Marketing teams across the globe are tasked daily with defining the features and qualities of a product while also attempting to communicate this message to the widest audience most interested in purchasing their product. Now let’s be clear here. Marketing teams rarely look to knock down new doors, investigate uncharted waters and sell their product to those who are not in the market for it.
Easy. The repeat purchase and established buyer demographic cost the least amount of money to market to. They require little encouragement to enter the buy cycle, and put up little resistance to “spin doctoring” of feature enhancements. This is not to say that new consumers are not sought out, it is just that they cost more to sell the product to. It takes more advertising “buy now” statements, broader and longer sales campaigns and more deeply discounted product mixes (coupons).
What tools do we have to sell to the consumers not currently polarized towards your product or service?
Social media specialists and community managers are able to dissect consumer sentiment through the words of the general public. Social media allows prospective consumers who are considering options to read first hand accounts of the experience of those who already have purchased the product. Consider eBay’s scoring system. If a prospective buyer sees a Seller Rating of 87%, that consumer may be less likely to make that purchase. Likewise, if the seller has a 100% rating and has sold thousands of items to the public, they feel reasonably sure that the product is as advertised and that the product was delivered successfully.
Social media goes even a step forward by allowing marketing professionals to create traditional copy based on an analysis of the product dialogue that the consumers are engaging in. New product benefits can be discovered, others that were felt to be benefits may turn out to be serious product flaws.
Ignorance of consumer sentiment creates weakly competing markets, manufactures inferior and low quality products and reduces the overall product receptivity of the public.