What are the Strategies to Leverage Social Media for Product Development?

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Product companies are finding it ever more challenging to create a strong channel of new offerings because of a diversity of reasons including:

  • Constraints of reduced time to market
  • Product life span is shrinking
  • Increased cost of new product development
  • Stronger competition, principally in a globalized environment

In this situation, social media could provide a strong strategic pedal in delivering successful new offerings. Individuals are leveraging this platform to endorse experiences or opinions on various products or life events like culture, politics, economics, habits, lifestyle, etc. proactively. This produces enormous amount of data which, if leveraged, can provide corporates actionable perception to re-align their offerings pertaining to market demands. Steve Silvers is the General Manager of the Media Intelligence Line of Business, which is fragment of Neustar Marketing Services.


The real life experiences and opinions of social media users could be leveraged in every process of product development improvement such as concept screening, idea generation, business case, market testing, product development, etc.

Product Development Challenges.

  • Globalization

Globalization has created challenges as well as opportunities for international companies. Although globalization has permitted organizations to magnify their business in various markets to produce additional revenue, companies often lack the astuteness about the new market. Companies require to keep track of competition offerings and client needs before investing in new offerings. For success of new offerings in an unfamiliar market, it is very significant to understand the customer needs, culture and deficits in already contemporary products. Also due to globalization, companies are forced to present new product in quick succession because if they do not, competition will eat their market share.

  • Customers’ unmet needs

Customers’ unmet requirements are main inputs in the first step of new product development process, namely idea generation. Assessing customer needs in a realistic manner becomes critical since success of the product in a target market depends upon how new product meets the customer expectations. Understanding how features of new offerings would be anticipated, how customer is going to use it and how it would provide better consumer experience assists companies to develop new offerings to meet market needs thus assuring success in the market.

Before beginning the product development, companies should evaluate what is the right time to introduce the products in a particular target market. For adoption and success of products in a designated target market, companies require to comprehend competitions’ new product development programs who are developing products to meet the same market requirement. This benefits companies to better understand the entry barriers thereby decreasing the risk of product failure.

  • Market Potential

Conventionally, companies do market research to comprehend the market potential of certain products in the target market. Many times companies subcontract this activity to expert market research companies. Production of such survey is based on audience sample selected from the group of customer data.

Consumers who purchase and use the products of companies decide its failure or success. But in most of the cases, customer involvement in product development process is limited or negligible. Since success of the products is mainly dependent on its customer acceptance, Steve Silvers believes that it is extremely logical to involve them in each process of development when creating offerings for them.

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