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Adtriboo: Carving Out a Creative Crowdsourcing Niche
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Adtriboo: Carving Out a Creative Crowdsourcing Niche

Creative crowdsourcing is one of the most established sectors in the industry – companies like DesignCrowd, 99designs, HatchWise, and crowdSPRING have all been around since either 2007 or 2008. DesignContest, a crowdsourcing pioneer, got its start back in 2003.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t gaps in the market left to be filled. Madrid-based Adtriboo, which launched in late 2011, figures one those gaps is the Spanish-speaking world. So, in just over a year, the company has expanded from Spain to Chile and Mexico – and it’s looking at further expansion over the coming year.

Creative crowdsourcing platforms operate under more or less the same model: a business in need of a new logo (or web site, video, etc.) creates a pitch to the community of ‘creatives’. All interested designers submit their proposals, and once the contest concludes, the business selects the winner, awarding that person money for their services.

The platforms generally distinguish themselves from their competitors by offering additional features and focusing on specific regions. HatchWise and crowdSPRING, for example, also offer slogan competitions, which may be more useful for a newly-founded business. DesignCrowd, which is based in Sydney, recently moved into India, Singapore, and the Philippines and lets businesses choose whether they want to tap into the platform’s global community or source work only to local designers. 99designs, for its part, acquired German competitor 12designer, bolstering its offerings in Europe.

In order to carve out its niche, Antara Phookan, Adtriboo’s international business development manager, told the company is both offering a more expansive feature set, and looking at an underdeveloped market.

Adtriboo stands out in that it lets designers work on a number of different kinds of projects. These include not just brochures and logos – Phookan says she’s seen everything from barstool, to mailbox, to mosaic designs on the platform – but also videos and audio content.

This has allowed Adtriboo to target creatives from a number of different industries. Over a year and a half, the platform has attracted over 120,000 designers – an impressive feat, given that some of the platform’s more experienced competitors have a smaller crowd. Phookan attributes that in part to a partnership with a social networking site for creative professionals in Spain, which gave Adtriboo an excellent starting point.

The other way Adtriboo is carving out its niche is by targeting the Spanish-speaking market. Adtriboo started out as a Spanish-only platform, rolling out an English version of the site only in August. While it’s not the first creative crowdsourcing platform to offer contests in Spanish, its competitors have largely ignored the South America in favor of Europe, Asia, and North America. This made expansion into the region a natural step forward. It’s currently operating in Chile and Mexico; Colombia and Peru are up next, and the team is also targeting Spanish speakers in the U.S.

Phookan says the activity level in Chile and Mexico has been picking up, but not at a “very accelerated speed,” which she attributes to a lack of outreach and on-site marketing. The company is looking to do more that in the near future by collaborating with organization and individuals in the region.

Whether Adtriboo’s bet on the Latin American market pays off remains to be seen – while the region is developing quickly, its internet penetration rates still trail Europe’s and North America’s, meaning it may be some time before activity there really picks up. A decision by one of the leading platforms to expand into the region may also derail Adtriboo’s plans.

Still, the platform’s focus on the region, willingness to accept nearly any design projects, and ability to attract 120,000 creatives puts it in good shape going into the future. We’ll be sure to keep watching how it progresses throughout the year.

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