The Power of the Crowd

April 29, 2011

The Golden Pages recently announced that it’s making significant changes to its online offering. An interactive website has been launched, as well as a new app for both iPhone and Android devices. As part of the new website, consumers are invited to rate businesses listed in the directory, forming a database of customer views and experiences. This is a great example of how the traditional model of direct communication by businesses to their customers is increasingly being replaced by dialogue.

More and more, consumers are making their voices heard. Several brands have actively recruited members of the public to play a role in the production of a high-profile marketing campaign. Glenisk teamed up with Ray D’Arcy and Today FM to search for a piece of music to accompany their new TV ad. After a shortlist of entries was compiled, listeners were encouraged to vote for their favourite on Facebook. Guinness took a different tack and recruited rugby fans instead of actors to appear in ads for ‘This is Rugby Country’. The goal was to give a more authentic feel to the campaign and bring about the sense of pride that unites rugby enthusiasts.


Making the public part of a major marketing campaign is a great way of creating an emotional connection. Despite this, crowdsourcing is only one of a number of tools at hand to any brand manager. The challenge that lies ahead for marketers considering using crowdsourcing is finding a way of successfully integrating consumer ideas, feedback or even faces into a campaign. While it seems that this has been successful for many, will it work for everyone? Or is it just a way for cash-strapped companies to save money on ad campaigns?



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