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Social Marketing Begins With Good Social Listening
Rich Vancil / BtoB / April 22, 2013
Visualize the two major rivers of information that flow into and out of the marketing organization. The first is the flow of data that informs the “in-bound” product management process, wherein customer requirements are gathered and prioritized. The second is the flow of “ou-tbound” product marketing work-effort, wherein products and services are presented to the marketplace.
Social marketing is the process of applying social listening and social communicating as a new and value-adding element to those in-bound and out-bound information flows. For example, the in-bound product management process that I mentioned has been traditionally informed by customer councils or user groups or surveys. With these traditional tools, information comes into the product management process in chunks: large volumes of data that need to be unpacked and analyzed a few times per year.
Now let’s add in the social marketing tools. Staying with the product management information flow, now visualize new product ideas and customer feedback that informs the product managers in a real-time and continuous flow. A social tool for crowd-sourcing, where new features can be voted on and ranked by customers, can speed up the traditional process by orders of magnitude. SAP today has a robust social crowd-sourcing engine called Idea Place that does just that.