Insights. Competitive Intelligence. Those signs, signals and subtle influences that start as waves and soon swell into thunderous changes in the market. Looming industry trends and market disruptions – the signs that tell you things are changing and this is what customers will want.

Their value? How closely was Kodak paying attention when people began uploading digital images of their photos? Could Kodak have avoided bankruptcy?

What is that subtle shift that’s happening right now, under the radar, in your market?
Oh, yes. You know it’s there… you just don’t have time to pay attention to it, right now. You’ll get to it later.

Some companies do, however, manage to survive, or even prosper, despite a radical change in their business environment. How? Intelligence. Sometimes companies notice the shifts by looking at analytics. More often than not, the data is too small, too tiny, to appear in an analytical report.

Yet, those insights are right under your nose; they’re in that social media stream.

Think about this: Are you willing to pick up a phone to call a help line? You don’t have time for that. Your customer doesn’t either. Your customer has already figured out a much faster way. Post a complaint, with photos, on Facebook. Better yet, put it on Twitter. Did you see how quickly Air Canada got that wheelchair fixed after Tanner’s mother posted her complaint on Twitter?

Social media is a source of competitive intelligence. It is often faster and more accurate than any other method you have for generating consumer insight.

Are you prepared to apply what you’ve learned to influence the changes called for in product development, or operations?
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