Here’s What A French CMO Thinks About Creative Crowdsourcing
Earlier this year, Aviva launched a contest, asking the eYeka community to share their ideas about what “useful” means to them when it comes to insurance (disclaimer: I work at eYeka as a Marketing Manager). “Tell us what your needs are […] and help Aviva become the most useful insurance company ever!” the brief asked. Aviva received about 50 ideas from over 20 countries, which the company praised as being “interesting and rich entries,” and rewarded 3 ideas from Singapore, Mexico and Argentina. What did the person behind the project think about creative crowdsourcing? Here’s a translation of what Françoise Lamotte, Aviva France’s former CMO, shared about the crowdsourcing experience on her blog.
— Nicolas Borgis (@nborgis) October 14, 2014
The original article, called “Le crowdsourcing à l’assaut de la forteresse des créatifs?” (“Is crowdsourcing taking the creative fortress by storm?“) was published here; this is a translation of it (emphases and links added by myself). You can find the contest results and the brand’s feedback to the community on the contest announcement page too.
Is crowdsourcing taking the creative fortress by storm?
Thanks to the development of the internet, communities and social networks, crowdsourcing has been continuously growing in the last years.
Calling on the collective intelligence of the crowd, outside of one’s usual business partners and well-known comfort zones, has been applied to a variety of tasks such as IT sourcing, classification of galaxies, searching for the missing Malaysian Airlines plane etc. This type of mass collaboration represents a massive opportunity for innovation. If you look at it from an innovation perspective, it offers a grasp of fresh air because you are asking non-experts to think about your products and services.
This does not mean that you can totally outsource your innovation, though. Crowdsourcing should be included in a 360° innovation strategy, which takes into consideration things like…
- Participative Innovation: This idea box into which every employee and business partner has access to. Open to all, it should be a long-term effort that is regularly fueled with news about the company and features about relevant special interest topics.
- Breakthrough Innovation: This one should tap into all kinds of tools, like the internal R&D lab, partnerships with external technology firms, start-ups, or crowdsourcing.
You should not totally outsource innovation, and crowdsourcing should be included in a 360° innovation strategy
I have been experimenting with these different approaches. I have been launching projects internally by soliciting peoples’ participation to an idea box, pushing them further by organizing focus groups with our staff and with external partners. This type of internal initiatives are great to better understand the organization and where it stands, but it can also be poor in terms of insights.
Calling on the crowd, which we did with eYeka, has allowed us to broaden our perspectives. Geographically, first, because contributors can from a wide array of countries. For need identification, second, because this approach allowed us to get market feedback from people outside our usual scope. And in terms of creativity, third, because the people who participate are creative and self-select into the task because they feel inspired.
Calling on the crowd has allowed us to broaden our perspectives
The result of this call for entries, which was very rich, has by far surpassed my expectations. Yet, to ensure that this type of operation is a success, you have to make sure that the creative brief is in line with the sponsor’s expectations while being accessible to a naïve expert.
The results were very rich and by far surpassed my expectations
Beyond the product and service ideas that we received, crowdsourcing is also making inroads into other creative offerings, like video content creation, communication platform development, print advertising… all of which are traditionaly handled by advertising agencies. Here too, the crowd is being very creative. This can be frightening for creatives who are being challenged in their idea generation and artistic development roles, especially since we live in a world where consumers trust peers more than brands and their agencies.
So, is it a battle or a promising area for collaboration? I believe that agencies will not be challenged in their roles like building coherent brands, rolling out multimedia marketing campaigns, producing high-quality content etc. Yet they should not ignore the richness of what the crowd can bring. Wherever the star creatives’ inspiration comes from, I believe that the crowd can only be valuable to them by bringing in relevant yet fresh and diverse ideas.
I believe that the crowd can only be valuable to creatives by bringing in relevant and fresh ideas
The clients wants the job to be done, not to handle a dual relationship between crowdsourcing on one side and the agency on the other – and certainly not any conflicts that may arise between them. Hence, I think that a genuine cultural shift has to take place within agencies. That’s how we will see rich and productive relationships between the three parties take shape!
We need a genuine cultural shift has to take place within agencies to see rich and productive relationships take shape!