Crowdsourcing has historically been defined from a business standpoint as little more than a series of one-off projects. Fortunately for all of us, there is an exciting sea-change underway for the crowdsourcing industry and we all need to be ready to embrace it!
Crowdsourcing continues to gain broader adoption by major brands, agencies, and other organizations. "Bigger" relationships are coming into play -- involving many parallel projects, strategic counsel, and even the involvement of executive management teams from the client side working hand-in-hand with the leaders of crowdsourcing organizations.
As an industry, we need to think in bigger, more strategic terms. It will be good for our clients, good for our individual businesses, and importantly, it will benefit the entire field of crowdsourcing as we continue to prove our value and importance at deeper, more insightful levels for our partner organizations than ever before.
This means we need to think beyond one-off projects to more comprehensive long-term strategic relationships in which crowdsourcing services aren't seen as a tactical option to use on an as-needed basis, but as a core component of company marketing, communications, and other outreach strategies in which crowdsourcing should be deployed.
There’s a real problem in our industry in perceiving ourselves as a bit player in the world of (insert your crowdsourcing business here). Crowdsourcing is a disruptive industry for sure, but that doesn’t mean we’re little more than a gnat irritating traditional providers. We are a formidable player, and should fully expect to take a big share of the business from the incumbents.
I know I speak primarily for the video production category of crowdsourcing, but we should all expect strong parallel growth in the logo and design industry; the tech / gaming world; the computer programmer category; the financial industry or the legal community, to name but a few. As I’ve written before, quality has to be “job one” for all of us, as crowdsourcing enables choice and if quality’s not there, prospective clients will either choose to do business elsewhere or revert to using crowdsourcing on a much more tactical, one-off basis. The good news is that quality has improved dramatically overall and this as much as anything is powering the sea change that is upon us – one that can lead to bigger, better and more strategic relationships.
If our industry doesn’t recognize our true potential to not only disrupt, but to garner a significant share of the available revenue in our respective areas, then we are short-changing ourselves and are doomed to failure.
For everyone in crowdsourcing, I suggest you anticipate strong, rapid growth; build a plan that will allow you to meet those goals; and find the necessary resources to put that plan into place. There is nothing stopping us from creating a vibrant industry based on crowdsourcing that can seriously disrupt the world as we know it today and develop profitable, inspiring businesses along the way.