Move over, costly in-person interviews or focus groups – crowdsourcing is here. Companies such as Starbucks, Samsung, McDonalds, and Lego have all seen the positive impact of crowdsourcing with increased customer engagement, faster problem solving, and a greater diversity of ideas. Crowdsourcing is a great way to make use of the collective brainpower and insights consumers have.
But much like other processes over the last couple of decades, crowdsourcing has been fast-tracked and automated through the use of technology. In this blog, we dive into the benefits of this way of gathering consumer insights, what happens when it’s not planned well, and why it’s important you ask real consumers what they think.
Benefits of crowdsourcing consumer insights vs traditional research methods
Traditional research methods for gathering consumer insights have some obvious limitations. For starters, it can be quite the undertaking to find the right people to interview when you’re reaching out to them through social media and online ads. It’s a bit of a stab in the dark, because even though you may be able to filter your consumers on some demographic and sociographic elements, do you really know who you’ve got in front of you (behind the PC/mobile)?
Enter the era of the internet and smartphones. Crowdsourcing platforms now use web applications to build and connect to their community of testers. Our research suggests that consumers spend an average of 4 hours and 30 minutes a day on our phones. All of a sudden, a huge amount of information about a diverse group of people is at your fingertips, and you can get to them quickly and non-intrusively through their smartphones, via an app.
Crowdsourcing consumer insights allows you to have low-cost access to a diverse group of people, geographically and demographically selected based on your requirements, from whom you can collect information and insights in a systematic way and a short time frame. Crowdsourcing sets itself apart from traditional consumer insight research methods because of its vast reach, low cost, and the variety of uses you can put it to: quick surveys, digital tests, mystery shopping, information collection, you name it.
Research has also found that some crowdsourcing platforms offer a more diverse sampling pool of participants than some more traditional settings such as college campuses or shopping malls, which shows that crowdsourcing samples may be a better representation of a diverse group of consumers. Crowdsourcing, combined with smart technologies, can be used to collect data on consumers, generate ideas either with or without their direct help, and analyze large amounts of information.
Why real consumer insights matter
Companies across the board have shown that crowdsourcing works for some, but not for all. So what makes a good crowdsourcing campaign? It starts with your audience. If you’re a large enterprise, you may have a big-enough audience to run a crowdsourcing campaign inhouse. If you’re a small to medium-sized business, you may not have the number of customers to get the best insights yourself. You can use a crowdsourcing platform to take care of the data and insight collection for you.
It’s important your data and insights are coming from real customers. You’d want to ask your current and prospective customers for their valuable feedback, important insights, and possible improvement of your product or service. Some crowdsourcing platforms use randomized data from participants worldwide, while others such as Muhimma use our community of real consumers to gather insights. The benefits of using a platform with an existing and highly engaged community of real consumers shows in the quality of the data that is collected.
What makes a good crowdsourcing platform
Crowdsourcing platforms around the world have failed by the dozens because of three main issues
- not providing enough incentives for participants to share their insights
- gathering people’s information without their consent, and
- using random participants from around the world for research that has specific demographic and geographic requirements.
Attracting local consumerbase, engaging them with their permission, and interacting with them in the local language ensures quality input. Short surveys keep respondents’ attention and increase the accuracy of their answers. Validated consumer personas and demographic, psychographic, and behavioral insights are of value to a brand.
A good crowdsourcing platform has a few key elements:
It’s simple and interactive
A great crowdsourcing platform interacts with participants in a streamlined and simple way and creates a collaborative platform with easily analyzed data. Data collection and consumer insights is not a one-way street. Platforms that offer consumer insights through a combination of surveys and, for instance, mystery shopping will help you in your market research to better understand consumer behaviors.
“Good platforms understand the importance of network effects – wherein the more participants interact on a platform, the more value they generate for all.” – Harvard Business Review
It’s made up of real consumers
If you could choose between engaging a platform built on a community of real consumers versus a crowdsourcing company that randomly invites people to fill in surveys, which one would you choose for your business? Crowdsourcing platforms that follow a community model and foster that connection with their testers are likely to have greater engagement, which results in better insights for your company.
It embraces smart technology
A mobile-first approach when crowdsourcing is one of the most convenient and non-invasive ways to reach out to people for feedback. Anyone willing to provide valuable feedback to brands and companies can sign up to a crowdsourcing app and join a program such as Muhimma’s BusyBee’s to get rewards for their time and effort. They decide when to open the app and participate, which means they won’t get bogged down by marketing.
Good crowdsourcing apps use advanced technology to segment consumers based on more than just demographic attributes. It allows brands to microsegment their testers based on psychographic and demographic attributes, which means they can find just the right people to provide them with feedback and insights.
It offers good incentives to community
Most people who sign up for a crowdsourcing platform as a community member are there to get paid for their valuable feedback and insights. But in order to create a network of highly engaged participants who provide the most valuable type of feedback, you need to offer more than money. Great crowdsourcing platforms offer their network of consumers learning and development opportunities to enhance their skills and encourage them to grow. This in turn fosters a community culture that drives better consumer insights for companies.
Wrapping it up
Chances are your company will at some point turn to crowdsourcing to gather insights on your consumers. Whether you run a crowdsourcing project in-house or outsource it, if you want quality consumer insights, it’s key to focus on real consumers.
Are you ready to base your business decisions on first-hand insights from real consumers across KSA and UAE? Try Muhimma out for free today.