How can a company exploit the full potential of a crowdsourcing contest?

How qualitative research and netnography helped Mondelez better understand how people think and feel about chocolate, and the opportunities this implies

By Mondelez International, one of the world's largest snacks companies.

Why?

Market feasibility for crowdsourcing

Mondelez was looking for a way to innovate and engage creative minds outside of its company. Altogether, a community of 1078 participants in 69 countries generated a pool of 551 ideas, and 11,000 USD in prizes were awarded to the best entries. Beyond the actual submissions, the contest provided an overwhelming amount of qualitative data that had the potential to reveal valuable insights into consumers’ wants and needs. Mondelez conducted market research in order to go beyond the entries, and take full advantage of the content the contest had generated.

How?

Content, network analysis and netnography

In addition to the ideas submitted for the crowdsourcing, the participants wrote over 60,800 words, left 3,528 comments on the submissions, and exchanged 1,100 messages amongst themselves. Mondelez decided to analyze this content, and test whether their initial findings would be generalised amongst chocolate consumers. They first carried out content and network analysis of the contest output by analyzing and clustering content with statistical method. In addition to this analysis, and in order to validate its findings and make sure they apply to chocolate lovers beyond the contest’s participants, a Netnographic study was subsequently carried out.

So what?

Exploit the full potential of crowdsourcing

The content analysis revealed that bigger cluster in terms of numbers of ideas were not necessarily the most popular, for example, the cluster dealing with “ingredient experiments” turned out not to be preferred, which points to the fact that this type of innovation does not particularly excite customers. “Relationship”, on the other hand, was identified as the most favored topics – ideas in this cluster scored much higher and were more favourably reviewed than others.

The netnographic study was useful in validating but also rejecting some of the key findings of the content analysis, therefore making sure that only results relevant to a broader audience were retained. Netnography also allowed Mondelez to identify ways to improve the crowdsourcing ideas, as well as suggestions for their market strategy, in order to ensure the economic success of the winning submissions.

Now Mondelez exploits the full potential of crowdsourcing, by going beyond the creation of ideas and rethinking customer interaction and product development.