What was previously an almost exclusive business model for tech-types is now crossing over to brands and marketing departments across the map. It’s called crowd sourcing and the idea is pretty simple – generate great ideas and products from the collective group. The finer details differ based on projects and industries, but perhaps crowdsourcing is not entirely new to businesses.
Most of us are familiar with the famous “swoosh” Nike logo. Fewer of us know that the logo was a crowdsourced idea before the social web and mainstream crowdsourcing were even on the horizon. Nike launched a contest for participants to develop a logo. The winning prize was insignificant when you compare how much Nike benefited in return.
Fast forward. In more recent times there’s been MindSumo, reserved for U.S. Ivy-leaguers. MindSumo became a leading online destination where businesses invited students to help them in their problem solving efforts. The dangling carrot in this case is the opportunity for students to shine in front of desirable business, some of whom may find employment should they prove successful.
The idea of crowdsourcing has evolved, and perhaps for the best considering that the lesser digital model of cloud labor was more frowned upon by professionals and only sought after by lesser brands. The idea’s been pushed forward by PublicScroll, a UK-based online space where ideas can be submitted by anyone for brands to acquire.
It’s brilliant. Businesses benefit from reduced expenses in marketing and advertising research by sourcing possible ideas from PublicScroll; the benefit drips over into sales and PR depending on the caliber of the idea. Additionally, idea submitters now have a way to reach out to brands with their often great ideas without being thwarted by the intimidating glass wall that was impenetrable in yesteryears. It’s a win-win for brands, idea generators and for the middle man known as PublicScroll.
There’s one catch and that’s that all ideas have to be digitally attainable. This is where PublicScroll’s business model peeks through. PublicScroll connects the idea generator to the brand/brand marketer. If a brand likes the offered solution, they can purchase it off of PublicScroll, at which time PublicScroll develops a detailed solution to offer the purchaser.
Aside from the benefit in being able to use PublicScroll for your business needs, there’s also a bigger picture here that’s important to recognize – and that’s the idea of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing may have been a unique idea in the past, and innovative in the present, but it’s definitely the go to solution for the future. And we’re not that far off.
Consider your social media as a crowdsourced network, specifically when it comes to Pinterest and Facebook. While both are sources of inspiration and content curation, Facebook is directly used as a digital drawing board where users bounce ideas through their peer network.
Clearly, anyone can crowdsource – and clearly business should be engaging others, from customers, to collaborators, team members and more. What PublicScroll does is take it a step further. PublicScroll doesn’t just crowdsource, it connects. Their business model is based on connecting two parties that would be interested in each other, and they do so brilliantly by making the exchange as fluid and simple as possible.
In your business, always be willing to crowdsource ideas and always be considering what you can do to connect people with what they need.