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May 20, 2013

Consider these tips when incorporating crowdsourcing into marketing

Technology lets professionals do their job wherever they happen to be, to do more with less and to use mass talent to build great campaigns. Crowdsourcing, utilizing talent from customers, gives marketers access to a variety of ideas that may otherwise go unheard.

Done right, crowdsourcing can be a powerful tool that will bring a uniques perspective. For those who want to carry out crowdsourcing, consider these important rules.

Be Clearcrowdsourcing
Be specific about what you're asking your customers are asked to do. Write a super-tight brief. Be super-clear about what you want. That doesn't just mean clear writing. It's important to keep things simple. A brief that asks consumers to mention too many features will often result in work that can look like a PowerPoint presentation. Set clear guidelines to help avoid a disastrous situation in which consumers are trashing a brand.

Offer Good Incentives
When it comes to crowdsourcing, nothing works better than cash. If you want high production value, offer a good return. Don't offer a trip as a prize since consumers may not be able to take it. The number for prize money that seems to attract great ideas is $5,000. Any less than that and you won't get quality submissions. Also consider second prizes. A decent second- and third- place prize is be worth the money because it convinces serious candidates to give it their best shot.

Don't Overwhelm
Tap the online community as a source of ideas, but it didn't go so far as to ask them to create final campaigns. It is less about getting consumers to do the brand's marketing and more about participating in it. It's an important distinction.

Prepare to be Overwhelmed
The difficulty in crowdsourcing a campaign often is not getting the ideas, but keeping track of them all. Consider software programs such as Crowdspring and PopTent to execute campaigns. Make it easy to track, rate, and archive many ideas.

Crowdsourcing Doesn't Mean Amateur
Rate the freelance employees and hold them to a high standard. Professional is a term that has been sorely tested in recent years, thanks to crowdsourcing. There are industries, like medicine and engineering, where it would be unthinkable to have a stranger come in off the street and do the job a professional of 20 years would obviously do better. But advertising is not one of them. User the crowd well and they may be the best marketing source.

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