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DIGITAL MARKETING: Harnessing the wisdom of crowds

Crowdsourcing is a business model based on appealing to a community of experts in an open forum to achieve a set goal. It is an alternative to delegating the task to an employee or outsourcing to a specific third party, and if executed correctly, can be a powerful branding exercise. It also fits well with today's active online communities that are just a click away, and has potential money-saving implications of bypassing agencies.

This can also open a channel through which stakeholders and customers can contribute to a brand's development and encourage deeper engagement and loyalty towards a product or service.

Making financial sense of it all
Ideally crowdsourcing should create an open ideas economy driven by an incentive that encourages a free flow of contributions. After setting the financial incentive, businesses can submit their briefs online and appeal to a global audience for solutions. Whoever posts the best solution gets the reward or 'bounty'. The better the reward, the better the quality and quantity of contributions.