Crowdfunding is the platform for displaying corporate image which helps corporation to build connection with users based on the campaign that totally different with corporation’s official website.
Over the past few years, combining crowdfunding with marketing became a trend with the increasing popularity of Crowdfunding Concept. Some notable crowdfunding platforms perform well in the marketing way, such as kickstarter, Indiegogo, Buyerparty, Taobao Crowdfunding and Jingdong Crowdfunding.
In a broad sense, some campaigns on social media can be regarded as a mode crowdfunding, such as retweeting to win contest on twitter. To some degrees, the popularity of crowdfunding could be attributed to two factors. For one thing, the mode of crowdfunfing is indeed helpful for small business to spread and further their cause. For another thing, it is also an effective marketing way. The extension from sale to marketing, making crowdfunding accomplish multiple marketing functions, including new product launch, user involvement and brand spread.
Crowdfunding = Groupon+ Preorder
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet. One early-stage equity expert described it as “the practice of raising funds from two or more people over the internet towards a common service, project, product, investment, cause, and experience, or spice. (It quotes from Wikipedia)
The crowdfunding model is fueled by three types of actors: the project initiator who proposes the idea and/or project to be funded; individuals or groups who support the idea; and a moderating organization (the “platform”) that brings the parties together to launch the idea.
Crowdfunding = A Financing Way
Crowdfunding is the way of posting a project over the internet to raise funds from a large number of people.
Compared with traditional financing ways, crowdfunding can be applied in more activities. Any project as long as favored by others can receive enough capital which provides more business opportunities for designers or business man lacking of capital.
Kickstarter is a global crowdfunding platform dedicated to help creative person to get capital support they need to realize their dreams. The rising of this crowdfunding breaks the traditional financing modes which enable every single person to get enough monetary support and also makes financing sources are no longer confined to institutions such as venture capital but from the public.
Actually, Crowdfunding is a not a new concept in the era of Internet, the online ways making it attract more attention and become more effective. Basically, it is Kicstarter that makes the online Crowdfunding so popular.
Besides, based on some research and analysis, it demonstrates that some crowdfunding has similar features. Like kickstarter and Jingdong Crowdfunding, they are both B2C, retail-based platforms and are also good sites to sell latest but pretty higher price products over the world.
As the first global B2b crowdfunding platform, Buyerparty provides an opportunity for suppliers to get massive orders, cut cost through large-scale production by the function of order-gathering、order–combining and order-following online.
Meanwhile, small businesses are able to share the best price with the buyers purchasing goods for notable firms or governments. It improves efficiency of global production and purchasing as well as saving resources. Compared with Kickstarter, Buyerparty is not B2C but B2B, targeting wholesale and custom products market.
The mode of Buyerparty could be considered as a combination of crowdfunding with international trade and B2B. It offers great opportunity for global buyers to gain most cost-competitive products and purchase good products not only from China but from Europe and America etc.
With it, the buyers serving for small business do not need to abandon purchasing good products because of the high MOQ requirement. What’s more, suppliers also do not need to worry about the production if received small quantity order.
Crowdfunding = Marketing
Crowdfunding could be deemed as a way of marketing or selling from the view of its core concept. With the widely spread speed of the mode of crowdfunding all over the world, the extraordinary marketing potential could be seen easily.
How the Crowdfunding Combines with Marketing?
The result of Crowdfunding is indeed a report of market research; at the process, the creator could communicate with users which help to improve the product and optimize the project; for the starups with lower ability in public relation, it is a hard-won opportunity for exposing.
Actually Crowdfunding is the platform for displaying corporate image which helps corporation to build connection with users based on the campaign that totally different with corporation’s official website. For example, some costume manufacturers create a campaign in a Crowdfunding website, like ‘personalize your T shirt’ and at the same time invite different consumers to join. At the process of the campaign, corporate image is being intensified by buyers interacting with platform. And buyers are more easily to accept this kind of advertising because they are part of it, not being forced.
Several Modes of Marketing through Crowdfunding
Marketing and crowdfunding are associated with each other no matter how other people argue the relation between them. They are becoming a marketing tool by the way of other talking about the projects and spread via the internet regardless of the original intention when go crowdfunding.
However, marketing using crowdfunding website could be various according to the purpose and launch way of project creator.
1、Financing: new product exposing
Alibaba, as the world famous B2B marketplace, has been getting the big success both America and China. Last year in China, it pushed an new business in Alipay, named Ali-entertainment, a brandnew practice of Crowdfunding, like supporting the project, ¥100, that contains movies, art, literature, technology research and development, education training and so on, which has become the representative of innovating the Crowdfunding modes to diversification.
Clearly, the mode of Crowdfunding has become the new, low-cost financing channel for individual or small business and obviously Crowdfunding or marketing gradually being seen as key word in the internet world.
Many mediums or opinion leaders will report or write something in their blog or social media about the creative products they’ve seen in the crowdfunding website which is the most effectively way to market that product. Especially for the startups, it saves the costs they have to for marketing and in some way helps them to directly communicate with consumers the user experience. Crowdfunding is more of the platform collecting consumer’s opinions to optimize the product.
Matt Talbot, creative director of CP+B, said, “If we can bring more awareness to these campaigns and use social media to drive some of our fans to participate, that’s more powerful than just signing over some money”.
2、Pre-order: connecting with consumers
Crowdfunding, raising project funds over the Internet, is also described as the combination of Groupon and Pre-order, but from its development trends, it isn’t accurate. However it do not stop “Grougon+Pre-order” as a critical marketing method that encourages the mode of consuming before production.
The process of crowdfunding is also the time that participants personalize the product which caters to the trend of C2B. In the era of Internet, consumers are more likely to get something individual and special. Therefore, anyone or any company meets the need of consumers, and will get market share at ease.
CP2C(consumer planning to customer) is more a process for corporation to build its brand image than a selling way.
Tips: fully arousing the customers’ participation
The consumers will have strong sense of participation when they interact with product developers in the pre-order process. Even more, they will give suggestion for product improving or being part of product design.
3、Sponsorship: spread the product initiatively.
The way of crowdfunding is diversified and the types are various.
For the people in the international trade industry, Facebook, twitter, linkedin, instagram, or some marketing campaigns on these social media, such as sweepstakes campaign or retweeting to win contest, all these are not new ways to do business.
With the rising of SNS, strong social network for business is becoming advantage of Crowdfunding. Sometimes, we need support from friends, relatives, or their attention and spread.
In the mode of sponsorship, many products may not really need the money, but sometime get their exposing. For participants, they get the real discount or even free and that’s the drive force to get them participated. Participants get benefits; project creators and companies get their product spread. The whole process of Crowdfunding is in healthy operation.
Tips: paying more attention on social media
Supporting innovative products and design through non-direction spread of the Internet, Crowdfunding websites get the tips of internet social features. It supports individual or group to share their ideas or product to raise funds over the internet. More people take part sharing the project, spread the brand, making the favorable condition for project to success.