What is Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing.org and Crowdsource.com define the practice as the following:

“Crowdsourcing, also called ‘collaborative co-creation,’ is ‘…the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call.’ Basically, crowdsourcing allows a company or business to replace the problem-solving option of a dedicated agent/employee with the option of tens, hundreds or thousands of people with a similar skill set of solving that particular problem.

Think of the world’s fastest growing and most popular companies built on crowdsourcing principles:

  • Uber and Lyft: Crowdsourcing a better and more efficient means of transportation
  • Homeaway and AirBnB: Crowdsourcing a better and more efficient means of finding a place to stay
  • Kickstarter: Crowdsourcing a better and more efficient means of funding a project

The list goes on…

The 2014 Global Crowdsourcing Pulsecheck survey offers a comprehensive look at the industry, the growth and projections for the coming years, as well as how it impacts business decisions already.


Crowdsourcing No Longer Just a Trend


The crowdsourcing model isn’t so much of a trend anymore as it is a preferred method of making better business decisions. The financial efficiency of the crowdsourcing model can’t be beat. Take our agency for example. Why hire one full-time designer when we can have five passionate creatives compete to win the work, showcase their skills and build their portfolio? Instead of the client hoping one designer’s vision aligns with their business goals, we make sure multiple minds contribute different ideas to guarantee goals are met and exceeded. Utilizing crowdsourcing to execute tactics outside of your business’s core competencies isn’t a shortcut; it’s intelligent decision-making.


Jeff Howe coined the term “crowdsource” in 2006 in Wired Magazine. At the time, few companies had bought in and were using the model. Less than a decade later, many of the world’s largest companies have implemented crowdsourcing into their business models. Interbrand’s 2012 list of the 100 Best Global Brands noted that 11 of the top 12 brands were running various types of crowdsourcing projects.


There’s a reason Doritos doesn’t pay an agency to brainstorm, ideate, storyboard, script and produce their $4,000,000 Super Bowl ads anymore. They offer a contest out to the masses, receive hundreds of quality submissions, and consistently rank among the top 10 in USA Today’s Admeter top 10. Not only do they win audiences over with the ads themselves, the perceived goodwill of letting fans create the advertising positions them as a brand of the people. They generate a growing collection of production companies/talented creative as brand ambassadors. Those company portfolios now have the Doritos brand plastered all over, casting a bigger net and staying top-of-mind. The crowdsourcing model offers more than just financial benefits to Doritos.


Crowdsourcing Branding and Creative

The trust factor required when choosing a vendor, agency or creative to handle your branding or design work can’t be understated. Your company, your brand and your story should be handled with care. The end result should be exciting and motivate everyone involved to communicate that story to the world with pride. There’s a certain level of hesitance when handing off your creative work because you just aren’t sure the one vendor, one designer, one videographer, etc. will nail it. Even at large agencies, account managers and account leads experience the same cold feet handing work off to their own creatives. That’s because they know what to expect.

Our company, Hook & Blade, was built on two things:

  • Large-agency, senior-level digital marketing expertise from the owners/operators of the company
  • Crowdsourcing the creative work to people who simply do it better

We understand that if what’s needed is an effective digital marketing strategy complete with targeted SEO, PPC, Social Media, Email and Content…our staff will crush it. We also understand that if what’s needed is high quality video production, we’re not Steven Spielberg. We tap into our “Crew” of talented creatives personally vetted by us to deliver the highest quality work available.

Don’t pay an agency bill rate to cover the overhead of accounting, IT, corporate marketing, HR, administrative departments. Crowdsourcing and the companies devoted to managing it correctly exist to replace overheard with pure production. Contact us and find out how crowdsourcing will benefit your business.