When you boil down to it, people buy products or services to satisfy some need. This is the most basic element of marketing. You want clean teeth, you buy a toothbrush. You want to stay warm, you seek out a jacket. Our products are (mostly) derived from some sort of necessity. What if the need becomes more complicated? What if you want to brush your teeth more efficiently with less effort? So comes in the electric toothbrush. Sure you want something to keep you warm out, but you also want something that keeps you warm AND has a place to put your wallet (aka a jacket with pockets).
How do we know when to make these product/service modifications? We listen.
Market research is nothing more than taking the time to listen to what consumers want. It's also the area of marketing where I think social media has the greatest potential. Social media is more than just a new medium to spread your marketing message. I've said in several posts how it's a great way for consumers to interact with a brand and for brands to build trust and community around themselves. As brands, we engage in conversations revolving around our products and services. Not just to show care and concern for our customer base, but to improve ourselves in the process.
By taking the time to listen, we learn more about what our consumers' needs are. They love our product, but they would like it better if it had ______ or did ________. Taking these things into consideration is what helps us make our products better. We listen in order to know how to satisfy those needs. Once we are able to satisfy the needs of our target audience, then we reap the benefits of those social media relationships. We've not only built trust as a brand but leveraged that social knowledge to improve ourselves.
Social media, used in the right way, can help make a product that much better. What do you think?