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Due to modernization, the world has become fast, complex and competitive for any company. Due to increased competition, the organizations have to focus on value proposition, value driven, and result oriented. Crowd sourcing is a new term which refers to the activity of outsourcing from crowd or a large poll of people or any community. Crowd sourcing (Crowd + Outsourcing) seems to be an innovative approach in the current scenario for a wide range of industries and people will be paid for their innovative work. Crowd sourcing is about taking forward step ‘where people contribute something to the system for people’. Crowd sourcing is very helpful tool in creating a good public relation about the services and products provided by the organization. Crowd sourcing generates from the collective information of consumers and represent the collaboration of brand identity and its consumers. Various organizations have taken this initiative because it’s cost effective, flexible, and fast.
It’s very important to maximize the rate of return for an organization. Crowd sourcing taps the collective information of online users and online communities to perform the business-related activities that an organization would either complete by itself or outsource it to third party. Crowd sourcing offers the opportunity to reduce the risk and maximize the opportunity of marketing communication and business offerings. This approach is used by various national, international organizations, and government bodies to engage their consumers though various online and offline initiatives. Crowd sourcing is the extreme form of collaboration. Collaboration has become very important for companies and various business practices. This paper gives the detail of potential of crowd sourcing, future of crowd sourcing and its use in various marketing-related activities.
Key Words: Crowdsourcing, outsourcing, public relation, competition, innovative
What is “Crowdsourcing”?
“Crowdsourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by an employee and outsourcing it to an undefined group of people on a project-by-project basis.”
As per an article in Wired Magazine et al. (June, 2006), the term ‘crowdsourcing’ was introduced by Jeff Howe and Mark Robinson. It defines the way of parcel out the work from mass for specialized talent, where company offers payment to anyone who produces enough content to support an array of project that the firm has set. The advantage of using crowdsourcing as strategy for an organization is that company can tap the latent talent of crowd who has specialized skills about current products and able to compete the project with in a short span of time at a lot less cost than traditional employees.
As per a article in Crowdsourcing.com by Jeff Howe et al. (2006), It defines the act of a company or institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call. Crowdsourcing has a different structure than common-based peer production. Crowdsourcing takes place any time a company makes a choice to employ the crowd to perform labor that could alternatively be performed by an assigned group of employees or contractors.
Crowdsourcing is a form of outsourcing a task from a large undefined group or community. As compare to performing this task with in organization, the activity is performed by outsiders. Technology advancement in terms of product design, digital photos, and video clips are decreasing the cost barrier that once separated amateurs from professionals. Various part-time workers, dabblers, and hobbyists have taken market from professionals. Sometimes a single activity can be performed by different users, then it will be evaluated in terms of quality of work and each user will be getting paid for these services from the organization. In today’s world, information generation is having access to various sources, they have produced and exchanged in the society which have critical affect on the state of world. Information, technology, and cultural are playing a vital role in human freedom and human development.
The change which has brought by crowdsourcing in the arena of marketing is due to network and environment. Various organizations are working on crowdsourcing by putting tasks on virtual media. However, the most effective way of accessing the community may be through virtual media which work as markets for customers to interacts with the people (Tapscott and Williams (2006) refer to these virtual sites as ‘ideagoras’ or marketplaces of ideas). Crowdsourcing a perfect meritocracy, where age, gender, race, education, and job history no longer matter; the quality of work is all that counts; and every field is open to people of every imaginable background. Jeff Howe explored the positive and negative consequences of the crowdsourcing phenomenon. Some websites have there own specialized group of crowd in form of an online community such as iStockphoto, ShutterStock, and Dreamstime.
The first crowdsourcing task that had introduced the concept was related to computer programming. These computer programming tasks may have included writing the software code of debugging a certain program. Crowdsourcing can be applied to a wide range of tasks including the marketing application and marketing related activities.
Harnessing the Crowd – what it meant for innovation
Companies that can afford to look for creative ideas outside their organization from a potentially infinite pool of intelligence and innovators. On a broad perspective, there are different ways of using crowdsourcing as a part of business strategy for an organization. As per an article written by Hinchcliffe et al. (published in Zdnet.com, 2010), Crowdsourcing has two main different business models which have given below:
- Selecting a winning result
- Collaborative model