Are you spinning your wheels trying to find information for marketing, pricing, product development, and other business decisions? Crowdsourcing puts the power of the internet into your hands to gain the ideas, content, and services you need to advance your business. You get many benefits from crowdsourcing, including access to creative freelancers, innovative problem-solving techniques, and customer engagement all while gaining intelligence without exhausting your budget.
Crowdsourcing may bring to mind sites like GoFundMe or Kickstarter, but raising money for a project on those sites is crowdfunding, which is a different concept. The ideas are similar, but crowdsourcing means you’re collecting ideas, opinions, content, or services rather than financial support. Those who crowdsource gather the info from a lot of people via tech-based methods like the internet, phone apps, or social media. The MiFlight app lets users enter info on security checkpoints and lines at airports to keep people updated on wait times. Traffic apps let people report slow-downs, accidents, and other issues. Quora is a website where you can ask questions and get answers from the community. Info from a wide group of people can make life easier and give you details you need quickly and easily.
How Crowdsourcing Helps Small Businesses
Crowdsourcing lets you connect directly to people. You can use it to gather market research that helps shape your product development. You might learn more about your target audience and the people who already use your product. That info can help you craft a marketing campaign to appeal to those people. If you need a small creative job done for your business, crowdsourcing can help you find a freelancer to handle the job. Crowdsourcing isn’t necessarily free. You’d pay the freelancer who does the work. But it’s a good way to find someone for a one-of-kind project. Many Canadian businesses have already put crowdsourcing to good use. Looking at those cases may spark ideas for ways you can use it in your business.
Cannabis Pricing Information
In preparation for the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada, the government needs information about pricing. The method of choice for the Cannabis Stats Hub is crowdsourcing. Anyone who wants to contribute information can enter details about the price, quantity, quality, and location of purchase. That information helps the different government bodies involved in the legalization set policies and regulations. It can also prove useful to small business owners who decide to enter the recreational cannabis sales market.
Accurate pricing is essential to your small business, no matter what you sell. You can apply the same concept to pricing your products or services. Say you’re thinking of opening a salon and spa. You might create a survey that lets consumers tell you what types of services they get and how much they pay for them. You can also ask things like how much they think is too much or what they would expect to pay. Competitive pricing lets you make a good profit without overpricing yourself out of the market.
Gathering info on communities and buildings is another way the Canadian government uses crowdsourcing. The pilot project from Statistics Canada asks people to share information on the buildings in their neighborhoods, including small businesses in commercial spaces. The goal is to gather statistics on the buildings and their attributes on a national level. Users can fill in missing information about specific buildings on the OpenStreetMap tool and also add markers to share info on small businesses that operate in those buildings.
How might this information help you? Knowing the demographics of a particular neighborhood helps you target your marketing approach. If you’re in the beginning stages of your business, you can use the information to help choose an ideal location where your business can thrive.
Clearly Canadian Rebirth
After the disappearance of the popular Clearly Canadian drink, investors have found a way to use a combination of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding to bring it back. By going online and gauging interest in the product, investors can get fans excited about it being back on the shelves. Hearing about the product makes Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers nostalgic for the drink of the 90s and helps grow a fan base before the product becomes readily available. Through a crowdfunding campaign, the new owners of the company can secure funding by preselling the drink. They get to keep control over the company rather than letting investors control and change the product. Interest is high in the drink, but production is still trying to catch up with the demand.
You don’t have to bring back a popular product from the 1990s to apply a similar idea to your business. Crowdsourcing helps you build a fan base around a new product and gain consumer insight that can help you shape that product. You can also work in a crowdfunding campaign if you need capital to get your product off the ground. Funding from the people who support your company’s mission gives you the money you need without giving up control to investors.
Crowdsourcing gives you important business intelligence directly from consumers. You can connect with your audience while getting its support and building excitement for your product.