by Laura Dahmer
Customer surveys, product evaluation, bulletin boards – There are a lot of ways for companies to get ideas and feedback from their consumers. But during the last years, a new process of involving users in the creation of products came up: Crowdsourcing.
zeeBigBang spoke to Gaby Hardt-Voß, Head of Market Research and Olaf Wiehler, managing director of S&L Medienproduktion GmbH. The German firm founded PROJECT:ENTERTAIN, an online platform that offers crowdsourcing to companies in arts and entertainment.
What is the concept behind crowdsourcing and your website?
Crowdsourcing means that companies are no longer developing products or campaigns only internally. Instead, they invite fans and consumers to become an active part of the development process.
At PROJECT:ENTERTAIN the projects are first planned in close collaboration with the customer, meaning the entertainment company, and then realized on our online platform. Through social media, the company’s customers are informed and invited to join the project. Our platform offers the company, as well as the participating consumers, a secure space to confidentially discuss new ideas.
“Playing with it is fun. Playing along even more.” One of the slogans of PROJECT:ENTERTAIN.
How does a project like this proceed?
Each project is planned individually, depending on the company. Typically, a project is divided into three parts: It starts with a phase of collecting ideas; our users can post suggestions, like and comment on other users’ ideas and have discussions. Our website functions as a moderator and clarifies questions and obscurities. After this phase, the entertainment company tests the ideas on their practicability. In the final stage, it usually comes down to a vote: The crowd has to choose between the most favoured ideas and collect one or more winning suggestions, which the company can then realize.
“Great entertainment. Creating together.” The website’s logo.
Why is PROJECT:ENTERTAIN specialized in the entertainment industry?
The entertainment industry seems to be made for crowdsourcing: Tons of creative questions and enthused fans and consumers who love to get involved and strongly identify with the results. The industry’s particular players are often not big enough for their own platform to be profitable. That’s why we launched PROJECT:ENTERTAIN – it creates an adequate intersectoral setting for the companies.
What are the benefits of crowdsourcing?
Companies get fresh external impulses and ideas through involving their consumers and fans. That way the crowd’s creative potential can be used and consumers’ latent needs can be identified at the same time. By being able to participate, users also have identify more with the products and the brand. Thereby, the company’s chances of success can be increased. For our company, crowdsourcing is an extension of established market research: Through constantly being in touch with the crowd, it is easier to respond to trends and optimize product targeting.
One of the website’s projects on their platform.
Where do you see the concept of crowdsourcing in the future? Which impact is it going to have on the companies’ work?
In our view, crowdsourcing is not going to take over the internal decision-making process, neither completely nor mostly. More likely, it is to be seen as a worthwhile additional element. Several examples have showed that products that emerged from crowdsourcing have been very successful in the market. We see the chance of crowdsourcing winning recognition in the entertainment industry, although especially this industry has a lot of sensitive sections where companies still prefer to trust their own experiences.
Find out more about PROJECT:ENTERTAIN on their website.
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