Crowd funding, which Forbes.com (2012) described as ‘the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from many people via the internet’ has become more widely known, especially in the music and gaming industries and for charities. And it could potentially provide capital for SMEs irrespective of sector. Leading brands such as Kickstarter are giving it visibility.
However, crowd funding is but a subset of crowd sourcing. It is a logical extension of the practice of outsourcing, using the internet to generate ideas, distribute tasks, beyond geographical constraints. It could allow a small business to staff up quickly, build distribution networks, and outsource to talented freelancers with low overheads.
There is very little educational content available on crowd sourcing, and this would give the DP programme another USP.
With the onset of mobile websites, apps, push alerts, social media and other exciting developments, it is easy to forget the use of e-mail. However E-mail continues to grow and is forecast to keep growing at a rate of 4.6% each year until beyond 2020 (source; Radicati 2015).
There are new levels of sophistication in what was once seen as the successor to ‘junk mail’.
List building, landing page design, fulfilment and metrics now play a full role.
However, 58% of B2C and 73% of B2B emails remain unopened (source; emailmonday.com), so clearly there is scope for improvement in email campaigns.
Customer service in the digital age
Received wisdom abounds about for each good example of service we tell two people, but bad service makes us tell ten people.
Whatever the truth of such statistics, it is certain that the internet has the power to multiply any service issues whether real, perceived or even false. Trip advisor readily springs to mind here.
These bad reviews can cost a business money, and in 2015, the Daily Telegraph estimated that one in five businesses had lost £30,000 due to bad reviews.
Effective strategies are needed, especially for small businesses, to prevent and deal with any bad publicity.