Whether you are a small business or a large enterprise, understanding the importance of an online community feedback is of the essence if you are considering open innovation approach. Companies such as Kraft, P&G, General Mills, Walmart and Lego have a long history of using crowdsourcing to improve their products and services and engage with online community.
Crowdsourcing is a technological tool that is connected to your website and is a part of your innovation management platform. Utilizing crowdsourcing can help you to not only collect insights, ideas and feedback but also efficiently manage and analyze gathered data and work systematically with it.
The power of crowdsourcing lies in its ability to harness creative ideas of people all around the world and solve both large and small problems. It allows you to connect individuals, stakeholders and organizations and get them actively involved in ideation for discovering mutually beneficial solutions, by simply submitting their ideas. Collected data of fresh insights and ideas are stored in your database and can be used to generate new value as well as a great source of knowledge.
With the ease of access, crowdsourcing is a practical solution for open innovation approach whether you want to engage your community around a specific topic or you want to set a challenge to the public and ask for their opinions, insights and suggestions.
Innovation management platforms that support crowdsourcing as an open innovation approach will bring these benefits to your organization:
Crowdsourcing can help you reduce cost for R&D and save valuable time by creating an on-going, open conversation with your community in order to make your products and services better. Crowdsourcing is an efficient method for improvement in the development process because it allows you to create connections between internal and external innovators. As the innovation becomes more complex, company such as Kraft, constantly searches for a win-win alliances and partnerships with solution providers to create mutual value.
Crowdsourcing might be that link that can save your precious resource: your time. Opening up the challenges to your online community can save you months of trying to find best solution for your problem. With customers feedback you can easily fast track your new or improved products and services to the market. General Mills is one large corporation that openly seeks for ideas that will bring new products to market quickly.
Meet customers’ demands
No matter what initiative you want to start and the audience you want to target, crowdsourcing is an excellent way to gather customers insights and opinions about your current offerings. You will be able to tap into real needs of your customers and other relevant information and ideas for your business. Companies such as P&G are constantly looking for solutions and innovations in packaging, design, marketing models, research methods, engineering, technology, etc. You can discover real opportunities to enhance customer experience by surfacing insights and soliciting feedback. With direct customer feedback via crowdsourcing, you will be able to optimize your offerings.
Discover new possibilities
With crowdsourcing, you will be able to identify new opportunities for product and service development by listening opinions, suggestions and feedbacks of your consumers. You will stay ahead of your competition by identifying new market trends and aligning your production accordingly. American multinational retail corporation Walmart, used crowdsourcing to “create the supply chain of the future” when faced with market shifts.
Engage around buzz
Beside its potential for improving development processes, crowdsourcing can also help you start new marketing activities especially if supported by social media sharing. Beauty of social media is that information travels fast. Use these technologies to spread digital word about your innovation initiative. You will see how fast you will get new ideas, feedback and information on your business and services and how fast you will engage with people and your potential customers. For example, when Lego used crowdsourcing to collect ideas from the online fans, submitted ideas received 10,000 likes from website visitors.
Platforms like Innovation Cloud will make it easier to create and manage your crowdsourcing campaigns and choose the best ideas from the crowd.