The Rising Tide of Open Innovation – Who, Where and Why

The Rising Tide of Open Innovation - Who, Where and WhyMany people explain that using crowd creativity is the new way to do innovate, and case studies about successful initiatives flourish almost daily.

Yet, hard facts are rare, and few people know how the trend of crowdsourcing is evolving over time. By whom is crowdsourcing being used today? Are big players really using it to innovate and market their products? Or is is all just communication from the players of the crowdsourcing space?

This month, two leading players in the space (eYeka and Nine Sigma) have both released data about the usage of crowdsourcing and open innovation. Both companies find that open approaches to creative problem-solving is gaining traction.

On December 2nd, NineSigma who is a pioneer in open innovation and empowers organizations to reach beyond their networks to a worldwide community of innovators, released findings from a U.S. survey conducted online among over 300 executives at organizations with $1 billion or more in revenues. Some of the results indicate that open approaches to innovation have gained acceptance:

  • 71% expect their company’s investment in projects with outside innovation firms to rise in 2015.
  • 68% of corporate executives say their company is using prize-based competitions to innovate their products and services.

Another leader in the space, eYeka, has looked at different data to see how crowdsourcing adoption is evolving. Researchers at eYeka have looked at publicly available data regarding contests launched by ten major FMCG companies, as well as at the “Crowdsourcing by World’s Best Global Brands” timelines, and have found that big brands have increased their usage of crowdsourcing of 46,3% between 2013 and 2014. Other findings are:

  • The top three advertisers investing most in crowdsourcing in 2014 were Procter & Gamble, followed by Unilever, and Nestlé.
  • PepsiCo increased its use of crowdsourcing by 325% in 2014, while Reckitt-Benckiser increased its use by 200%.
  • In 2014, Ford was the global brand that launched the most crowdsourcing projects (11 projects) while in 2013 it was Samsung (9 projects).
  • The top three sectors investing in crowdsourcing in 2014 were the automotive, alcohol, and grocery (excluding alcohol) sectors.

What does that indicate? These numbers show that open approaches to innovation are increasing in adoption, both on an individual level (as the manager survey results reveal) and on an organizational level (as the company data reveals).

Partnerships that are being formed, by which brands and organizations integrate open innovation approaches into their capabilities. These findings provide data about the willingness to embrace it “in real life.

Early next year, eYeka will release a report on “The state of crowdsourcing in 2015″ that will examine how creative crowdsourcing has evolved since the birth of the phenomenon in 2006, and how brands and companies are using it more and more to inspire marketing initiatives and product innovation. I will make sure to share it as soon as it is published.

image credit: pymnts.com

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Yannig Roth

Yannig Roth is currently Marketing Manager at eYeka and PhD student at University Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in Paris (France). His main research interests are creative crowdsourcing and community co-creation. Yannig regularly blogs at yannigroth.com and tweets under @YannigRoth

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