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Crowdsourcing Strategies to Amplify Business Solutions

Read this guide to discover the power of crowdsourcing for innovative collaboration. Learn what crowdsourcing is and how you can use it to improve your business solutions.

Your target audience is one of the best resources your business has. They're not just consumers; they hold valuable insights, opinions, creativity, and funds that can contribute to the success of your business.

You can harness the power of your target audience by investing in crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is a powerful sales and marketing tool that can help you increase customer engagement and sales while saving your small business time and money. By involving your audience in your business, including product development, marketing, and funding, you can gain a competitive advantage.

So what is crowdsourcing? In this article, we'll discuss what crowdsourcing is and how it works while highlighting strategies you can use today to start learning from your target market.

Crowdsourcing is when a business sources information, opinions, and even money from a crowd — their target audience. It's a collaborative approach that allows you to outsource tasks and ideas from a large group or community to accomplish a specific goal, such as idea generation, content creation, data collection, funding, etc.

To crowdsource, you should determine what you're trying to accomplish. Are you trying to raise money for a new product, generate new ideas, or get product feedback? First, you'll need to outline the problem or desired outcome, set guidelines, and invite participants to contribute.

The participants — the crowd — then can contribute new ideas, feedback, funds, and other solutions.

To help you understand the concept, let's look at a few crowdsourcing examples:


Perhaps one of the most well-known crowdsourcing examples, Starbucks asked its customers to provide insights into its graphic design. Starbucks started its platform, "My Starbucks Idea," in 2008, putting the power in consumers' hands by allowing them to share ideas and suggestions to improve the business.

The platform is now retired, but the company still encourages customers to submit suggestions on social media platforms.


Waze is a popular community-based navigational app. Unlike other map-based traffic apps, it relies on users to report traffic jams or other road issues that can affect someone's ability to navigate the roads.

Types of crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing allows small businesses to leverage the collective knowledge of their target market and aid in creative projects. Identifying your goals can help you determine which type of crowdsourcing is right for a specific campaign. The most common types of crowdsourcing are:


Crowdsourcing companies give a project to the crowd, and only one is chosen as the winner.

For example, let's say your business wants to create a new marketing campaign for its pet brand. You might ask participants to send in their pet photos. Then, a pet photo is chosen for the marketing campaign.


With crowdfunding, the crowd funds a project, typically a product. Kickstarter and Indiegogo are two of the most popular crowdfunding platforms that allow you to share your ideas for product design, and average consumers fund it in exchange for the project or service.

While technically a type of crowdsourcing because you're sourcing funds from the public, crowdfunding is largely separate from crowdsourcing because it focuses on raising funds rather than generating ideas.


With macrotasking, your business can find an individual handling a particular crowdsourcing project. Macrotasks are done independently and take a fixed amount of time. These tasks are part of a large project where the crowd can pitch in if they have the necessary skill set.

For instance, a company might ask participants to create new logo designs or use their graphic design skills for a particular marketing campaign.


Microstasking breaks down a specific project or goal into small tasks that can be assigned to the crowd. If you want to create a new product design or add features to an existing product, you might ask customers to vote on a specific idea or submit their own ideas.

Crowdsourcing can help small businesses generate ideas that resonate with their target market because they come from real consumers, giving them insight into how their audience thinks.

It also builds more personal relationships with customers by allowing them to be a part of something. However, crowdsourcing isn't without its challenges.

Advantages of crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing can benefit any type of business regardless of industry or size. Using the right crowdsourcing website, designing an effective strategy, and promoting your project can help you improve your business.

A few advantages of crowdsourcing include:

  • Saves time and money: Connecting with consumers to generate ideas and help you reach business goals can help you save time and money. You can generate email campaign ideas without the need to hire a marketing manager. Instead, you can get all your ideas directly from your target audience, reducing the costs and time it takes to generate those ideas.
  • Boosts innovation: Your crowd is filled with people with different backgrounds and ideas, allowing you to improve innovation with each chosen project and idea. Your customers can come up with new and innovative ideas for you.
  • Solves problems faster: If your business runs into trouble or can't seem to solve a problem, you can ask your online communities. Crowdsourcing ideas can help you solve problems by gathering feedback from your customers. You can use surveys or market on social media platforms to determine the main issues with your products and solve them to improve product development.
  • Increases engagement: Crowdsourcing increases customer engagement because you ask for customers' insights, opinions, thoughts, and ideas. When you pose a project or question to the online communities, they feel like you actually want to learn from them, allowing you to forge stronger relationships.

Challenges of crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is a new term, but it's not a new concept. Asking your target market to help you solve problems is a common business practice, but crowdsourcing takes it to the next level by allowing you to reach a larger crowd.

Unfortunately, there are many difficulties involved in running a crowdfunding campaign, such as:

  • Lack of quality: Unfortunately, not all ideas make good solutions. Crowdfunding allows you to source different ideas from a variety of individuals, but there may be an overall lack of quality. If you ask large groups for insights about your latest product, not all of their ideas for new features will be feasible, and you might not know that until you speak with a product developer.
  • Confidentiality issues: Crowdsourcing typically involves individuals you don't know personally. If you need to share confidential information like an upcoming product or marketing campaign, you can't always trust these individuals to keep it a secret. If you're not careful, you risk your idea becoming your competitor's.

An effective crowdsourcing strategy can help you create better products and marketing campaigns. However, you'll need to be as clear as possible to get the best answers. Once you've determined a particular project is something you can crowdsource, follow these instructions for creating your strategy:

Determine what to crowdsource

Before you decide to crowdsource, you should determine whether a particular project is suited for this strategy. Sometimes, it may be more effective and affordable to work with internal teams rather than crowdsourcing.

Outline your goals

Before you choose a crowdsourcing platform, you should outline your goals for a particular product. Are you trying to generate ideas for a new product or service, or would you like help improving existing products?

Choose a crowdsourcing platform

Different crowdsourcing platforms have different uses. You can find platforms that connect you directly with workers who can complete tasks, or you can use a platform that allows you to launch competitions or incentivize individuals to participate.

The type of crowdsourcing platforms you use will largely depend on your campaign goals.

Promote the campaign

Once you've set up your campaign on one or more crowdsourcing platforms, you can promote the campaign across channels.

Send your loyal customers emails to let them know how they can participate, and add a section to your website with more information. In addition, you can promote on TikTok and other social media channels to ensure maximum engagement.

Review submissions and ideas

When your crowdfunding campaign reaches its end date, you can review submissions and ideas to determine the best ones. If you're using a contest-based crowdfunding platform, you can determine a winner based on your set criteria.

However, if you asked for other types of submissions, you'll need to gather data to determine the best option.

Leverage crowdsourcing for better business outcomes

Let customers become directly involved with your company by having them generate ideas and solutions for you. Crowdsourcing increases brand loyalty and engagement while improving your products and services.

Get more engagement in your crowdsourcing campaign with Mailchimp. Using our suite of marketing tools, you can send surveys, create social media posts, and develop email campaigns that increase engagement to help you get the most out of your campaign.

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