Has your business considered leveraging crowdsourcing to reach its goals? There may be strength in numbers, but there are also common crowdsourcing challenges that can’t be overlooked. Let’s explore some of the most frequent issues and ways to overcome them.
What Is Crowdsourcing?
“In a sense, crowdsourcing is the distribution of problem solving. If a company needs funding for a project, marketing content for an upcoming campaign or even research for a new product, the crowd is a powerful resource capable of generating vast amounts of money, content and information.”
Challenge #1: Sourcing the Right Crowd
Is all feedback helpful for your business? Probably not. Author Neil Gaiman advises writers to be cautious when asking for feedback and seek it only from people who “like the kind of thing that it is.” In other words, asking someone who enjoys reading about the Civil War to review a book in the werewolf fantasy genre is a recipe for getting negative and useless feedback.
The same advice holds true for businesses that are looking for feedback on new products, features or designs. Engage those who are your prospective customer base, not those who would never even buy your product in the first place.
User-generated content is another great way to use the crowd to make a splash for your brand. However, participants should be cultivated with care. Creating a Facebook group is one smart way to begin amassing a following of users who will generate ideas, make helpful suggestions, and offer feedback and testimonials.
Challenge #2: Maintaining Quality
Crowdsourcing can also be approached in a much more formal way – if you are willing to pay for it. The use of an on-demand, scalable workforce is the most common form of paid crowdsourcing.
While it’s tempting to think that high-quality results naturally follow when you pay for services, this is far from the case. Most organizations that have hired freelancers can attest to the fact that there are plenty of flakes in the mix. It’s one of the most prevalent crowdsourcing challenges and can lead to a lot of wasted time and money.
Selecting independent contractors with a track record for delivering work on spec and on time is made simpler by partnering with a platform provider like OneSpace that prequalifies its workforce and stakes its reputation on providing quality talent.
Challenge #3: Keeping the Vision Clear
While crowdsourcing can bring many perspectives to the table, it can also dilute your brand. The tactics used to reach a specific goal may change in response to feedback from the crowd, but don’t let your organization get sidetracked with:
- Trying to make everyone happy and satisfying no one
- Chasing the latest shiny object in terms of social media or tech
- Being stuck in “analysis paralysis” and unable to reach a decision
- Ending up with a brand that is unrecognizable, inconsistent and ineffective
Instead of allowing crowdsourcing to drive strategy, make it a tool that helps you achieve clearly defined goals in alignment with the mission and vision of your company.
Challenge #4: Managing the Crowd
Buy-in from all levels of leadership is important for any crowdsourcing initiative. But when everyone is responsible, no one is accountable. Someone within your organization needs to take ownership of the process as part of their role. Depending on the purpose of the project, that might be someone with Digital Marketing, Online Merchandising, Social Media, R&D or HR in their title.
Having a comprehensive platform that brings together the right crowd and provides the tools for managing these resources is essential. OneSpace is an example of the type of end-to-end solution that covers everything from talent sourcing and work distribution to quality review and payment.
What are your current crowdsourcing challenges? OneSpace is ready to help you solve them. Contact our team for ideas.