Collecting information about customers has always been a crucial yet daunting job for small and medium enterprises. There are many large and experienced market consulting companies, but turning to them might cost too much for a small business. Instead, some small businesses choose to collect and analyze data themselves. With the help of various marketing tools such as Google Adwords and Google Analytics, it is manageable. However, a lack of a large sample size usually impedes the significance and validity of their analysis. More importantly, gaining the data is far from understanding it. Without professional experience and knowledge of data analysis, small businesses can easily be overwhelmed rather than get the most of the data available to them.
Now, instead of turning to a traditional marketing consulting agency or collecting and analyzing the data by yourself, a third option has emerged– crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, especially from an online community.
Though it is a newly emerging concept, it’s been growing fast. Some businesses and organizations are already providing such services to individuals and businesses. Crowdsourcing websites create a great opportunity for small businesses. It’s a cost effective way to collect a large number of data and gain insight from it. Since the service providers know exactly who their registered information providers are, they are more adept at targeting the segment of people as requested. Here are three useful crowdsourcing websites for small business:
Trendwatching has more than 8,000 trend spotters around the globe who are tracking and reporting any changes in the marketplace. The company collects information from them and compile a free market trend worldwide each month. More detailed, region-specific, industry-specific or demographic-specific reports can also be bought.
Finding a high-quality professional images as the pictures on your billboards, printed advertisements or website backgrounds can be a really tough job. Googling will give you what everyone else also has and that may cause some legal issues. Turning to professional photographers will cost too much.
iStockPhoto.com has a huge collection of images with high resolution for prices as low as $1. The company allows anyone to upload their own high-quality photos or pictures with various subjects from education to technologies, and the photographers earn royalties when their pictures and photos are purchased. A win-win solution!
Crowdsourcing solutions for small business is more than just data collection. It can also help you solve real problems. Ninesigma aims for providing innovative solutions to business problems.
It’s the largest company of this kind and has more than 2 million solution providers worldwide, most of which are from Global 1000 companies. Just tell them the problem you’re facing and you’ll get suggestions from the most brilliant brains around the world.
Jennifer is part of the content marketing team at Telzio, providing insight and tips on how Telzio can be used to optimize business communications and customer service.