Crowdsourcing the Results You Want

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Wharton University - Mack Institute for Innovation Management | Pinar Yildrim | Nov 11, 2014

How to structure crowdsourcing contestsCrowdsourcing contests are gaining popularity, so it’s time companies figured out how to structure them to draw out the best results. Funded researcher Pinar Yildrim has been investigating how choices about contest structure affect number and quality of entries.

In marketing, crowdsourcing contests are used to find new ideas for development, as well as to engage customers with the brand. The optimal competition structure depends on the desired outcome. If a company’s main goal is to develop the winning idea, then it will prioritize idea quality. However, if it simply wants to engage consumers with the brand, then high participation in the contest will be the more important goal. There are many ways to set up a contest, and the research focuses on several of these possibilities through the lens of participant motivations.

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Published on Aug 22, 2014 Sponsored researcher Pinar Yildirim explains how a firm can create the most effective type of crowdsourcing contest, based on the company's size and its specific goal for the competition. For more info: http://www.mackinstitute.wharton.upenn.edu/

Yildrim, an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Wharton, explains that she and her colleagues looked at what motivates consumers to participate in a competition. They emphasized that consumers think about three main considerations. The first is, predictably, how much money the winner will receive. Also important, however, is the number of possible winners—a consumer will be more likely to enter a contest if there are several winning slots and therefore, more chances to win. This motivation is mediated by a third factor, called “competitive effect,” which refers to consideration of how many people will be competing for the winning slot(s).

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