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Embrace crowdsourcing successfully

Companies need to be smart about their innovation strategies and look at their innovation initiatives as a key brand touch point. Plenty of organizations have tried to implement an open innovation strategy of their own, yet how many truly succeed? Whether it’s Chrysler Listens or Change.org, some organizations are still struggling to become effective. Without knowing the right methods and processes when launching open innovation initiatives, crowdsourcing can lose its potential for turning innovation into actionable ideas.

Make sure crowdsourcing initiatives connect to your overall marketing strategy and brand. An organization’s marketing team is not always the designated driver of crowdsourcing initiatives, but often, they should be. Marketers need to be brought in to ensure that open innovation sites serve as an extension of the overall brand. A simple way to do this is through white-label innovation platforms, which easily enable marketers to influence the look and feel of a crowdsourcing initiative so that there is a stronger tie between the brand and innovation.

Tap the wisdom of your entire organization. Innovation can often come from unexpected places. Crowdsourcing can be just as effective among internal employees as it is with customers. Part of the reason has to do with the fact collaboration across organizations is a relatively new concept; silo operational culture is not too far off in the past. Just a year ago, when one well-known consumer-facing Fortune 1,000 launched an internal innovation platform to help spur ideas within the company, one of its best actionable marketing ideas came from someone in IT.

Recognize that crowdsourcing can enhance the role of marketing, if done right.The wisdom of a crowd is reciprocal. Just as someone in an IT department is capable of giving marketing their next dazzling idea, innovation platforms can enhance marketing’s role and provide them with actionable data to take to other areas of the cooperation.

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