White Paper How to ask the right questions in crowdsourcing


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http://jovoto.com We believe there is no such power as thousands of creatives worldwide creating innovative solutions, together. With such a huge team as our community we have to ensure to find the most precise, engaging and coherent creative task and pinpoint the goal of our clients.

The core of any Crowdstorm project is of course the creative task. Without an inspiring challenge and an accordingly high quality brief, it is impossible to achieve a great Crowdstorm competition. Read the White Paper for more.

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White Paper How to ask the right questions in crowdsourcing

  1. 1. 1 How to ask the right question The core of every crowdstorming project The success of your project not only de- pends on what you ask, but also how you do it. The aim of the creative task for a crowd storming project is to encourage a large number of talents outside the company to get involved and provide you with high-qua- lity solutions. In order to achieve this, special aspects need to be taken into consideration when specifying the core task and writing the briefings. Based on our experience with over 200 completed crowd storming projects, this whitepaper contains tips on how to draft your own questions in order to ensure an inspiring briefing. Each project begins with the task definition. Anyone who wishes to use premium plat- forms like jovoto to generate ideas should, first and foremost, think about the follo- wing question: How can I inspire a large community to find a high-quality solution for my problem?
  2. 2. 2 Without a task there is no project The creative task is the core of every crowd storming project. We cannot emphasize e- nough that this document is of huge im- portance – which should also be reflected in its preparation. Unlike internal projects or when commis- sioning external partners like agencies, you have to use your creative task to at- tract the talents of the community. As they are open projects, it is up to every creative to decide for themselves whether or not to take part in the contest. Quite simply, their decision depends on the task definition and the briefing. The biggest advantage when the following tips are taken into consideration is that you will attract the right talents with: 1. An interest in your contest. Because the task is exciting and the briefing is well writ- ten. 2. Time to work on the task at hand. 3. The relevant skills. Otherwise they wouldn’t take part as they wouldn’t have a chance of winning the contest. „Without a good briefing it is impossible to work with the community. Plus, the right questions bring so much energy to the ideas process, saving everyone involved a lot of work.” Conradin Mach-Sonnenberg Creative Strategy Director, jovoto GmbH The challenge At the end of 2010 the team at Starbucks as- ked themselves the question of how a foldab- le, recyclable coffee cup might look. Their aim was to reduce the waste generated by card- board cups. Starbucks decided to work together with jo- voto to use the sustainable ideas of its creati- ve community. In the run-up to the contest launch, there was a long discussion during which the subject of cardboard cups was e- xamined from every possible angle. Together with experts, the task definition for the Star- bucks betacup challenge was worked out. During this process it soon became clear that foldable cups are not the only solution to re- duce waste. So as not to impose limits on the community before the contest had already begun, the task definition was polished, step by step. So in the end, the question of how a foldable, recyclable cup could look was no longer being asked, and instead the commu- nity was asked to find sustainable solutions for the enormous waste generated by card- board cups. This is what enabled us to find the winning idea – which was not a product development in this case, but a simple yet decisive idea instead: to reward the customers who drink their coffee out of reusable cups. So it is particularly important to examine the problem from different sides and to work out the core problem in great detail. Only then is it possible to receive a wide bandwidth of sui- table solutions from the community. The core problem should be reflected in the task defini- tion and in an ideal scenario should already appear in a short teaser sentence at the start.
