Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is where lots of people contribute financially to get a project off the ground, right?

Wrong. There’s a lot more to it.

Crowdfunding changes the way project teams approach product design.

To be successful they must listen to the crowd. To be successful they need to respond to the crowd. Most importantly, successful teams feel accountable to each and every supporter. It is these behavioural changes that make crowdfunding beneficial within a business.

So what might crowdfunding look like if it happened internally, within your organisation, your colleagues as the crowd, without payment?

ideocial is a platform that delivers the benefits of crowdfunding in an environment which is private to your business.

We like to call it Enterprise Crowdfunding.

There are three main differences between public crowdfunding and Enterprise Crowdfunding:

  • No actual money changes hands, instead virtual currency is used to support projects;
  • The amount of funding a project receives shows how well supported it is (rather than providing funding to implement);
  • Each project (or Pitch, as we call them) belongs to a time-limited Challenge. This creates a level playing field for Pitches to compete with each other for virtual funding.

Click on a role below that best describes your interest in ideocial to find out more about Enterprise Crowdfunding, or for an overview, click here.

Innovator

I have awesome ideas and want those to drive the future of my business

User

I want a say in which innovative projects my business takes on

Manager

I want to facilitate creativity and problem-solving ability

Enterprise Social

I want case studies and analytics to support innovation or social media

Innovator

A crowdfunding platform is an opportunity for you to showcase your idea to the world. Or in ideocial’s case, to your colleagues, via your Yammer Group.

A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to bring an idea to the point of being ready to submit:

  • You can form a team to collaborate on the idea – after all, innovation is more fun as a team sport. You might want to involve people with different backgrounds or skillsets.
  • Decide on small token Rewards that you’re going to offer for different levels of support. For example, for a contribution of $5 you could provide an hour of mentoring time in return. If you want, a Reward can be limited in number.

Once you submit your Pitch, you will have a page that your team can edit and post regular updates. Keep in mind that the audience is your Yammer Group, and come up with effective ways of selling your idea to that audience. Your choice of writing style is important here, and you might want to think about including pictures, videos, or infographics – ideocial gives you the space to be as creative as you like here. Check out an example here.

People will ask questions and suggest improvements to your idea. This is your chance to have a two-way conversation about your Pitch. Your team should respond to each of these, perhaps even refining your idea to address genuine concerns. Listening to feedback, showing that you’re responsive, can win over lots of supporters.

User

Crowdfunding gives you the chance to vote on which ideas are going to be implemented by your business. It also gives you the opportunity to give feedback, both positive and negative, to ideas that are put forward. You are personally part of the crowd that makes crowdfunding a powerful business tool.

The first step in getting involved is to look through the Pitches that have been submitted. Get a feel for what they offer, and how they might impact you and your team. Read through the comments and updates to see if other people share the same views as you do.

  • If you have a concern, start an open and honest conversation with the team who created the Pitch (tagged on Yammer so it can be easily found). Honest, constructive feedback will inevitably improve the concept.
  • If you have a suggestion for improving a Pitch, the creators probably want to hear from you too!

Feedback is important, but ultimately it will be virtual currency that will decide the winner. You have a virtual wallet that you can spend in any way you like. If you think there are a few good ideas put forward, you can spend virtual currency on several Pitches.

Pitches might even offer token rewards in return for your support – things like time with a mentor, early access to the tool or project being put forward in the Challenge, or beta testing the solution. There can be a limited number of rewards, so if you really want one don’t leave it too late!

Don’t forget to check back to see how your Pitches are doing throughout the Challenge, and contribute to the ongoing conversation on Yammer.

Manager

As a Manager, your priority is facilitating creativity in others and improving engagement. To do this, within ideocial, you’ll want to create a Competition. This is really simple, with just two main tasks – framing the business problem, and allocating virtual currency to Group members.

ideocial gives you the flexibility to do this in a number of ways:

  • The description of a Challenge is a blank canvas that allows you to describe the problem in a way that resonates with your team. Be as prescriptive or broad as you want.
  • Decide on a finish time for the Challenge. How long the Challenge lasts for depends on the scale of the problem and how developed you expect Pitches to be.
  • Initially all Group members get the same virtual currency allocation in their wallet. You can change someone’s allocation later if you want – for example give a slightly larger amount to someone who is a subject matter expert.

After creating the Challenge, your group is then free to come up with exciting new ideas to address the problem.

After the Challenge is finished, you’ll probably want to get involved in congratulating the winning Pitch and supporting the concept through to implementation!

Enterprise Social

Whether you’re a community manager or innovation manager, a convincing business case involves telling great stories as well as backing those up with facts and figures. ideocial helps by giving you both, in an easily accessible format.

Screenshots of Pitches and Challenges are perfect for illustrating how to use social media. Case studies can be made even more compelling with quotes from related Yammer conversations, easily identified with hashtags.

The Premium version of ideocial gives you what so many cloud services don’t – access to analytics with enough detail to generate meaningful insights. After exporting page hits from ideocial, it is incredibly simple to filter the data by user, time range, or a specific Pitch or Challenge. You know exactly who viewed a page, and when. That level of detail can be built up into an incredibly powerful demonstration of the value of both ideocial and Yammer.