Social Media under Web 2.0 has made engagement more meaningful. Apart from keeping consumer closer to loved ones, brand, quote, and unquote, Social platform has also empowered knowledge workers in the B2B scenario.
According to eBiz, Twitter is the 9th most visited website on the Internet. Teenagers to marketing dudes, Twitters’ penetration makes it an attractive option to conduct market research, understand competitive landscape, trends well within 140 character magic.
Relevance to Market Research (MR)
People communication/ P2P communication: it is an instant way to engage oneself and others on a relevant topic of discussion. Within seconds Market researcher can get feedback from multiple minds real time.
Follow relevant personalities/ influencers: Market research is about understanding the market trends. Trends are the experience researcher can gather from consumer as well as experienced marketing and sales people in various verticals. Twitter allows you to connect with the source of rich information, and one need to just pick what they are saying about the topic. Often market researcher need to read between the lines and should have the ability to pick the hidden trend and information to connect dots. This comes from micro-blogger easily / on daily basis.
Increase the MR scope: According to Socialbankers, 66% of user-generated tweets mentioning brands are done via mobile devices. Hence on-the-go information providers leave rich information about customer experience, product experience, corporate moves every seconds. It widens the scope of listeners and make meaningful conclusions.
Consumer Insights: This is a big concern to service and product companies in technology, FMCG, manufacturing, etc. to stay as a constant listener to consumer feedbacks. Twitter makes it easy and relevant. The unprepared and raw communication stream is what once should gather, which is so rich and relevant to understand the consumer demands. This method is a direct access to enhance company’s responsiveness to consumer feedback. The best thing is it WOKS!
It is about understanding the #socilamedia language of consumer. Social media is a cluster of groups connected directly or indirectly with different thoughts and topics. Market researcher need to branch out to various groups and pick to make insightful conclusions.
Relevant to Competitive Intelligence (CI)
CI is most used or un-used term within knowledge management industries. Getting public information about your competitor is one thing and understand competitor move out of public information is an ART! It is not difficult to paint the perfect picture about your competition.
Follow industry speakers/ influencers: it is not necessary to connect with the competitor sales guy to get information. No one with do that. It might cost your jobs. But a CI champ can always meet the vendor, customer, users of the competitor products in B2C and B2B scenario. They throws relevant information and yes you should articulate the hypothesis to understand the upcoming smart move of competitor.
Ex-employees: you got it! Connect with ex-executives and get the experience raw. They are writing 24/7 about the industry, the trends within the verticals – CI professions should grab it. Connect then via Groups, LinkedIn, blogs, etc
C-level executives open up in social media: call it strange or magic of social media people open up in social media. This is the best opportunity for CI s to connect and engage with them.
No free-lunches: Competitive intelligence teaches you the importance of barter system in knowledge management. So be prepared to give information if you need to complete your assignment. Simple! When you connect with industry through people – needless to say you should be full of updates. Otherwise Web 2.0 will reject you – engagement is when you give information you get two. Hence to enhance the twitter Knowledge Channel 2X market researcher / competitive intelligence professionals should learn the art of engagement. It is cost effective!
My experience reminds me how social media is cost effective tool to knowledge management.
It is fast – forget those phone call appointments and emails
It is relevant
It is real time
It is reproducible
Thanks for reading
Author is 9 years’ experience into market research and competitive intelligence