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Listen First!: Turning Social Media Conversations into Business Advantage by Stephen D. Rappaport

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Chapter 5

Discover New Customers

A failure to generate new customers can hurt an organization dramatically. It limits the company's ability to expand its base of owners and prospects, increase revenue, and generate profits necessary to grow the business and reward investors. While lead-generation tools can be helpful, their strength is in locating prospects based on profiles of the customers you currently have. Social media listening, on the other hand, helps companies discover people who are interested in their products or services but currently invisible to them.

Why do potentially valuable customers and growth prospects remain “hidden in plain sight”? One reason is that advertisers and marketers collectively remain trapped by conventional mind-sets. Social media listening techniques enable marketers and advertisers to “pan for customer gold” by helping us to reframe and rethink conventional wisdom, encourage us to link disparate data, and open our minds to what that data tells us. Our case studies uncovered a variety of faint signals that [after being amplified through analysis] located new customers who exhibited real business potential.

Winning Plays for Discovering New Customers

Case study analysis led us to identify the following winning plays for discovering new customers.

  • Challenge “conventional wisdom” and the widely held beliefs you currently have about customers. Break free of your current customer definitions, and look outside them. The Hennessy and Suzuki cases, ...

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