Crowd sourcing as a viable business model has existed for years. Lending Tree has done this for bank loans. Priceline has done it for discount travel.
However, you're a marketer and need to deploy marketing campaigns quickly, easily, and inexpensively with at least a somewhat reliable outcome.
Is it possible to use the crowd as easily, inexpensively and efficiently as the cloud for deploying marketing campaigns and tactics? The answer, according to a number of experts, is yes. Here are four ways these marketers are using the crowd successfully.
Dan Ripoll, CEO of content marketing platform ContentBLVD, says, "We're applying this approach to the Web marketing industry as a way to streamline the content marketing process. While there's more than one way to skin this cat, crowdsourcing provides marketers with access to more creative ideas for content and more opportunities to get it published."
Bidding and Scope Creep
According to Camile Moyes, co-founder and COO of crowdsourced CMO service ChiefMO, "Most industries are familiar with 'scope creep,' and the marketing agency world is no different. Nothing can kill an awesome client relationship faster than unrealistic expectations that turn into unexpected invoices and late deliverables."
Part of your vetting process when identifying prospective subject matter experts (SME) for your "crowd" should be timely and accurate bidding of cost and timing. With that confidence, you'll know that when you are lining up the best crowd for a particular client, scope creep is nearly non-existent.
Use Google Surveys
Jake Baadsgaard, CEO of PPC Management firm Disruptive Advertising, notes, "Google Consumer Surveys is a new tool that Google launched, allowing you to get specific crowdsourced feedback for a pretty low cost. I once ran a double question survey for about $125, which gave me some great insight on how to structure my company website."
Even though you can't get very detailed answers, a Google Consumer Survey can quickly help you understand what kind of offer drives people to the highest point of conversions when deploying your website, or even your next PPC campaign.
Separate the Wheat From the Chaff
However, "successful crowd sourcing efforts do have one major drawback, and that is the potential flood of information you get back," says Titus Sharp, CEO of Expert Market. "If you get thousands of responses, someone is going to have to sit down and go over them and separate wheat from the chaff."
It's always smart to take a step back and look at something holistically, and outsiders (meaning the crowd) can give an important glimpse into what you might be missing.
If you haven't used the crowd for any of your marketing campaigns yet, now is the time to give it a try. More and more parts of the world are coming online, and the crowd just keeps getting bigger, faster, and less expensive.