Technology has brought crowdsourcing to a brand new level, and today the term itself indicates much more than gathering ideas or funds from an ill-defined group of Internet users.
There are 3 main drivers that are establishing the use of on-demand Crowds as an efficient way of streamlining and optimizing operations for both large and smaller brands:
1) The possibility for anyone to share live information from any location through the use of mobile technology;
2) The use of data science, which facilitates immediate recognition of the right individuals for the right tasks;
3) The sense of belonging to the same “community” that social media have gradually cultivated in us all.
Dividing existing processes (jobs) into relatively simple tasks for a Crowd to execute has proven to be effective for some years now. Big FMCG manufacturers have been among the first ones to embrace crowdsourcing as the new way of doing effective field marketing, recognizing the benefits of delegating widespread, high-volume, and repeatable activities to communities of grocery shoppers. For the past several years, Crowd members have regularly been asked to report on the availability and visibility of products directly from the shop floor, allowing companies to make timely and effective data-driven decisions.
Nowadays, thanks to better profiling options and advanced skill training, the Crowd is capable of executing even more complex tasks within the retail industry, acting on behalf of specific brands to refill out-of-stock products, introduce new listings, or place promotional materials, all on-demand.
But it isn’t just big manufacturers operating in large markets that benefit from Crowdsourcing: this model works perfectly for players of all sizes across a wide range of industries Here are the top 4 reasons to jump on the crowdsourcing bandwagon:
1. Maximized agility
Rapidly adapting to markets of varying size, purchasing behaviors, and distribution capabilities is the challenge for both big and small brands. Where the operations of big manufacturers are usually slowed down by complex and often fixed internal procedures, the use of on-demand mobile workforces provides immediate, optimized solutions right where they are needed. At the same time, using a Crowd allows smaller brands to easily extend their footprint on demand and to stretch their capabilities according to day-to-day needs by leveraging the power of a task-led approach.
2. Cost efficiency
The plug&play nature of crowdsourcing allows companies to dedicate their budgets to producing desired results rather than setting up operational processes to achieve these results. This means no strings attached: no fixed salaries, no traveling costs, and no resources invested in planning. By using an on-demand workforce that is right where they need it, companies can leverage the power of a Crowd that is ready to take action in multiple locations at any time, including unconventional working days or hours.
3. Faster actions and reactions
The access to real-time data is crucial for any company to make insightful decisions. The traditional approach of field-marketing agencies includes agents traveling to remote locations and delivering results at the end of their assignment. Mobile crowdsourcing on the other hand, allows clients to browse through results as they come in - complete with photos - directly from each store . This allows them not only to make fast and effective data-driven decisions but also to implement corrective actions right away, thus acquiring an advantage over those competitors who are still anchored to traditional procedures.
4. Better connection to shoppers
With millions of people owning a smartphone, mobile crowdsourcing is also a very powerful way to establish a better connection with end consumers. Crowd members are distinguished by their skills and expertise, but they are also consumers who can provide valuable insights and feedback as to how products are perceived in-store.
In addition, at Roamler we discovered that, very often, one of the main drivers for our community members is the pride of executing tasks for the brands they buy and participating in the brands’ efforts to deliver better service to customers. Nearly 80% of our Crowd members state that they somehow feel closer to the brands they check in-store and that they give much more attention to the brands they buy.