Crowdsourcing – tried it; I’m impressed!


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Where there is a need, there is opportunity.This week I tried, for the first time, a concept that I’ve been hearing more and more about — crowdsourcing. In the process of conceptualizing a brand marketing strategy for a new business venture, one of the required components was a logo design. Instead of going the traditional route of assigning this to our advertising agency, I thought of exploring creative services using crowdsourcing. In a nutshell, I’ll say I’m impressed! This idea works.

When I first heard about it, it piqued my curiosity, but following good business practice, I researched it a little bit before trying it out. I found many different definitions and explanations of the term crowdsourcing:

  • The term was first coined by Jeff Howe in a June 2006 Wired magazine article titled “The Rise of Crowdsourcing”. Howe talks about technology and the Internet diminishing the gap between professionals and amateurs so that companies can now take advantage of the talent in the crowd.
  • Wikipedia says, “Crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to a large group of people or community (a crowd), through an open call.”
  • The most recent definition I found was one by Henk van Ess, “Crowdsourcing is channeling the experts’ desire to solve a problem and then freely sharing the answer with everyone”.

My experiment with crowdsourcing

A business associate suggested we look at, an online logo design service. The company is an online platform for gathering talented graphic artists and creative designers.

I went in with an open mind, not expecting much. Happy to say, I was suitably impressed! The “talent crowd” turned in over 40 logo designs, some very good, some not quite there, but I was impressed with the speed and quality of creativity available. The Internet certainly does provide new and easily available tools for participatory brand marketing.

What’s more, I can now also run a contest and get friends, family, business partners, and everyone I know or don’t know to vote on their choice of logo design from the ones I have shortlisted. This gives me the ability to catch the pulse and get some preliminary reactions to what may become the logo for my new enterprise. It’s like doing a marketing survey or running a focus group without all the work and effort that goes into creating surveys and setting up focus groups!

My first, small experience with crowdsourcing has confirmed my beliefs that:

  • Where there is a need, there is opportunity.
  • It’s okay to trust the crowd. (As long as you remain accountable and don’t blame the crowd if things go wrong!)
  • There is immense power in collaboration…even with strangers!

Another crowdsourcing idea

Here’s something I’d like to leave you with —  I stumbled upon an online “suggestion box for the digital age” called AllOurIdeas. It’s a research project by Princeton University’s Department of Sociology that’s working to “develop a new form of social data collection”. Given the super active online socializing of our age, this could be an idea with very strong potential.

Have you tried or toyed with the idea of crowdsourcing? I’ve been thinking about how this could be applied to lead generation or to create demand pull. For us marketers and demand generators, there may be a whole new way to generate leads using crowdsourcing. Any thoughts or ideas you would like to share on my blog?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.


  1. Personally, I am quite on the fence regarding the use of a crowdsourcing site for a logo design. It is still a touchy issue for most designers who said that crowdsourcing is a no-no for obtaining a logo design. I have tried crowdsourcing before and I know the risks involved but it comes within the territory. But there are other no-frills logo design websites online such as,,, etc. which are actually great in getting a professional logo design at a fraction of the price and minus the risks of crowdsourcing (plagiarism is one of them). Seeing that there are no consultation services, the price is significantly lower than that of conventional design firms. For instance, I have tried and the experience was indeed a positive one. I managed to get my business logo design at an affordable price and the turnaround time was great as well. Highly recommended. Although crowdsourcing for logo designs could be a bane for some, many find it to be a viable alternative to get a fast logo on the cheap. It all depends on the individual actually.


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