$4 000 prize for marketing idea

By Siyabonga Africa, ITWeb junior journalist
Johannesburg, 21 Apr 2009

Quirk eMarketing is upping the ante with its latest crowd-sourcing campaign for Castle Lager.

The online marketing firm is offering $4 000 (R36 000) for creative ideas on how the South African Breweries' flagship brand can leverage its sponsorship of the national soccer team ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Once again, the online community will be able to register on Quirk eMarketing's Idea Bounty crowd-sourcing platform. A statement from the marketing firm says there are already more than 2 700 registered creatives, or users, on its social networking Web site.

“At this point, we have 2 742 registered creatives on our site from more than 50 countries around the world,” says Idea Bounty first mate Daniel Neville. “Companies are starting to see the benefits of using crowd-sourcing to get insight on their brands from consumers.”

The term crowd-sourcing, coined by Wired magazine journalist Jeff Howe, is the process of appealing to the general public in an open forum to reach a goal as an alternative to delegating the task to an employee or outsourcing to a specific third party.

The cost factor

Neville says companies can save costs associated with marketing campaigns by outsourcing the task to the general public through crowd-sourcing.

Quirk eMarketing has run crowd-sourcing drives for companies such as Levi Strauss, Red Bull and First National Bank (FNB).

Last year, the FNB competition, which involved more than 800 participants from all over the world, was won by French business strategist Guillaume Martin, who walked away with $2 500 (R24 515) for his idea on how to market FNB services to more affluent customers.

“Companies can open themselves up to much more creative minds at a cheaper price,” adds Neville. “The uptake of crowd-sourcing in SA is slowly but surely getting there and I'm confident that South Africans can answer the idea briefs we put out there.”

Neville says another point in SA's favour is that the online community in this country is proactive, and with the expected increase in bandwidth and decrease of connectivity fees, the country is expected to gain a significant user base.

Beyond online

BMI-TechKnowledge researcher Ryan Smit says crowd-sourcing is set to grow beyond its online presence in SA. The analyst points to several recent crowd-sourcing campaigns, including Yogi Sip's TV commercial and iBurst's print ad, where both companies appealed to the public for ideas on how to market their products.

“It's a nice source of creativity and ad companies could use it to tap into the mindsets of the consumers.”

Smit says computer enthusiasts are also likely to contribute because many of them are already comfortable with Web communities and Web initiatives.

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