Prof. Haisu Zhang, Assitant Professor of Marketing in the Business College and his students, Joseph Crisan, Reem Aljar, I-Chun Lee and Weizhi Chen placed first nationally in the 2013-2014 Next Generation Undergraduate Market Research Competition. The title of their research project is “Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing as a Dual Process: How Social Media Impacts New Movie Development”.
Their award winning research provides a snapshot for the effective use of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing and how social media affects the development of independent movies on the Internet. Specifically, we focus on identifying opportunities to attract potential backers (i.e. individuals who provide financial support to a project) and idea contributors to these types of projects. We conducted four studies and employed multiple research methods to study this phenomenon. In Study One, we explored crowdfunding and crowdsourcing and generated our overall research objective. In Study Two, we conducted a secondary data study to identify key factors in order to generate specific research questions. In Study Three and Study Four, we carried out an online survey in two different samples, respectively college (423 responses) and Amazon Mechanical Turk (140 responses), to test hypotheses and validate our results between the two samples. Among 25 hypotheses, we found a number of significant relationships that will be useful for those who wish to utilize crowdfunding and crowdsourcing.