  3. 3. 3 The briefing in detail There are big differences in the way in which you brief internal project teams or agencies or how you introduce a large number of ex- ternal talents to the subject matter. Length Ideally, your briefing should not exceed one A4 page. If you have precisely defined the core problem in the first step, it will also be possible to summarize the task definition in a short and concise way. Furthermore, the at- tention span on an online platform is of cour- se a lot shorter than for example at an inter- nal briefing meeting. Thoroughness A creative task briefing should not only be as short, but also as precise as possible. The general rule is: as much information as ne- cessary and as little as possible. Avoid inun- dating people with details! It is important that all important questions are already answered in advance, and to include only relevant in- formation in the briefing. At jovoto the creati- ve strategy managers will assist you in con- densing and summarizing the task at hand. Our experience has shown: only then will high quality results be submitted. “One shouldn’t forget that a creative can’t just call up, as an agency would, to ask questions about the briefing. If the task defi- nition has gaps, you won’t find twenty ideas on the platform after one week, but forty questions instead.” Conradin Mach-Sonnenberg Creative Strategy Director, jovoto GmbH Contents Always bear in mind that external contest participants probably know a lot less about your company than your own employees or agency partners. This means that it is ne- cessary to introduce the company, product and brand so that even people who have ne- ver heard anything about them will under- stand for whom and what they are supposed to be working. Provide company strategy background information, details about the context of the problem definition as well as about the results you wish to receive. This allows the creative to look at the situation from your point of view and also to have a good idea of the project. The jovoto commu- nity consists of 50,000 talents in all corners of the globe. Winning idea: “Karma Cup” Starbucks betacup Challenge
  4. 4. 4 The briefing will be checked by our creative strategists and community managers before- hand and then translated into English. This helps us to ensure that every community member understands the task. Try to impose as few restrictions as possible. But if certain guidelines need to be observed during the ideas development process, you should of course include them in the briefing. And any evaluation criteria are also relevant to the creative community. In the task definition you should also consider how advanced the results should be. Are you looking for a sketch, or a prototype instead? If your task definition is very open, you have the opportunity to take inspiration from a wi- de bandwidth of creative ideas. If you are looking for concrete solutions, the task has to be depicted a lot more precisely. In this case you must specifically state what kind of re- sults you are looking for. But you should be aware that crowd storming projects are most suited for the generation of innovative ideas. You will very rarely receive finished products. Tonality Choose terms that are motivating and make people want to take part in the contest. But make sure you don’t sound too commercial. It’s not about advertising your product, but inspiring the community instead. If the con- test is on an international platform like jovoto, you should ensure that your formulations will also be understood across different cultures. No-gos No changes should be made to the briefing once the contest has started. You are better off investing more time and effort into the preparations, instead of revising the task de- finition once the process has already started. The creative strategists at jovoto will take the requisite time prior to the contest launch to work together with you on the briefing. This approach is time consuming but as we are all too aware: insufficient briefings not only re- sult in fewer and poorer quality ideas, but al- so to a high potential for frustration for every- one involved. Briefing structure On the following page, based on a concrete example, we are showing you the points that should be included in every briefing and how you can structure such a document:
  5. 5. 5 Teaser Core task summarized in one sentence. Aim T h e b u s i n e s s a n d communication goals. What do you want to achieve exactly? Task Definition What does the community have to do exactly? Keep it short! Background Introduction of the com- pany, embedded into the context (industry, com- pany etc.) Target group Who should the ideas be aimed at? Socio-demo- graphic and psychogra- phic qualities. Tonality How and in what tone should the target group be addressed, both visually and in terms of the text? Timeframe What is the project schedule (start date, submission phase and evaluation peri- Budget How is the prize mo- ney being allocated? Guidelines Additional information, e.g. restrictions in the design. Example Briefing
  6. 6. 6 Generate an added value Especially when it comes to public projects, like the jovoto.Public contests, value can be generated by the briefing alone. If it becomes clear that your company deals with certain topics, this can bring great benefits to the public’s perception of it. So you will not only receive fantastic ideas from a crowd storming contest, but can also generate media value at the same time. Asking the right questions may not always be easy, but it’s definitely worth investing the hard work on all levels. We wish you every success with your crowd storming project! Your contact Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. And if you liked this white paper, subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, to receive all our future ones. Jörn Hendrik Ast Senior Manager Sales & Marketing +49 (0) 30 80 20 878 14 jhast@jovoto.com jovoto GmbH Prinzessinnenstrasse 20 10969 Berlin Author: Johanna Matthes