Module 5: Crowdsourcing Offline vs Online?

In this post, I will be discuss offline crowdsourcing and how it compare to online crowdsourcing alternatives. Crowdsourcing is defined as the practice of engaging a “crowd” or group for a common goal.

Offline crowdsourcing comprises of most polls and surveys conducted by companies to where they send their representatives to go to where consumers common go (shopping malls, warehouses, retail stores, etc). This representation collects the data from these polls and surveys, and the company is able to gather data, and what consumer thinks about their company and their products.

One example of offline crowdsourcing that I can draw from my personal experience would be when Wine Rack was doing wine tasting. They were attracting a lot of consumers to their store, and tasting multiple different types of wine, and which one the consumer would prefer, Moreover, the representatives of Wine Rack asked the consumers if you had created the perfect wine, what would it be? (Factors like smell, taste, texture, etc). I see this is an example of offline crowdsourcing because the company was hosting a wine tasting campaign to see what consumers prefer, and what makes the perfect wine. It may not be WineRack that is producing this “perfect wine” for consumers, but the consumer data that was collected from all kinds of consumers can prove to be useful for wine manufacturers to produce a new innovative “perfect wine” gathered from the responses of consumers. The advantages with offline crowdsourcing would be that the responses from consumers are more personal, genuine, and rich. As a result of personal interactions with consumers, representatives of companies doing offline crowdsourcing are able to read consumer’s responses from their behavior, tone, and gestures, which can prove to be useful. The disadvantages with offline crowdsourcing would be that the campaigns are most costly, and it contains a small sample size of consumers.

Online Crowdsourcing:

Online crowdsourcing seems to be the norm for most companies in today’s society, and provide more opportunities for consumers to have a hand in innovating products for the companies. Popular methods of online crowdsourcing would be feedback from smartphone applications, social media contests, or online interactions with users.

One very popular example of online crowdsourcing would be Lay’s Potato Chips, and how they ran the “Do Us A Flavour” campaign. Lay’s Canada would ask internet users to design their own Lay’s flavor and have other users vote on which is the best one. The three finalists with the most votes will have their own designed flavor be produced from Lay’s and sold to the masses. This campaign was very popular and had over 3.8 million submissions. This example of online crowdsourcing proved to be very innovative, and successful with engaging with consumers. The advantages of this example of online crowdsourcing of Lay’s compared to WineRack would be that there are more respondents, wider reach to consumers because of the online platform, and less costly than a physical offline crowdsourcing campaign.

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