Marketing Executives Networking Group Research Shows Companies Effectively Using Crowdsourcing for Real-World Innovation

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Viral efforts catching up to standard internal R&D for new product and service development.

There is clearly a growing interest among marketing and other business executives to leverage this approach in a variety of business applications

One of the promises of the Internet, and especially Web 2.0, has been moving companies closer to their customers. A new survey released today by The Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), the premier organization of senior-level marketing executives, finds that 62 percent of marketers surveyed have been using crowdsourcing to help them shape the future of their products.

Crowdsourcing is a concept that encourages organizations to access ideas and expertise from an untapped knowledge base that often includes customers. The survey was conducted among MENG members in December of 2007 in order to gauge the opinions and experiences of its members regarding this topic. The majority of the members who responded to the survey were Chief Marketing Officers and VPs of Marketing.

Of particular interest is the way that these marketing executives view the effectiveness of crowdsourcing relative to internal R&D staffs for new product and service development. Sixty-two percent of executives surveyed rated crowdsourcing and consumer collaboration as an effective or highly effective approach to new product and service development, while only 11 percent more rated an internal R&D staff this way. This is a stunning development in the way executives consider approaching R&D. Additionally, 63 percent rated employee ideas and contributions as effective or highly effective, while 60 percent did the same for sourcing ideas from functional experts accessible from business and knowledge networks. Rated lowest was the use of traditional consulting and professional services firms (54 percent).

In regards to using crowdsourcing to tap useful business information, 80 percent felt it was probable that opportunities exist to source this expertise from business and knowledge networks, with half of these particular executives feeling there was a definite opportunity, and 84 percent rating this information as valuable or highly valuable. Perhaps not surprisingly, almost a quarter of executives indicated they would definitely be willing to contribute to a panel of experts that others would use to source expertise, and another 72 percent said they would consider it.

"There is clearly a growing interest among marketing and other business executives to leverage this approach in a variety of business applications," said Richard Guha, Chairman of MENG.

Steve Fisher, Chairman of the MENG Consulting Special Interest Group that coordinated the survey, advised that "Corporate executives should seek to explore ways to leverage their employees, customers and consumers not only for new product and service development, but also for channel management and customer satisfaction. Service providers should look for opportunities within their clients' businesses to do the same."

About MENG:
The Marketing Executive Networking Group (MENG) is the premier organization of senior-level marketing professionals who have reached at least the VP level in their organization. This 1,700 member not-for-profit networking community fosters career and personal success by sharing information and providing relationships for mutual assistance across virtually all industries and marketing specialties. Eighty four percent of the members have Fortune 500 experience and 70% have earned graduate degrees, the majority of which are from top-20 business schools. To learn more or to contact MENG, please go to http://www.MENGonline.com.

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Richard Guha, MENG Chairman of the Board
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