that secures the same level of necessary funding via a much larger and targeted group.
There have been a variety of disruptive challenger brands that have come to the forefront of their sector via crowdfunding.
Crowdsourcing – The new must-have
The larger an organization is, the slower it becomes. That can be a huge issue in the digital economy, where speed is one of the most critical elements of the modern business world.
Innovation is essential, and crowdsourcing allows you to create an accelerated innovation process that is faster and more efficient than traditional growth strategies. Crowdsourcing manages this by providing access to some core requirements of the modern business arena, including:
- Expertise: Hiring an expert consultant can be costly. Now, rather than pay for high-priced expertise, you can gain valuable access to a vast reservoir of consulting brain power. This can be done on tasks as large or small as you like, although the costs will vary, as will the effectiveness of the platform. GLG Research is a good resource for those looking to cut down on their consultation costs and gain access to experts of all kinds.
- Microtasking Labor: In the gig economy, everyone is looking for a side hustle or a more convenient workload. Businesses are recognizing that need, and are leveraging micro tasks so that a dedicated labor pool can perform them. From translations, competitor research, or merely gauging responses to new products, crowdsourcing those that can hyper-focus on these microtasks can cut costs, speed up processes, and go global. With digital nomads able to work from anywhere in the world, crowdsourcing is proving valuable to employers and employees alike.
- Idea Generation: There is no end to the input generation potentials of crowdsourcing. Used in the right way, crowdsourcing provides you with access to a fully global suggestions box. That means that you will have access to fresh ideas and approaches for a wide range of areas, including:
- Product improvements
- Improving services
- Gauging the popularity of new strategic thinking
If performed in the right way, your crowdsourcing could be the key to huge financial rewards. There are companies and platforms that allow you to target key demographics with your crowdsourcing, but some brands are keen to establish their own channels. Even the US Navy has used an online wargame program called MMOWGLI in order to find solutions to emerging challenges such as the future of energy use.
- Opinion Seeking: Of course, idea generation and the seeking of opinions are closely linked, and clearly aided by the use of crowdsourcing. However, an often understated source of crowdsourcing value is internal. Crowdsourcing is usually performed externally of the business environment, but it can also be used for making in-house improvements as well. Employee perks are a valuable part of today’s work culture. Establishing which perks your employees find the most valuable, or even the perks that potential hires might be looking for, internal crowdsourcing can help you to determine the perks to include in an employment package. It could be that you identify the need for more flexible working. Alternatively, your crowdsourced data could reveal a need to invest more heavily in their future, with time made available and funding provided for those promising team members that wish to undertake an MBA through the Suffolk University Online options.
- Customer Service: Companies are more reliant on the opinions of their customers than ever. Forward-thinking brands have recognized the value of letting power-consumers dictate their own customer journey and service. They are doing this via user-created messaging boards or through social media platforms and sites like Quora where consumers are able (and willing) to become a vital component of your customer service. This can have a major impact on the speed of your customer service, as well as its quality and value.
- Recruitment: As well as using crowdsourcing internally to determine employee benefits, you can also adopt its use in the recruitment stage. This is very visible in events like tech-brand hackathons. These allow potential hires to prove their worth, and it can be a rich stream of talented potential team members. Not only will recruitment strategies like this be more cost-effective, but they will also attract the talent that has an interest in your brand, and that in itself is becoming ever more important.
With so much potential for exploration and growth, crowdsourcing is becoming one of the most valuable new additions to the business owner’s toolbox. As technology continues to become smarter, smaller, faster, and more penetrating, crowdsourcing is only going to grow more prolific. Failure to adopt crowdsourcing now could leave your brand falling behind.
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