7.3 billion is the approximate population of our globe. Facebook, as per the latest stats, has 1.3 billion registered users (and Facebook is banned in China!). One sixth of the world’s population is hungrily consuming, sharing, interacting and discarding content on the Internet. We are all talking about ourselves, our families, our loved ones, sharing our thoughts, emotions, ideas, actions and simply our day to day lives with the hundreds and sometimes thousands of “friends” that we have (accumulated) on social networking platforms.

How has this changed things for us Marketers?

Access – to customers, content, talent and

Speed – of response, feedback, testing

The attributes of access and speed have given us one of the biggest boons of new age marketing - CROWD-SOURCING. Money, ideas, concepts, imagery, content and more can be brought together at lightning speed and much cheaper than ever before. Businesses are being built around the concept of crowdsourcing (,, and brands are beginning to realize the potential that crowdsourcing holds with regards to their marketing.

Over the last few years, at Inception, we have worked on some great crowdsourcing projects with some of our client brands. The purpose of crowdsourcing – the what, the why and the how – can be vastly different for different brands. Sharing here some great examples of crowdsourcing and some tips for you to leverage it for your brand or business.


For new brands that are just finding their feet, this is a great way to source quality content or media attention to get your brand going.


Images / Product photography:

cleosaraOne of our projects involved marketing for a newly launched silver jewelry brand. The brand could not afford a full-fledged photo shoot (which costs 30-40 Lacs!), to get street styled imagery for the brand look book.Using the Crowdsourcing concept, we at IBS approached and collaborated with a fashion blog site,, which has fashion bloggers as members, to help get the right imagery for the brand. We handpicked some of the best fashion-istas from across the world (including Spain, the US and the UK), to style and shoot looks for the silver jewels.With some logistics and planning, we managed to get a 100 plus photographs with over 25 different models, which were perfect for our brand. It was great fun, the quality of what we got was inspiring and most of all, it cost a fraction of a traditional photo shoot.

Written content:



When you need diversity along with large volumes of content, crowdsourcing is a great way to get it. Some of the most popular travel related sites thrive on crowd-sourced content. One of the examples is They regularly get travellers, content writers, travel enthusiasts and sometimes even their own employees to share great written as well as video content. 5 things to explore in Manipur, top 12 travel hacks, 20 greatest breakfast places, etc. are all the popular kind of pieces and a lot of travel buffs are more than happy to share their thoughts and experiences.



Large national or global brands that already have a large base of customers, who understand and are willing to engage with them, are able to leverage crowdsourcing to build greater engagement and connect with the brands. These engagements can be brought together through a specific campaign or as a regular feature. These are nothing but crowdsourcing of brand experiences and customer testimonials that can be used as marketing content on an ongoing basis.


Connect with brand attributes – a Valentine’s Day campaign:

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 10.24.20 amOne might ask what does a footwear brand have to do with romance and love? But if one associates
love with a lot of fun and colour, which are also core to the brand, it does not seem very off. A contest was created to get people to match the traits of their soul mate’s personality with that of a ‘Solemate’ (design) from the brand, and share why. The idea was to get people to think of their Valentines in a fun and quirky way by assigning attributes like ‘foodie’, ‘traveler’, ‘shopaholic’, ‘trendsetter’, etc to them (which are traits associated with “fun”). The contest saw 200 entries (along with some great social media engagement) where people got to see a lot more designs from the footwear brand, got to constantly associate fun, colour and comfort with themselves and the brand, got to visit the brand’s website and eventually become customers of the brand.


Re-iterate brand purpose – the Happiness campaign:

cokeOne of the most successful crowd-sourcing campaigns is said to be that of Coca-Cola’s – “where will happiness strike next?” Open Happiness is the positioning of brand Coca-Cola and has been established by the brand in myriad ways. Through this specific campaign, Coca-Cola asked its customers to share their moment of happiness with the brand. This has been an award winning campaign and the stats are simply astonishing. 4,416,618M YouTube Views, 200M+ impressions globally, 412k organic search results, based on "Coca-Cola happiness machine" search on Google and 22M for "happiness machine", 3.5k YouTube comments, Total Blog Posts: 287 – 825, Total Tweets Over 5K, Other Site Views - 50,000+ Duplicate video views on You Tube: 40,000+.

Some things to keep in mind while crowd sourcing

  • Be VERY CLEAR about the objective of what and why you are crowd-sourcing. Ambiguity can backfire and do a lot of damage to the brand.
  • Ensure a layer of moderation between what you receive and what gets shared at large. Especially with mass campaigns, you may receive a lot of poor quality or redundant output.
  • As much as possible, target your crowdsourcing campaign to the right audience to get the best possible results. So if you have a large enough fan base, look at tapping that first.
  • Make the entire activity as fun, engaging and as creative as possible. There is much happening out there, so give people a reason to want to participate in your crowdsourcing initiative.

To want to know more or do more in this space, feel free to contact us at Inception and pick our brains!


About the Author:
Mala is a Partner at Inception Business Services. A Management & Marketing professional, Mala believes in the power of higher thinking as well as the power of on-ground execution. A voracious reader and a talented dancer, Mala is happiest when she is out there meeting new people, exchanging ideas and helping to make the world a better place. You can reach her at



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