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

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Chapter 8

Improve Products and Services

As soon as a product or service becomes available and people begin to use it, marketers and advertisers face the task of improving it in ways that keep it relevant and resonant. Consumers often want the product or service to better fit their needs and preferences. Some of these are needs and preferences that they didn't even know they had before, but that have come about from experience or new social/economic circumstances, such as recession or recovery or changed family situations. Products that have been with us for a century or more (Kraft Foods alone has more than 40 of them; Kraft 2010) have succeeded for so long because the companies that own them paid close attention and adapted to evolving consumer tastes. Improved products and services that resonate add to consumer happiness, have extensive life spans, and make long-term financial contributions to their companies.

Social media listening enables companies to uncover areas that are ripe for improvement and that can harmonize the relationships between products, services, and customers. The examples we cover in this chapter clearly demonstrate the ways that signals from even the most basic listening posts can help companies make timely adjustments to their changing consumers.

Winning Plays That Help Improve Products and Services

We developed three winning plays from the case studies we reviewed:

  • Align content to conversations and discussions. The content that your product or service ...

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