Daniel Burstein recently published an article in The Marketing Experiments Quarterly Research Journal entitled Anti-Crowdsourcing: On (Not) Getting Marketing Ideas from Your Customers. The author critiques the trendy idea of “Crowdsourcing,” (check out Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business,) claiming that crowdsourcing does not always work because customers are NOT always right. To circumvent this possibility, Burstein suggests three critical steps for successful crowdsourcing:
- Listening – Listen carefully and fully to gain as much information as possible
- Thinking – Step back from all the data and reflect on it see what arises
- Measuring – Conduct “real-world randomized tests” to see how customers will respond to the ideas
It’s hard to argue with these three steps … they’re a bit like Motherhood, Apple Pie and Chevrolet. And we certainly believe that more minds are better than one. But, from our perspective, the biggest opportunity to make crowdsourcing a powerful approach comes during the measurement phase. When you’re dealing with hundreds (if not thousands) of idea “snippets” developed from “the crowd” you need quantifiable tools to sort, categorize and test combinations to find out what will really move the needle.