What is Gap in the Market?
In February 2013, KBC bank in Belgium launched The Gap in the Market – a collective intelligence platform to crowdsource local business opportunities, aggregate data and present it back to local entrepreneurs. The bank accompanied the platform with a vote-based contest to crowdsource business ideas and supported popular ideas with coverage and prizes.Source: lareclame.fr*
171,157 gaps in the market were reported in three months – an average of 560 reports per town or city – and 1,500 business ideas were submitted. The program also piqued the interest of marketers and advertisers and won a Gold Lion in the Direct category at Cannes Lions 2013.
With The Gap in the Market, KBC establishes a sound overlap between people’s interests and business interests. The program helps local entrepreneurs identify opportunities and also helps KBC promote its banking, loans and insurance services for entrepreneurs.
In addition to helping entrepreneurs identify opportunities, KBC also encouraged entrepreneurs to discuss their ideas with local KBC executives and awarded 20 contest winners the use of company cars for 6 months, to help them set up their new business.
Blogger Pierre-Nicolas Schwab commented:
“Kudos to KBC. We usually see banks as a hurdle in the entrepreneurial process but this time someone seems to think differently and wants to re-invent the process.”
The program is quite timely too, as copywriter Hugo pointed out:
KBC has done what any bank would do given the current economic situation: truly help citizens to start businesses and thereby improve the economy.*
Indeed, purpose-inspired programs are becoming the new standard, as MSLGROUP’s Pascal Beucler points out in his reflections as a PR Lions juror:
“It’s a purpose-led world: more and more big corporations and brands are embracing a ‘bigger-than’ USP and even old style social responsibility. For engaging Gen Y, and soon Gen Z, this is no longer an option.”
People submitted gaps in their local market online using the Gap Finder tool. Then, entrepreneurs browsed through this data on an interactive map, and filtered to see the top business needed in a specific region and compare businesses needed across regions.Source: hetgatindemarkt.be/nl/8500/viswinkels*
The interactive map displayed gaps shared by people and also statistic data collected by yellow pages business Truvo.
Using statistic data as seed content
KBC pre-seeded the map with statistical data to create a base of content intended to inspire the first wave of visitors to create content.
Here’s a slide from KBC’s The Gap in the Market case study that explains the value of seeded content:Source: slideshare.net/cleverwood
Typically, we see marketers use social conversations around a hashtag or real-time data feeds and indexes to populate content on collective intelligence platforms.
Reactions to the program
The program sparked conversations around local businesses, as people shared gaps, analyzed the data and commented on the methodology of the platform.
Bart Rosseau commented on the presentation of data:
Olivier Maes and Wouter Lecluyse noted the use of the data in identifying general trends.
Crowdsourcing business ideas
Once gaps were identified, entrepreneurs submitted information about their idea including the region they would launch in and business details.
To help entrepreneurs come up with ideas, KBC created videos featuring stories of successful entrepreneurs. Bart Claeys, a creative director, wrote:
The second phase of the campaign is now focusing on the potential entrepreneurs. Three TV spot… and five different ads show next week examples of original companies and companies that should inspire people with good ideas to venture. Itself the leap as an entrepreneur Who dares, and together with KBC is a good plan, does indeed win one of the 20 Volvo trucks.*
The program then entered Phase III: Social Battle – a contest in which participants gathered support from their networks for the chance to win one of twenty company cars.
Sixteen cars were awarded to the most popular idea in each of the 16 regions where KBC operates. The remaining four cars were awarded to the next most popular ideas in four other regions.
Promoting The Gap in the Market
KBC promoted The Gap in the Market through localized PR stories and advertisements – posters, radio ads, TV spots, online ads and innovative outdoor ads on empty store windows.Source: haberdasher28 on Instagram
Bart Claeys reported:
Every village, town and city received personalized posters in their offices KBC (eg: What is missing in your opinion Halle?). On vacant premises in shopping were stuck messages to the inhabitantswww.kbc.be / hetgatindemarkt should lead to their greatest lack of giving. And in the region pages of the News was there – on the basis of editorial articles – elaborates on the specific needs of each municipality.*
KBC partnered with leading newspaper Het Nieuwsblad to provide local coverage across the country and to create a special micro-site – nieuwsblad.be/extra/gatindemarkt – which presents interviews with participants, results by region and top business opportunities based on third-party data and people’s submissions.Source: nieuwsblad.be/extra/gatindemarkt/
The micro site also features results of an iVOX survey commissioned by KBC to study people’s satisfaction with the shops and services around them.
Entering national discourse
The Gap in the Market brought attention to the lack of local businesses and inspired both people and public leaders, like Daphne Dumery, to join the conversation.Source: twitter.com/ddumery*
Trend: Move from saying to doing
Marketers from across the industry are calling for more programs, like The Gap in the Market, that highlight people’s problems and deliver effective solutions – especially as technology creates new opportunities to do so.
Razorfish’s chairman Clark Kokick penned the entire book Do or Die to inspire what he calls “effective marketing: moving from just saying things to your audience to actually doing things people find entertaining, useful, and relevant”:
“In the past, you could simply turn up the volume if you wanted to get your message across. Today, you have to turn up the value. You have to give consumers something they actually prize in order to have them pay attention to you.”
AKQA’s chief creative officer Rei Inamoto just recently argued that “Brands should aim to solve real problems by providing connected services over 365 days and by inventing new businesses that benefit people, not just the brand”:
“Creativity and innovation are about finding unexpected solutions to obvious problems or finding obvious solutions to unexpected problems. We should use our creativity to provide better businesses and solutions rather than constantly trying to disrupt what people are doing.”
*Translation via Google
MSLGROUP’s People’s Lab crowdsourcing platform and approach helps organizations tap into people’s insights for innovation, storytelling and change. The People’s Lab crowdsourcing platform also enables our distinctive insights and foresight approach, which consists of four elements: organic conversation analysis, MSLGROUP’s own insight communities, client-specific insights communities, and ethnographic deep dives into these communities.
[Can’t see this Slideshare presentation? Click here to view it directly on Slideshare.net]
As an example, 100+ thinkers and planners within MSLGROUP share and discuss inspiring projects on corporate citizenship, crowdsourcing, storytelling and social data on the MSLGROUP Insights Network. Every week, we pick up one project and do a deep dive into conversations around it — on the MSLGROUP Insights Network itself but also on the broader social web — to distill insights and foresights. We share these insights and foresights with you on our People’s Insights blog and compile the best insights from the network and the blog in the People’s Lab Quarterly Magazine, as a showcase of our capabilities. We have further synthesized the insights from 2012 to provide foresights for business leaders and changemakers — in the ten-part People’s Insights Annual Report titled Now & Next: Ten Frontiers for the Future of Engagement, now available as a Kindle eBook.
As you can imagine, we can bring the same innovative approach to help you distill insights and foresights from conversations and communities. To start a conversation on how we can help you win with insights and foresights, write to Pascal Beucler at email@example.com.