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Five questions to eYeka on ideas crowdsourcing

‘An idea can come from anywhere’, the mantra is cornerstone for most marketing advice. eYeka, however, takes the advice quite literally as François Petavy, CEO of creative marketing platform explains to Digital Market Asia, stating that eYeka’s genesis has been in the very evolution of consumers.

How can you “crowd” source ideas and insights and marry it to strategy and marketing principles that are best understood only by a brand and its custodians?
Let us take a step back here. As consumers’ tastes and preferences are changing and the way they communicate and interact with brands is transforming, they are essentially operating at laser speed. Brands are playing a catch up game. The core need is to get in the skin of the consumer much like an actor gets in the skin of a character. Experts cannot really do this because their very job description is to be immersed in the brand and industry way of thinking, which is extremely crucial. But connecting with people gives real insights. We leverage an international network of fresh and creative minds who are not professionals to bring freshness into the brand thinking.

Implying that the agency continues to have a role to play?
Most definitely because the ideas and insights we generate are not aimed at being the final output. They serve as roots or starting points of where the brand can go. While we provide the external viewpoint from the real people who are closer to consumers, from there, it is the experts who develop the work itself, lining it with professional expectations of being true to the brand and its characteristics. The future is about better collaboration between brand custodians and drivers of fresh, real insights, happening at a global scale. It will boil down to ecosystem management.

At present much of eYeka work is happening with large brands like Unilever, Hyundai and others. Do you see yourself liaising with the likes of SMBs or smaller brands?
Large brands are not only really keen on getting an external viewpoint but are also capable of delivering the final work. The process becomes a catalyst in the creative development leading to very inspiring work. SMBs have a very different requirement. They need the final product, and in most cases they are looking for something immediately. We work on ideation. We don’t expect our community to deliver a final product because then they need a lot more information and work with a very different mindset.

What is your growth strategy from here?
In a sense, crowdsourcing is just starting. Most brands are just moving from a trial and learn mode to a deployment mode. Data shows that more than 85 per cent of the global top spenders have explored crowdsourcing in some form already. Now, we have to get them to go deeper. Initially, brands were crowdsourcing things like videos or slogans, but now they are crowdsourcing ideas. Most of the ones crowdsourcing ideas are also very pragmatic marketers. The prospect of crowdsourcing itself creates a PR talking point, brings in more ideas into the door, and reconnects with something truer to get a better creative product. We are working with some of the brands to train their marketing teams on how to use this as a tool.

What are eYeka’s plans for markets for Asia given you are still not present in India for instance?
We have been working indirectly with markets such as India in Asia. Asia itself is a very dynamic, growth market for most brands. It lets us try new things in the expansion and exploration mode that it is in. It has the appetite for ideas from all around the world. Markets such as Japan are very interested in creating idea with foreign cultures. You can expect us to develop stronger plans for our growth in Asia.

Noor Fathima Warsia

A veteran journalist in the Indian marketing, media and advertising fraternity, Noor Fathima Warsia took on the role of Group Editor -– APAC for Digital Market Asia in May 2013. Noor has focussed on tracking trends and developments in the Indian media industry.