Definition of Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is a digital marketing strategy that involves obtaining ideas, content, or solutions from a large group of people, usually through online platforms. It enables businesses to tap into the collective intelligence and diverse perspectives of the crowd, often leading to unique and innovative results. This approach leverages the power of collaboration and community participation to achieve specific business objectives, such as designing logos, solving complex problems, or generating new product ideas.


The phonetic pronunciation of “crowdsourcing” is: /ˈkraʊdsɔrsɪŋ/

Key Takeaways

  1. Crowdsourcing enables organizations to tap into the collective intelligence and skills of a diverse and vast community, leading to innovative ideas and solutions.
  2. It allows organizations to save time and resources by outsourcing specific tasks and projects to a wider group of people, often resulting in efficient and cost-effective outcomes.
  3. Effective management and communication are crucial for a successful crowdsourcing project, ensuring clear objectives, guidelines, and a rewarding system for participants.

Importance of Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is an essential term in digital marketing as it leverages the collective intelligence and diverse perspectives of large groups of people to solve problems, generate ideas, or create content.

By tapping into the pool of resources, knowledge, and talent beyond a company’s boundaries, crowdsourcing can lead to cost-effective solutions, innovative approaches, and heightened customer engagement.

This approach helps businesses stay competitive and better attuned to their audience’s needs, by utilizing insights from the very people they target.

In turn, customers feel more involved and invested in the company’s products or services, fostering a sense of ownership and loyalty.

Overall, crowdsourcing plays a significant role in enhancing digital marketing strategies and connecting brands with their target audiences more effectively.


Crowdsourcing in the realm of digital marketing serves as a strategic approach to tap into the collective intelligence and creativity of a large group of people to achieve specific goals. The purpose of crowdsourcing is multifaceted: marketers use it not only to generate innovative ideas and gather insights for product development or promotional campaigns, but also to improve the customer experience, engagement, and brand loyalty.

By involving customers, online communities, or industry experts in problem-solving and decision-making processes, businesses can foster a sense of belonging and ownership among contributors that can ultimately lead to the success of their digital marketing efforts. In addition to its applications in conceptualization and innovation, crowdsourcing is widely used for collecting user-generated content (UGC), which plays a significant role in today’s digital marketing landscape.

Marketers harness the power of UGC through social media platforms or branded online communities to amplify their messaging, increase visibility, and build credibility. This enables them to reach a broader audience while benefiting from the authentic content, experiences, and testimonials provided by their customers, fans, or followers.

Crowdsourcing not only saves time and resources for marketers, but it also allows them to create a more diverse and dynamic brand narrative, influencing the way their products or services are perceived in the digital marketplace.

Examples of Crowdsourcing

LEGO Ideas: LEGO Ideas is a digital crowdsourcing platform where fans of the iconic brick toy can submit their creative designs for new LEGO sets. Other users can vote on their favorite designs, and if a project receives enough support, LEGO reviews the idea and potentially turns it into a commercial product. The winning designers receive a percentage of the sales as a reward. This approach not only engages the LEGO community but also brings innovative ideas to the company directly from their enthusiastic consumers.

Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” Contest: For several years, Doritos hosted the “Crash the Super Bowl” contest, where fans and creative individuals were encouraged to create their own Doritos commercials. Participants would submit their commercials online and public voting determined the finalists. The winning entry would then be aired during the prestigious Super Bowl event, earning the creator a cash prize and significant exposure. This campaign successfully leveraged crowdsourcing to produce memorable, viral ads while also engaging with their audience and saving on advertising costs.

Starbucks’ “My Starbucks Idea”: Starbucks created the “My Starbucks Idea” platform to engage their customers and gather ideas on how to improve the brand. Consumers could submit their suggestions, discuss them with others, and vote on their favorite ideas. Starbucks evaluated these ideas and implemented several of them, including new product offerings, store improvements, and community initiatives. This form of crowdsourcing helped Starbucks identify customer needs and gave the audience a sense of involvement in the brand’s development.

FAQ – Crowdsourcing

What is crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing is the practice of obtaining information, ideas, or services by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, especially through the internet. It is a way of tapping into the collective intelligence of a diverse group to solve problems and create innovative solutions.

What are the benefits of crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing allows businesses and organizations to access a larger pool of ideas, skills, and expertise from people worldwide. It can lead to cost savings, faster results, and increased creativity and innovation. By engaging a diverse group of individuals, crowdsourcing projects can benefit from a wide range of perspectives and experiences.

What are common types of crowdsourcing?

Common types of crowdsourcing include open innovation, distributed problem-solving, content creation, and crowdfunding. These various forms can involve tasks such as idea generation, data analysis, design, and even financial support for projects or causes.

How can businesses use crowdsourcing effectively?

Businesses can use crowdsourcing by clearly defining their objectives and target audience, designing tasks that are accessible to a diverse group of participants, and providing incentives to encourage participation. Additionally, they should establish a transparent and collaborative process, monitor and manage contributions, and be willing to iterate and adjust their approach based on feedback and results.

Are there any potential risks or challenges of crowdsourcing?

While crowdsourcing offers numerous benefits, it also presents potential risks and challenges. These include quality control, confidentiality, legal and ethical issues, and the potential for exploitation of participants. To mitigate these risks, it is crucial for organizations to set clear guidelines, establish proper communication channels, and maintain transparency and fairness throughout the process.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • User-generated content
  • Open innovation
  • Collaborative design
  • Wisdom of the crowd
  • Online community participation

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