Crowdsourcing and Market Research

October 15th, 2009 by Jared Bothwell

The Internet has helped to create a language of its own, a language which is hard to keep up with. The great thing about ‘crowdsourcing’ is that you can kinda figure out what it means just the word its self (unlike names like twitter, google, bing). Obviously it has something to do with sourcing something with crowds. Turns out when I looked a bit closer ‘Crowdsourcing’ isn’t that new and it means a little more than sourcing from crowds.

Seems that ‘Crowdsourcing’ was coined back in June 2006 by Jeff Howe in Wired magazine. Broadly speaking ‘Crowdsourcing’ refers to the outsourcing of work to a large undefined group of people. Typically this occurs in the digital world as opposed to the real world (shame, as I’d love to crowd-source by gardening out).

It strikes me that there are some real similarities between ‘Crowdsourcing’ and Market Research, in fact it seems that there are so many similarities that it is useful to compare the two and find out what the difference between market research and crowd-sourcing actually is.


Crowd-sourcing and Market Research aide Good Product Design. Crowd-sourcing in many examples sees consumers taking the driver seat in regards to product design/survey design. There are examples of consumers being directly involved in the end product i.e. sneaker design. Market research does this to0.

Crowd sourcing involves collaboration between company and consumer.

Seems that market research and crowdsourcing have collaboration in common as well.

Crowdsourcing uses incentives like prizes, sometimes no incentives are used.

After looking at some of the examples of crowd sourcing it seems to me that market research can best considered a type of crowdsourcing. So if you were worried that you’d missed the next best thing your not. Ff you are doing some market research, then you are doing some crowdsourcing. Although one of the underlying platforms that crowdsourcing relies on is web 2.0 (i.e. the two way communication the Internet provides). It would seem then that market research 2.0 would be more closely aligned  to crowdsourcing than market research 1.0. Next crowdsourcing project – my garden.

Posted in Market Research 2.0, Marketing Research, Uncategorized | Comments Off