Who will listen to my ideas?

For the longest time, businesses relied heavily on their research and development team to physically go and collect ideas and data from the public to improve their existing products or creating new products. Then analyze the data collected to forecast the public’s appreciation for the idea. Today, companies are getting product and improvement ideas from the public just by using the internet.  Their main focus is no longer the R&D team, they can cut cost by getting ideas from a large group of users on the internet; a term referred to crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is a great way for the public to share their ideas and opinions. More businesses are taking advantage of this opportunity.

In 2009, Google came out with the Google Idea Product Blog. This product blog allow users to post, discuss, and vote on others’ idea. The more votes an idea get, the higher chance it has of Google implementing the idea. So what happens when Google makes million from an idea you posted? As mentioned in Adam Frucci’s blog, you get nothing more than a shout out from Google. The Idea Product Blog has failed to mentioned what would happen if Google does take your idea.

Google is only ONE of the MANY company that utilizes the convenience of the internet. Starbucks launched an ‘idea blog’ of their own called MystarbucksIdea where Starbucks fans can share new drink, experience, and innovation ideas. Here is an example of gift cards that a customer created and was implemented by Starbucks, the Starbucks gift card multiple packs and mini card. However, according to Walter Adamson, only 0.03% of ideas are put to work. 75,000 ideas have been submitted and 25 ideas were implemented during the first year. That is an average of 3 ideas for every 10,000 submitted.

Dell also launched their IdeaStorm website which allow users to do the same similar things. Dell’s implementation rate is higher  (at roughly 250) than Starbucks, but nonetheless, Dell is similar to Starbucks because only a small amount gets implemented. Dell’s focus is not the return on investment, but rather to create a dynamic and democratic culture for communication, innovation, and in the end sales. Dell realizes there are negative comments associated with the IdeaStorm, but in order to survive the change environment, all feedback are good feedback.

Crowdsourcing is becoming a big trend in E-marketing. Companies are using it as a way to engage their customers and to make them feel connected with big corporations. It makes them feel as if they have the power to change things for the better. With idea websites, it shortens the steps and combines research and development and customers relations all in 5 steps. The 5 steps mentioned in Ines Nadal’s blog are listen, monitor and understand, identify, predict, and take action. Not only do idea blogs help companies develop, it also helps with branding strategy, communication concept, and media planning. Highly active idea contributors have a higher chance to be picked by companies to test and give feedback about a product or service before they launch it to the general public.

In a way, Idea blogs can be seen as a ‘social networking’ site. It connects users to other users alike with similar innovation and passion, an interactive way to engage people to unleash their creativity. Agencies and clients can connect and may even recruit talent from all around the globe.

Before internet-marketing became a huge trend, it was almost impossible for people to voice their opinions and thoughts. Now, if others favor an opinion, the concept may actually become a reality. Even though the implementation rate is low, it is the idea that customers can contribute and be proactive with the company. Internet marketing has encouraged people from all over the world to share their views and by empowering their voice.

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