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An Evaluation of Crowdsourcing as a Tool  for Marketing Activities
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Advances in technology and social media have facilitated the rapid development of crowdsourcing as an innovative tool within the field of marketing. This has driven researchers to investigate more deeply the phenomenon of crowdsourcing as a marketing innovation. The overall purpose of this thesis is expressed as: To explore and describe the use of crowdsourcing within the field of marketing. More specifically, the primary purpose of the thesis is to understand better - How crowdsourcing can be used as a marketing tool. This thesis aims to illuminate the gap in the extant marketing literature by reviewing current academic knowledge surrounding crowdsourcing and marketing.  The use of the crowd as a marketing tool is growing primarily because of the advent of the Internet; however, as technology continues to advance the possibilities, challenges and side effects of crowdsourcing also change. These also need to be investigated continually. More specifically as digital marketing moves from a Web 2.0 environment to a Web 3.0 environment there will be new opportunities as well as pitfalls. As a result, new and relevant marketing problems exist at the nexus of crowdsourcing and marketing.

The research problem is sub-divided into the following four research questions:

  • RQ1:  To what extent are crowdfunding platforms accessible to organizations as a marketing channel and, if so, what role can these platforms play?
  • RQ2:  How will the shift from Web 2.0 (and active-user input) to Web 3.0

(and passive-data/sensor–based input) impact the new opportunities/product development process?

  • RQ3:  How can user-generated content help firms make strategic decisions about new business opportunities?
  • RQ4:  How is the evolution of crowdsourcing impacting information externalities and consumer privacy and how is this impacting marketing?

 This research is further divided into two sections. The first part investigates marketing activities specifically new opportunities/product development, advertising and promotion, and marketing research. The second section focuses on one of the possible repercussions of crowdsourcing in the marketing process. Most research on crowdsourcing focuses on the first section (i.e., the marketing activities) and how crowdsourcing is a positive marketing tool. Much less research aims its attention on the consequences and/or potential negative aspects of crowdsourcing.

This thesis consists of two published papers and two studies. Each project handles one of research questions. The first two papers and the first study focus on three marketing activities (i.e., advertising, promotion and sales, new product and service development, and market research). The second study focuses on one of the possible consequences of the growth of crowdsourcing as a tool in the marketing process.

While each paper and study has its own individual contributions, the overall contribution of this study is multi-fold. First, it develops a definition of crowdsourcing as: a tool or process by which the firm can increase or expand the resources to which it has access to by using the collective effort of a group of individuals or organizations. Second, as a result of these four research projects, crowdsourcing can further be seen as a situational, contextual and flexible tool that can be used in many different organizational contexts. The specific context for this thesis is marketing and as a result, crowdsourcing can play a wide variety of marketing roles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2019.
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Keywords [en]
Crowdsourcing, Marketing activities, Crowdfunding, User-generated content, Demand-side strategy, Predictive marketing, Consumer privacy
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Marketing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-71716ISBN: 978-91-7790-274-4 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7790-275-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-71716DiVA, id: diva2:1265218
Public defence
2019-02-25, A109, Luleå, 10:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-11-22 Created: 2018-11-22 Last updated: 2019-02-14Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Seeking funding in order to sell: Crowdfunding as a marketing tool
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Seeking funding in order to sell: Crowdfunding as a marketing tool
2017 (English)In: Business Horizons, ISSN 0007-6813, E-ISSN 1873-6068, Vol. 60, no 2, p. 189-195Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Websites such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter have attracted much attention for their ability to enable organizations and individuals to raise funds from ordinary people who contribute for a number of reasons. This phenomenon is called crowdfunding. Crowdfunding permits organizations and individuals to obtain investments they otherwise might not receive from more traditional sources such as banks, angel investors, and stock markets. A number of now well-known startups had their origins in crowdfunding. More recently, established organizations have begun to use crowdfunding websites not only as a source of finance, but also as marketing platforms. In this way, they have been able to ensure a ready market for their new offerings, with full sales pipelines, and to use the platforms as vehicles to boost brand image and gain support for brand-related causes. This adaptation of crowdfunding for marketing purposes is not without its problems, however, and organizations would be well advised to consider not only the opportunities these platforms provide, but also their limitations and risks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Marketing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-61241 (URN)10.1016/j.bushor.2016.11.004 (DOI)000398009000005 ()2-s2.0-85010704977 (Scopus ID)
Note

Validerad; 2017; Nivå 2; 2017-03-07 (andbra)

