How (not) to use social media for customer and market research

Research Social media listening and measurement tools can provide businesses with valuable information regarding their brand, competitors and the needs of people.

Many businesses use this information to make strategic discussions and integrate social media in techniques for customer and market research. The same goes for research companies.

However, this is not without risks. Users of different social media have a specific profile that varies depending on the medium and businesses should be aware that you cannot  extrapolate insights that are gathered via social media. This seems obvious but I have seen many press releases from companies saying that “the average consumer finds that…” and then later in the article it becomes clear that all this is based on a Twitter poll. This is entirely wrong, of course. 

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Communication and marketing relationships: the power and danger of words and marketing speak

Using marketing terms to describe people, their needs and the way they communicate, makes us, marketers, reduce the reality of communication into a linguistical cloud that troubles our views on people and the way they connect.

Marketers are not the only ones using their own dictionary to capture reality in a very specific speak, of course. 

MDs have patients or clients, governments have citizens, marketers have target groups, recipients, fans, prospects, leads, consumers etc. 

Language is powerful but it can also be destructive and reduce complex realities to simple words that enable us to see clear in the chaos but at the same time make us blind to the reality.

Why don't we just talk about people and dialogues instead of customers, prospects, leads and media?

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