Tradition definition: ‘A way of thinking, behaving, or doing something that has been used by people in a particular group, family, society etc. for a long time.’ In many societies tradition as an expression of identity and a way of passing down beliefs to next generation. Traditions can be part of and re-enforces society’s beliefs and values. Traditions are often be conservative and not flexible to adapt to changes in a belief system.
Take marketing for example. Traditional marketing methods focus on a push system where a brand amplifies its message on their customers without being able to measure feedback. The relationship between brand and consumer is a one way system. Therefore people’s relationship with a brand is platonic and valueless to both brand and customer. The traditional push marketing system is still trying to adapt to the changing environment and create new ways to build devoted relationship with the customer.
Social media marketing offers businesses and brands an opportunity to create a community of consumers where a new form of relationship is strong, loyal, and adds value to both parties. Creating engagement and conversations provides an environment whereby the brand can adapt to changing consumer demands. Social media marketing also creates a situation where we can measure campaigns in real time and provide vital qualitative data that can be enacted to ensure a brands survival and development.
From a traditional marketing perspective, the same scenario does not arise. It’s hard to measure the effectiveness of campaigns and also have a strong two way relationship between brand and consumer. In addition the qualitative data from traditional marketing research is usually skewed and inaccurate because consumers don’t have that same level of devotion and empowerment they get as part of a social media community.
Social media is a great marketing platform to empower and engage with your brand community. Relating to them on a human level and empowering them creates a situation where a brand can attain information which can lead to robust and successful marketing in the future.
Crowdsourcing is the new market research and allows a level of co-operation between brand and consumer that derives significant value. Crowdsouring is defined as a ‘process of needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from large sums of people and especially online communities.’
Using crowdsourcing as part of your social media marketing allows your community to contribute new ideas, test new products, how to improve existing services/products, etc. In addition it acts as a mechanism to build a bond between customer and brand.
Examples of companies using Crowdsourcing on social media successfully
- Nissan Project 370Z
Nissan leveraged its strong brand community and heritage by getting people involved in the design process. Time framed within an eight week period, Nissan gave their community a choice of car to restore, parts to use, colors to paint etc. Nissan videotaped the progress of the projects and displayed it to their fans. Throughout the process they encouraged engagement, votes and feedback. The winner was selected from the community and drive the new car at the annual Z convention in Tennessee. The project helped to build Nissan’s social media reach and their community.
- Lego Ideas
Lego ideas is an online crowdsourcing platform. Groups or communities can go online to contribute new ideas and designs. They utilize social media by encouraging their fans communities to offer support and vote on winning designs. The design that receives 10,000 votes wins the design contest. The winning design becomes part of the new product development process and the winner receives 1% of net sales.
Why Use Crowdsourcing?
- Generate New Ideas
Ask your social media community to help and be part of a project to generate new product ideas or help in creating a marketing campaign. Offer incentives.
- Brand Personalization
The brand is no longer an entity that relies on push marketing tactics. From a social media perspective relate to your community on a human level and ensure that they are driving brand awareness and future direction.
- Market Research
Utilizing effective crowdsourcing can provide strong qualitative and quantitative results to give products that existing and new customers want. The closer people are to the brand the more compelled they feel to give quality feedback which can increase the probability of a new products success.
- Test New Products
Before launching a new product, crowdsourcing can prove an effective method of testing a new product. The insights from crowdsourcing can help with tweaking a products attributes and increase the new products chances of success after launching.
- Improving Existing Products And Service
Most products and services stagnate over a lifecycle and over time will lose market share to competitors. Crowdsourcing offers a brand/business an opportunity to improve upon its existing products and services, creating a competitive advantage.
If you want to build a strong and successful brand in the future its fundamental that you involve your social media community as part of that process. If you want to create or test new products ask your community for their opinions on how to improve or what ideas they want to generate. Empowering your social media community helps to build reach and most importantly, brand awareness. The strengthening of the bonds between customer and brand through a crowdsourcing process, ensures the survival, adaptability, and growth of a brand for years to come. Break with tradition and give the power to the people!