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Nick Bennett

Strategy Director

What does Crowdsourcing teach us about marketing?

Kickstarter projects are becoming frequent - with some real success stories. What can we learn from their approach toward marketing?

Over the last 7 years, Crowdsourcing / Kickstarter projects have become more comprehensive and paved the way for some incredible success stories. The advances of digital and community have fully enabled it to become a force of combined user power. It is reported across the various sites such as Kickstarter, Go Fund me and IndieGoGo that over £1.45 Billion has been raised across over 180,000 different projects.

In many ways, these crowdsourcing style sites are an incredible way for creative people to present and find support for new and imaginative ideas. These types of individuals, tend to not only craft incredible ideas and products that can literally change lives, but also be creative in how they generate the buzz and awareness that is equal as critical in getting them supported and launched.

As an agency, we have worked on projects of this type in the past and found them extremely exciting and rewarding as we see initial ideas and opportunities turn into amazing successes.

From this, we have learnt a few key tips that we think all marketers can learn from and install into their campaigns.

Tip 1 Learn from what you get told We are firm believers in doing market research to support your ideas. The key is knowing which elements to listen to and those to ignore.

One of the advantages of this approach is your ability to pre-market a new product or service and get validation and feedback. Even if not going down the crowdsourcing route, gone are the days of mass launch campaigns - instead do trial runs a localized level before learning and evolving before you go big.

Tip 2 Be enthusiastic and genuine The most successful marketing campaigns from Kickstarters are those that are underpinned by being ultimately sincere in their message and offering.

There are plenty of examples of many campaigns and approached being too clever for their own good and not giving people a reason to get behind the movement.

The best examples are those that are genuine and make you want to share with you friends. It helps if the product is cool and arouses your interest, but there are plenty of products that people have no need for but they have been won over the power and enthusiasm of the creators.

Tip 3 Success is not always Instant There is a great story about Ryan Grepper who went through many failures of projects until he struck gold. His bizarre and crazy ideas are well documented, but through each approach he kept refining the product and the marketing until he found that sweet spot.

He sums it incredibly well where he outlines, "We had a group of passionate supporters from our first campaign, ready to take up the charge and share among their friends." Your supporters will often stand by you, even if you have to do a second campaign to win.

In wider marketing terms - it is easy to admit defeat at the first attempt but there are so many factors that contribute to it being successful. Don’t be deterred at the first hurdle. Instead reflect, review and amend if necessary and do try again.

The above are just a few approaches that could make a difference on your next campaign. As marketing continues to change at a significant rate, the power and presence of crowdsourcing is likely to only grow as our desires as consumers become more unique and we move away from the ‘norm’.