Crowdsourcing and Its Application in Marketing Activities

  • Paul Whitla Lingnan University


ABSTRACT Crowdsourcing is a newly developed term which refers to the process of outsourcing of activities by a firm to an online community or crowd in the form of an ‘open call’. Any member of the crowd can then complete an assigned task and be paid for their efforts. Although this form of labour organisation was pioneered in the computing sector, businesses have started to use ‘crowdsourcing’ for a diverse range of tasks that they find can be better completed by members of a crowd rather than by their own employees. This paper examines how firms are utilising crowdsourcing for the completion of marketing-related tasks, concentrating on the three broad areas of product development, advertising and promotion, and marketing research. It is found that some firms are using crowdsourcing to locate large numbers of individuals willing to complete largely menial repetitive tasks for limited financial compensation. Other firms utilise crowdsourcing to solicit solutions to particular tasks from a crowd of diverse and/or expert opinions. Conclusions are drawn regarding the advantages and the limitations of crowdsourcing and the potential for the future use of crowdsourcing in additional marketing-related applications. Keywords: Crowdsourcing, Outsourcing, Wikinomics

Author Biography

Paul Whitla, Lingnan University
Assistant Professor Department of Marketing and International Business