We have mentioned many times that the competitive environment forces marketers to be creative. For instance, we recently looked at how creative methods are used to design new toy products. We also saw how a creative pull promotion was used to increase movie theater sales. And we discussed how designing creative advertising can help a brand stand out.
It is important to understand that being creative does not mean a marketer must sit in a room and come up with all new ideas on their own. Good marketers know ideas come from a variety of sources, such as conducting research to find out what customers want or observing how marketing is done in other industries. Additionally, many marketers shift idea development by hiring specialized companies, such as advertising agencies.
Along the lines of shifting idea generation, there is a growing alternative for finding creative marketing concepts. According to this story in the Los Angeles Times, marketers are turning to crowdsourcing as a way to generate ideas. Crowdsourcing is most often associated with fundraising through such websites as Kickstarter. But websites, including Talenthouse and Tongal, now offer marketers access to potentially hundreds of creative people. On these websites, marketers place a request for ideas, generally seeking new designs (e.g., product packaging) and advertisements (e.g., video ads). The creator of the idea chosen by the marketer is then awarded a cash prize.
The crowdsourcing idea for advertising is not new. For instance, Frito-Lay has been running their Crash the Super Bowl ad creation contest since 2006. However, what is new is that crowdsourcing an idea is now being viewed as an affordable creative tool that can help almost any marketer.