As the communication technologies develop, more and more significance is gained by new forms of direct cooperation among the consumers or between the consumers and various business or public entities. Crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, or crowdshopping and similar phenomena not only enable interactions among participants and gaining knowledge, but also solve particular social or consumers’ problems. Those marketers who are able to manage innovation of consumers might largely improve their market position, e.g. in the area of product, communication, or customer service.
Using virtual expert communities as a space for conducting innovation-driven research projects allows us to help brands and organisations, for example, to:
- identify concepts and market insights that we divide into product, brand, consumer and engagement insights;
- test concepts and campaigns that the brands use in digital and traditional media in order to optimise costs of such projects;
- build expert communities that, next to advising organisations and brands in their market challenges, may also help build a positive and reliable word of mouth marketing;
- analyse behaviours and purchase decisions that are currently evolving at practically each stage of the consumer journey due to digital technologies;
- use the media (media panel), in particular as regards new content channels, i.e. VoD, social media, mobile devices and apps.
The innovation that the consumers might bring to the organisations is what allows them to move from the traditional business models towards the business models based on digital media. Only those that are successful will be able to plan for the future with minds at ease.