You know the old saying, “Two heads are better than one?” Now we’re dealing with “Millions of heads are better than one.” Crowdsourcing is a compound of the words “crowd” and “outsourcing” and is defined by Wikipedia as the act of taking tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor and outsourcing them to a group of people or community, through an open call to a large group. Jeff Howe coined the term in an 2006 article in wired magazine.
Crowdsourcing has involved the public in all kinds of decisions. Companies are starting to note the advantages of letting the public do creative work for you. It’s cheap to do, it’s basically free market research and it can promote your product to a ready made audience. Crowdsourcing is done in many different industries through all channels of social media. Some run contests on YouTube. Some poll their blog readers or Twitter followers. It’s all about keeping your community engaged and it can be among the smartest moves you make when building an online presence.
Crowdsourcing certainly has staying power in the B2C market, but what about the B2B space? Sam Decker, CMO at Bazaarvoice says that it will grow there as well. “It is becoming more and more popular, because it creates what I call customer oxygen. It’s about bringing the voice of the customer, in an operational way, into your company. Every company has to pay attention to what the customer is saying, and this is a part of the future in doing that.”