Thursday, January 11, 2007

Crowd Pulling

Over the past few years, the advertising agencies in India are getting sleepless night on the 'talent crunch' issue. When it comes to looking for fresh new talents, agencies are headed nowhere. Everyone has their own perspective about this problem.

While cleaning my desk today, I came across an article in the BusinessWeek magazine dated July 2006 on Crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is the unofficial name of an IT enabled business trend in which companies get un-paid or low-paid amateurs to design products, create content even tackle corporate R&D problems in their spare time. According to Eric von Hippel, "user-centered innovation." But unlike open-source software, crowdsourced work is managed and owned by a single company that sells the results. Good example of Crowdsourcing is Gettyimages, CafePress, Goldcorp, P&G's InnoCentive.

Crowdcasting seems to be the new catch phrase of 2007. Sitting between Broadcasting and crowdsourcing is Crowdcasting. The process of crowdcasting uses a combination of push and pull strategies to first engage an audience and build a network of participants and then harness the network for new insights. These insights / concepts can include new product ideas, new service ideas, new branding messages, or even scientific breakthroughs. These insights are extracted from participants' submissions. To be most effective, crowdcasting usually takes the form of a competitive event with a compelling prize.

Can advertising agencies draw example from this to create an internal process/system which can bring in people to volunteer? In the long term can this become a HR policy for advertising agencies to tackle the talent crunch? Advertising agencies do follow another similar path. They hire freelances to do the job, well but that is restricted only to creative. Why not follow the same with other departments like servicing, planning, interactive, media, new media etc.

Here is an article Blaiq has written on the same topic recently. Manish has also shared his thoughts on the crowdcasting here. Do send your comments, would love to hear new methods of crowdcasting which can benefit both you and the agencies.

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