Thanks to modern technology and a thriving consumer culture, there are now more ways than ever before for businesses to market themselves. However, these same benefits can also make it difficult to draw attention. For example, web users have become so used to advertisements that an estimated 70% of the links search engine users click on are organic, instead of sponsored advertisements. Likewise, mobile devices and social media have grown so popular that it is now considered vital to include them in marketing campaigns. Because of these challenges, a trend seems to be emerging: where they might have spent time trying to figure out what their customers wanted, companies are now turning to the customers themselves to crowdsource ideas for new products, advertising strategies and more.
Crowdtap, a market platform, says that this trend has grown so popular that it will likely be a major feature of Super Bowl XLIX. According to a poll the company conducted on 6,000 Americans, as many as 61% of consumers said they will update their Facebook statuses if asked by a Super Bowl ad. This provides businesses with a valuable chance to gather information on new advertising ideas, branding, product ideation, packaging design and more. Moreover, Crowdtap says that modern consumers rely heavily peer recommendations, meaning social media posts could encourage even more users to join the conversation.
But while the Super Bowl is still days away, Crowdtap says as many as 15% of their study participants have already interacted with a crowdsourced campaign. This is due to the increasing popularity of this tactic in branding and advertising. Thanks to websites like Talenthouse and Tongal, companies can not only connect with users, but also find freelance designers, artists, and more who can contribute valuable ideas to their work. In fact, a few freelancers have been able to build careers out of these sites while forging connections to a number of prominent businesses.
Take the surfwear company Quicksilver, for example: when they needed ideas for their DC Shoes collection last fall, they posted a campaign on Talenthouse, which allows users to submit ideas and vote for favorites. The campaign drew over 2,000 submissions, but the company eventually went to Ese Izhi, a former advertising professional from Mexico City who chose to go freelance in 2012. Izhi’s purple and green cannabis-inspired design earned him a $10,000 prize and worldwide exposure. In a similar venture, Quicksilver started a Talenthouse campaign specifically for students at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, looking for pattern ideas. Products with the selected prints will be unveiled in May, with the winners collecting royalties from the proceeds. Not a bad opportunity for designers who have yet to graduate.
Now, as the Super Bowl approaches, advertising experts say they are expecting plenty of crowdsourcing before, during, and after the game. Doritos, for example, has implemented a #crashthesuperbowl campaign, which allows viewers to vote for the commercial they want to see during the famous commercial breaks. Crowdtap says that this gives companies a chance to engage with customers across multiple platforms for far longer than the television spot. Will you notice any other crowdsourcing attempts while you watch the Seahawks challenge the Patriots? We’ll have to wait and see.