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How to Crowdsource Your Marketing

10.07.2014
Loozrboy https://www.flickr.com/photos/loozrboy/5140667637 (CC)

In today's world of social media, marketing is no longer a one-way monologue. Several organisations have run successful marketing campaigns that follow the crowdsourcing model. These campaigns have the advantage of making consumers feel involved and engaged. This is valuable in an era when the public is becoming desensitized to the many marketing messages they face every day.

Let's take a look at a few companies that have successfully used crowdsourcing for marketing.

Lego Ideas

Lego Ideas, which was originally known as Lego Cuusoo, invites Lego fans from around the world to share ideas for new Lego products. Any idea that wins the support of 10,000 site members will be considered for production, and the person who suggested it will get 1 percent of the royalties.

Not only has the Lego Ideas program led to the creation of six user-suggested sets in two years, but it has also generated excitement among Lego's fans. Regular users of the Lego Ideas community get a sneak peak at potential new sets. The fans get more excited for the new products because they had a hand in their production.

By tapping into this community of committed fans, Lego is able to deliver products consumers really want. The process keeps Lego fans engaged with the brand, and it encourages them to bring friends and family onto the site to support their ideas.

Nissan

Another company that successfully used crowdsourcing to drum up attention for an upcoming product is Nissan, which asked Twitter users to suggest ideas for the types of technology available in the new Juke Nismo car. Ten winners of the contest got to work with Formula 1 superstar Johnny Herbert to steer the process of designing and building the car.

By including a celebrity in this campaign, Nissan was able to generate a lot of excitement around the contest, and, by extension, their brand. The campaign generated more than 10 million social media interactions between Nissan and interested users.

How to Succeed with Crowdsourced Marketing

Crowdsourcing can be an extremely useful marketing tool, but there are a few conditions necessary in achieving success. First of all, set the bar low for entry. Make it easy for people to get involved by submitting a simple idea.

Second, including some kind of incentive can work well. Whether you are offering a cash prize, a share of the profits, or a once-in-a-lifetime experience, be clear about the rewards that one lucky winner (or winners) could hope to achieve.

Third, encourage participants to generate interest around the campaign. For example, recommend that they ask their friends and family to vote for their ideas. This kind of viral marketing can generate a huge buzz on social media.

Finally, you must follow through with the promised rewards. Participants in crowdsourced marketing campaigns can get very disgruntled if no product or ad is actually produced from the suggestions that are gathered. Before you go live with a crowdsourcing campaign, make sure you are ready to wade through the responses and put at least one of them into action.