Is your business struggling to come up with a new idea or innovation to solve the latest industry challenge? If you’re not too proud to admit defeat and seek inspiration and ideas from elsewhere, you might find that crowdsourcing is a breakthrough concept that can help you to break new ground and potentially disrupt a market.
The concept of crowdsourcing dates back to 2005, when Wired magazine journalists, Mark Robinson and Jeff Howe, coined the phrase. Companies such as Qmarkets have since developed industry-leading crowdsourcing services for corporate clients that give firms a chance to engage and incentivize large groups of people – be it fellow professionals or customers – to tackle unique business challenges. The roots of crowdsourcing can be traced as far back as the early 18th century, when the British government sought help from members of the public to develop the best way to measure a ship’s longitudinal position. A cash sum was offered as an incentive.
Does your business suffer “blindness” to problems relating to your operations and its industry as a whole? If you can’t see the wood for the trees, here are three reasons why crowdsourcing innovation can help take your brand to the next level.
Get a fresh perspective
When you live and breathe a business 24/7, it’s all too easy to become all-consumed by the day-to-day “grind”. You might have your own vision for how a project should go, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best possible vision for your business. By crowdsourcing a business project among colleagues and even external contractors, it’s possible to get lots of minds and ideas around the table at once that often go unheard.
The saying that “two heads are better than one” has never been truer when it comes to crowdsourcing. It’s a chance to free your colleagues and other professionals from the shackles, giving them complete freedom to think as creatively as they want. In doing so, you’ll also maximize the number of options you have, rather than forging ahead with an idea just because it’s your only idea.
Retain a firm handle on your overheads
Crowdsourcing is rapidly growing in terms of popularity among business owners because it’s proven to be a cost-effective option for idea generation. In reality, the time it takes to sit colleagues down, brainstorm, validate ideas and put them into action is often hugely underestimated. By seeking external input from the “crowd” it can actually help to lower the overall cost of your innovation project, cutting the time it takes to reach your end goal(s) and only paying for the insight and ideas that you use.
Engage your customers and build trust
Another form of crowdsourcing for growing businesses is to utilize customer feedback. Businesses that are looking to build long-term, trusted relationships with consumers are increasingly inviting valued clients to get involved with the idea generation process, helping them to feel like they are making a difference. Ultimately, these people are the ones you’re targeting your products and services to. They should know the problems your target demographic is experiencing and the best way to solve them. Crowdsourced innovation shouldn’t be viewed as a one-way street though. Ensuring your customers are engaged and rewarded will help to ensure sound, worthwhile knowledge-sharing.