Recently I met with a few really interesting people and a few investors who shared with me a few points that i would like to share here. The growing importance of crowd sourcing.
Let me give you an analogy of the importance of crowd sourcing. If you see something new, chances are you wont try it out because you are worried for whatever reason. But something inside you tells you that its cool, and you should try it out. But at the end of the day, you still have reservation whether to check it out. But, if your friends tell you that it is cool, you will dive right in straight away. The same goes for a service, if your friend tell you that its cool and worth checking out, there is an increased chances of you checking it out.
So heres the opportunity, how do you get people to tell their friends about your product? Of course, its the combination of a good product on your side, plus good customer service and increasingly, incentives. There is a reason why Airbnb spent a lot of effort on good customer service, and Zappos dedicated zero budget to marketing and 100% on customer service, because customers’ are your best marketing. Gushcloud is building their business model around this, crowd-marketing, which I think its an brilliant idea (hopefully can cross path with them soon!)!
Wouldn’t it be great if you could get paid for “gushing” about products and brands that you already love?
Thats Gushcloud: Incentivize users to promote a product that they like to other users around their social network. If you link back to the analogy i gave just now, this word of mouth greatly increase the reach and convert rate of any marketing campaign. Really really neat.
Definitely something to think about for Lunchsparks. How do you crowd match, How do you get people to spread the words about a service, and how to you engage them in the first place.
Perhaps another point worth mentioning is the usage of gamification. Gamification is not turning things into games that we play, but is the use of game design techniques and mechanics to solve problems and engage audiences. An example of Gamification can be seen in this Youtube video:
If you could gamify the whole process of marketing, and make it fun for your users to invite other users, it would be a huge bonus. People will talk about your product. They will spread the words. They will invite their friends. And boom, you have something. Gamification is slowly gaining more popularity, and a senior of mine is pioneering the whole Gamification movement in Singapore (Gamification Singapore) and is slowly gaining some traction in Singapore.
We are definitely slowly moving into industries that tap into the power of the crowd. An excellent example is Groupon where they leverage on the power of the consumers to demand deals. To truly tap into the power of the crowd, organizations and startups have to look into turning impressions into engagements, and turning that engagements into real impacts. And this could pay off really well.