Counting on the crowd


STRENGTH IN NUMBERS: Nekaj (left) speaking at Crowdsourcing Week Global 2013 with Darren Westlake (right) from crowdcube.com.

THERE'S a missing P in your marketing mix, and it’s known as participation, according to Epirot Ludvik Nekaj, founder and chief executive officer of Crowdsourcing Week. 

“For many years, our marketing textbooks have taught us about the 4Ps (price, product, promotion and place), but they failed to teach us about another two important Ps which are people and processes,” he says. 

Nekaj believes that one of the most effective ways for organisations to harness public participation is through the use of crowdsourcing. However, he stresses that companies should not treat this as merely an exercise to gain popularity on social media. 

“If it’s just a marketing or advertising campaign, you are producing something to interrupt and not engage (consumers). When we’re talking about incorporating people and processes, it’s about bringing them into the design phase and humanising the brand. That’s where it gets interesting,” Nekaj says. 

He says crowds are always on the move and busy browsing on the World Wide Web, hence companies must seize the “opportunity to activate them based on what really matters to them.” 

Nekaj adds that it’s not enough for companies to just maintain a presence on social media nowadays. They need to work at building up their social currency. 

“In order to be productive, you have to build your social reputation online. It is very important because no one in their right mind will want to deal with someone who does not have a good reputation,” he says. 

Nekaj also feels that there are still many executives out there who don’t fully understand the power of the Internet and the impact it can have on a business. 

“Today, the game is on the consumers’ side and executives must understand how to embrace this chance, otherwise they will be left behind,” he says. 

Nekaj says that society is now experiencing the era of the Internet of Upload whereby crowds are empowered to have tremendous influence on the economy due to the hyperconnected nature of society and the widespread use of mobile technology. 

A dynamic platform
A global survey carried out by Crowdsourcing Week showed that the top four activities that are currently being carried out on the Internet were searching and reading online information, sharing about favourite food and restaurant locations, purchasing via e-commerce, and sending emails 

“It’s interesting to see how the Internet stirs up people’s minds. In social productivity platforms, the opportunities come to you instead of you having to search for them,” he says. 

Nekaj also believes that most executives still often misunderstand what crowdsourcing is really all about. 

“It is not an industry, nor is it a technology. It is a mindset that you can apply to many different industries. Today’s Internet landscape is changing very fast and crowds come in many different forms, shapes, sizes and strengths,” he points out. 

Nekaj advises companies who are seeking to leverage the power of crowdsourcing to start small. 

“Learn, iterate and create some intelligent structures,” he says. “I always like to start with a problem that I’m trying to solve and to use crowdsourcing as part of an ongoing program to help solve these problem which an internal team or department can’t resolve.” 

Based on his observations, Nekaj highlights North America, Europe and Australia as leading the way in terms of crowdsourcing best practices. 

However, Nekaj shares that the choice to host Crowdsourcing Week Global Conference in Asia for the second time around was a deliberate one. 

“Asia is an untapped market and represents more than half of the world’s population. It’s a very adoptive market. Social penetration is the highest here and that is why we felt the best place to present crowdsourcing on a global stage was here,” he says.

Drawing the crowd 

The Crowdsourcing Week Global Conference will be held in Singapore from April 7 to 11 and will feature the theme Crowd impact: Empowering transformation.

The objective of the event will be to educate decision makers on the importance of the crowd economy and to empower people where their passion and talents lie. The organisers are expecting a turnout of around 400 delegates from over 25 countries. 

Further findings from Crowdsourcing Week’s survey as well as the introduction of a new range of advisory services known as CSW2 that seeks to benefit businesses and governments worldwide will be announced during the conference. 

The Star’s chief operating officer of digital business, Roy Tan Kong Weng will also be speaking at this event. 

For more information, visit http://crowdsourcingweek.com/

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