I would probably classify myself as a stage five clinger when it comes to the Internet – I am addicted to it.
Because of this addiction I hate when Optus decides to have their “maintenance days” without a pre-warning as I often find myself quite bored and with nothing to do – anyone else with me? But this unhealthy obsession has actually taught me a lot about companies that utilise the world wide web and what they are able to do with it. One of the things I have noticed is the shift in control from companies to consumers. Companies use to hold the power but because of web 2.0 that power has now been shifted into the hands of consumers.
Digital marketing use to be a one-way conversation, where consumers did not take an active role in their favourite brand’s marketing, but it has since been revolutionised by the services web 2.0 provides. Sharma, Soe & Balasubramaniam say that “web 2.0 functionalities have allowed businesses to implement crowdsourcing for activities that would be better performed by a crowd than any specific pool of knowledge workers”. Consumers are the ultimate stakeholder a company needs to please, so who else better to ask for opinions than them. Companies have been taking advantage of online networks to involve consumers in their company’s marketing decisions – this is called crowdsourcing.
Many companies have used crowdsource marketing for a one-off marketing campaign, but some have also used it as an ongoing feature to their marketing strategy. One company that successfully uses it on an ongoing basis is Lego. Lego has a feature called Lego Ideas that allows customers to share their ideas that could then be turned into an actual product for Lego if it gathers enough support from fellow customers. If the innovation ends up being produced, the creator is rewarded with 1% in royalties from sales of their creation. The concept of Lego Ideas allows Lego to leverage crowdsourcing to their advantage by enabling their customers to design new products for them and test the demand at the same time.
Another successful example of crowdsource being used is Nissan’s campaign for their Juke Nismo car. Nissan allowed consumers to customise and name their one-off version of the car through their social media channels. Users were able to tweet and post suggestions for the types of technology that Nissan should include with the new car. They also used a celebrity and created a contest to incentivise users to participate in the campaign. The campaign was deemed a success as they were able to generate a lot of buzz around their brand with more than 10 million social media interactions between the Nissan and its users.
From these two companies success, WeThinq has dubbed these four steps are a necessity for succeeding in crowdsource marketing:
- Set the bar low and make it easy for people to get involved by submitting a simple idea
- Include some kind of incentive such as a cash prizes, share of profits or a once-in-a-lifetime experience
- Encourage participants to generate interest around the campaign through voting or sharing on social media platforms
- Follow through with the promised rewards as participants like to see the finished product with their suggestions
Let me know what your opinions are of crowdsource marketing. Are there any other companies that you know of that have used this in their marketing strategies? What do you think of Lego and Nissan’s use of it?
For the last time,