What the most successful crowdsourcing programs have in common

A headshot of David Garnder.

by David Gardner

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The most successful crowdsourcing campaigns have one major thing in common: their successes were enabled by platforms with tools that effectively powered different phases of the campaign.

Crowdsourcing challenges, when done well, do not stop at soliciting ideas. Calling these challenges campaigns or programs tells you more about what crowdsourcing entails, because it needs to be more of a process, complete with phases, in order to succeed.

In order for a crowdsourcing program to progress past that initial step of solicitation (and avoid becoming a digital suggestion box), there must be a plan to move the audience through the program and keep the crowd engaged as the campaign goes on.

At Chaordix, we have helped our clients with ideation and innovation by giving them a platform equipped with a variety of tools to enable brands to develop not only a process, but a true community that maximizes the opportunities available to them when engaging the crowd.

The ideal crowdsourcing platform should enable you to accomplish the following:

Layer 1: The Setup

The first step is to have a platform that is owned by the brand, and therefore, feels like a natural extension of the brand. Passionate brand fans, or employees, or experts, would not want to be directed to a website that seems disjointed from your brand. They might not view it as a trustworthy site if it does not look like it is related to your company.

Read Next: The benefits and limitations of crowdsourcing

The platform must also help you take your crowdsourcing campaign from a company goal to a crowd-facing challenge. There are times when a crowdsourcing campaign may seem straightforward to an organization, but it does not translate to a fully-formed challenge that is easily understood by someone from outside the company let alone enticing enough for them to want to participate. You must be able to frame it in a way that the parameters and expectations are clearly laid out, and the crowd understands what could happen with their submissions.

Layer 2: The Environment

The platform must provide the crowd with a great sandbox to play in. The participants in crowdsourcing challenges are usually either passionate fans of the brand who feel invested in it, or highly trained external experts who have much to offer for the challenge.

Your selected crowdsourcing platform must enable them to channel their passion and skills in ways that go beyond coming up with a concept or idea. Chaordix-powered community Rust-Oleum Creator’s Studio, for example, encourages members to share their DIY projects, whether it’s part of an innovation challenge or not. They get to flex their creative muscles and share ideas with people who have shared interests in a community that facilitates discussion and ideation.

Layer 3: The Process

The success of a crowdsourcing campaign depends heavily on what you do with the ideas once participants submit them. Bringing an idea to life is not as simple as taking it and giving it to an internal R&D team, for example.

Related Read: The ultimate cheat sheet to crowdsourcing ideas

The ideal crowdsourcing platform should also provide you with the tools and the support to create a phased process. A successful innovation process must incorporate methods such as Creative Problem Solving and Design Thinking, which have proven to yield better ideas.

After ideation, collaborate with the crowd to improve on their ideas. Provide support when they want to take their ideas to the next level. The platform should also give you the tools you need to optimize expert reviews. Finally, a crowdsourcing challenge usually produces a winner. Your platform should allow you to give the winning creator the recognition they deserve.

Layer 4: The Machine

Because the best crowdsourcing campaigns consist of phases, it is important to make sure that the crowd is engaged from beginning to end. They are invested in the process, so your platform should give you the tools to keep them engaged as the campaign moves along. The platform must enable you to incentivize the members of the crowd who continue to collaborate with your brand throughout the challenge or campaign.

Check out our Innovation & Crowdsourcing page for more. 

A points system is a great way to identify the most active members of the crowd. Enhance their experience by rewarding their ongoing participation and to keep them coming back. And while you have their attention – keep them involved throughout the campaign! The same crowd that submitted the initial ideas will also be a great resource during the vetting, implementation, and go-to-market phases of the innovation process.

When embarking on your next crowdsourcing campaign, be sure to also consider the platform that you want to use to run your campaign. At Chaordix, our platform gives our clients the tools they need for a successful crowdsourcing project.

Learn more about how Chaordix can power your next crowdsourcing campaign! Request a demo today.

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