Who is your target audience? What is your ideal customer’s demographic profile? Are you sourcing your customers so that you can stay up to date with what they want? Are you taking your leads from the crowd? With advancements in the internet and technology, markets worldwide have shifted. The internet has changed business and marketing methods rapidly. A new mode of communication is helping businesses today with their sales and marketing efforts by allowing them to connect with their customers more authentically. Crowdsourcing, in its online avatar, can prove to be one of the most effective online marketing tools. Crowdsourcing refers to the act of an institution or company outsourcing a function previously performed by employees, to an undefined (and usually large) network of people.
When it comes to online marketing, crowdsourcing can help businesses and companies identify the product as well as the market direction in this ever changing economy. Crowdsourcing, as one of the most effective online marketing tools, helps to increase dialogue, thus creating a buzz for making new converts and better brand management. In this article, we will take a close look at some of the major applications of crowdsourcing for sales and marketing purposes.
Online Marketing with Crowdsourcing: Applications
Here are some of the major applications of crowdsourcing as part of your sales and marketing efforts:
- Product Development: Product development forms a major part of any organization’s sales and marketing efforts. Firms can use crowdsourcing to obtain inputs, feedback and suggestions from experts as well as existing end users regarding their product development efforts. However, the major advantage of crowdsourcing as an efficient online marketing tool is that a vast number of end users can be consulted for better product development. Also, crowdsourcing online allows instant and direct interaction with consumers. Some firms, in fact, turn to crowdsourcing not only to get an idea but also to decide on the services or products which the firm will then offer to its customers.
- Advertising and Promotion: Through crowdsourcing, firms can easily hire crowdsourcers for menial and laborious promotional activities, for which they themselves don’t have the manpower or time. Firms can also crowdsource promotional activities to experts to help develop their advertising and marketing campaigns. Moreover, crowdsourcing also facilitates user generated advertising. For instance, cosmetics company L’Oreal turned to end users to develop an ad for a new eye shadow. A user named ‘spiceytuna’ came up with the winning advert at a cost of only $1,000, compared to the $164,200 the firm would have normally paid for such an advertisement.
- Marketing Research: As one of the most effective business development and online marketing tools, crowdsourcing shifts the focus from trying to sell services or products to consumers who might or might not be interested in them to identifying what consumers really want or need. It provides businesses with the opportunity to obtain information from a vast number of end users at relatively low costs and in a timely manner. This information can then be used for efficient marketing research and finally developing solutions that satisfy customer needs.
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