Available from: 2016-12-23 Created: 2016-12-23 Last updated: 2018-11-22Bibliographically approved
2. Sensor-based entrepreneurship: A framework for developing new products and services
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sensor-based entrepreneurship: A framework for developing new products and services
2017 (English)In: Business Horizons, ISSN 0007-6813, E-ISSN 1873-6068, Vol. 60, no 6, p. 819-830Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As the Internet of Things (IoT) begins to dominate the technology landscape, there will be new products and services that will become technically and financially feasible. Internet technologies and advancements in social interaction tools have led to an increase in the use of the crowd as a provider of business solutions. Yet, we have seen a mere fraction of the possibilities of crowdsourcing technologies. This is because most of the development, discussion, and research around crowdsourcing has focused on active-input crowdsourcing. However, the real transformative pressure will come from passive sources of data generated primarily by developing and growing sensor technologies. This next generation of crowdsourcing will be a game changer for entrepreneurial opportunities. As crowdsourcing systems proliferate, more input will be acquired from sensors, artificial intelligence, bots, and other devices. As a result of this explosion, the variety of product and service opportunities will swell as entrepreneurs become more aware of technologies merging—such as the combination of crowdsourcing, sensors, and big data into a new type of entrepreneurship: sensor-based entrepreneurship. The purpose of this research is to contribute by (1) clarifying the next generation of crowdsourcing and (2) developing and presenting a framework to help sensor-based entrepreneurs plan, develop, and map their new products and services.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
Keywords
Internet of Things, Crowdsourcing, big data, passive data collection
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Marketing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-65831 (URN)10.1016/j.bushor.2017.07.008 (DOI)000414819000008 ()
Note

Validerad;2017;Nivå 2;2017-12-01 (andbra)

Available from: 2017-09-26 Created: 2017-09-26 Last updated: 2018-11-22Bibliographically approved
3. Leveraging user-generated content for demand-side strategy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Leveraging user-generated content for demand-side strategy
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The industrial context of this study is the hospitality industry, specifically the restaurant business. The hospitality industry has two essential characteristics that make this study valuable. Firstly, with the related travel and tourism industries, the three businesses make up the world's largest industry in the service sector. Secondly, consumers in these industries have been at the forefront of creating and using comment and reviews (i.e., user-generated content (UGC)) to make their purchasing decisions.

Additionally, the demand-side view of strategy is under-researched, especially in the areas of tourism, travel, and hospitality when viewed against the predominant perspectives in strategic management (e.g., resource-based view, transaction-cost economics, positioning, and dynamic capabilities) are supply-side views.

Using the tools available today it is possible to scrape and mine the websites, blogs, forums, communities and other places customers gather and use content analysis techniques to extract meaning from the content. Web 2.0 sources of qualitative data like blogs, forums, feedback (i.e., UGC) can offer better research material than offline traditional qualitative diaries. As a result, using crowdsourced, user-generated content may be a productive marketing research approach to investigate how demand-side strategic decision-making can be supported in the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries.

Keywords
Crowdsourcing, demand-side strategy, content analysis, User-generated content
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Marketing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-71714 (URN)
Available from: 2018-11-22 Created: 2018-11-22 Last updated: 2018-11-22
4. An evolution of crowdsourcing: Implications for marketing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An evolution of crowdsourcing: Implications for marketing
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

By using the collective effort of individual customers or groups of customers (i.e., crowdsourcing), the firm can expand the resources to which it has access. One of the primary reasons for the growth of crowdsourcing is the advances and widespread growth of information and communications technologies (ICT), especially Web technologies, have led to an explosion of possible crowdsourcing and co-creation opportunities.

This research examines how this age of crowdsourcing has impacted privacy and the market for privacy. To crowdsource services at a high level often requires an exchange of personal data from the customer to the firm. This study builds three conceptual models that help describe the evolution of crowdsourcing personal information across three different timeframes. These three stages are based on the amount and the level of sophistication of the crowdsourcing processing of information externalities that result from market transactions between the consumer and the firm. Ultimately, through the crowdsourcing of personal and private information are advancing to the most advance stage whereby a digital twin of each consumer is created. This twin can be used in a predictive analytic process to forecast the thoughts, behaviors and future actions of each consumer.

Most research on crowdsourcing focuses on the first section (i.e., the marketing activities) and how crowdsourcing is a positive marketing technique. Much less research aims its attention on the consequences and/or potential negative aspects of crowdsourcing. This second study connects to the overarching research question as it is a conceptual study that explores the consequences of crowdsourcing for market for privacy.

Keywords
crowdsourcing, marketing, privacy, digital twin, externalities
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Marketing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-71715 (URN)
Available from: 2018-11-22 Created: 2018-11-22 Last updated: 2018-11-22

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