Running a small business apparently, keeps you busier than you could have imagined. In today’s world, organizations use many platforms to reduce costs, increase creativity and leverage outside ideas. From designing logos to creating blog content along with getting involved in the community effort, there are actually endless ideas to be generated and big decisions to make. The speed and scale of digital disruption is placing large and small businesses under unprecedented pressure to transform the way they operate and anticipate new challenges as well as opportunities that massive technological change brings. How can you find the time to come up with ideas and opinions that will both work for your small businesses as well bring in new customers? Crowdsourcing might be your answer!
As you can see this word is a combination of two words ‘crowd’ and ‘outsourcing.’ This defines the primary aim of this, as it to work and outsource it to the workers. Companies from global enterprises to small firms have learned that tapping into the creativity of the masses can be an efficient way to get fresh content. These firms can ask crowds to find solutions to specific problems and figure out what kind of challenges that can be solved within certain contexts. Sourcing ideas and content for advertisements from the public have become a tool that brings varied skills, backgrounds, along with perspectives to address a company’s needs in entirely new and fresh ways. Many local service providers help to gather a crowd, thanks to social media platforms. As with all things, now here are the advantages and disadvantages of crowdsourcing;
- This is an efficient way of getting relevant information and ideas for your business at reasonable cost
- It enables cheap labor results less credible product as compared to professionals
- It has become very popular for both governments and businesses to gather data and opinions
- It’s a great way to engage people
- No compensation to any of the participants
- It can hurt small businesses
- It lacks quality control. It tends to be of low quality
- Crowdsourcers tend to be from low-income economies. Some believe that their willingness to work for such low rates is being capitalized upon unfairly
Various Platforms for Crowdsourcing
There are a growing number of platforms on the market and depending on your product different ones may work better than others. The platforms have distinct business models to support crowd members to play a part in development responsibilities and submit their solutions. Here are the top platforms of crowdsourcing and they include;
TopCoder is a good example of an ideal platform on which firms can deliver their software developing tasks and crowd members. Several companies around the globe have used TopCoder to build up new Web interfaces that work with legacy systems. This platform assesses the project and proposes a solution to reduce its complexity.
(ii) Open Source Platform
This category of the platform provides an open feature for users to find, create, download as well as publish open source software for free. Substantially, open source platform provides broad support for communication and cooperation by providing various communication mechanisms.
(iii) Collaborative Testing Platform
This platform provides services for enterprises that support different testing types. With the collaborative testing platform, any crowd member can register as a tester and testers are rewarded according to their evaluation. It’s evident that the platform assigns a project manager to help out the enterprise coordinate the whole testing progress.
(iv) Enterprise Collaboration Platform
This type of platform provides comprehensive as well as extensible support for each feature of collaborative software development. This platform offers full life-cycle tools and process support by incorporating information and responsibilities across different phases.
(v) Trends in Collaborative Platforms
This platform combines many facilities for communication by incorporating version control system and issue trackers to assist crowd members collaboratively work on an individual task and even whole projects.
Having discussed and analyzed this marketing phenomenon, we can conclude that this aspect is mainly attributed to its appeal to the consumer’s intrinsic values and growing environmental trends. Nowadays, crowdsourcing is often associated with start-ups and entrepreneurs who value the input of their small networks. Therefore, this tool is advantageous simply because it increases brand loyalty and awareness as it can leverage consumer’s creativity to market their products.