For the second year running, Brainmates has conducted a survey into the use of social media by product managers and marketers. Our 2011 study has now been completed and we have incorp0rated the results into our Social Media White Paper that we first published in August, 2010.
Our research goal was to understand how product managers use social media. Through engaging our global network of product managers we have, over the past two years, identified four functional applications of social media. These relate to many aspects of product management, from assessing new market opportunities and competitor moves, testing out ideas and new concepts, to developing products with internal and external collaboration as well as the launch and ongoing management of ‘in-life’ products.
Compared to the 2010 study we see that the use of social media tools, and the intention to increase usage of social media tools is growing. Social Media brings new opportunities to product managers. It is enabling more open, collaborative conversations between sellers, buyers, users as well as partners, collaborators and wider communities.
At the same time however, this restructuring of traditional buyer-seller relationships means that customers are more able to talk, learn from and share with each other. Review sites generally outrank product information sites; blogs and tweets reach wider audiences than official marketing messages and open-source software has demonstrated how users are collaborating with each other to develop their own products and services.
It appears that product managers are noticing these changes and developments. Their use of social media is becoming more significant in both breadth and depth of application. Product managers are engaging with customers in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago.
These collaborative conversations will continue to enable product managers to improve their understanding of customer problems, needs and wants. Social media tools facilitate more discussion and testing of requirements and enable more accurate and focused efforts. Done well, this can help in the definition, development and deployment of products and services that are more relevant and compelling for customers.
Contact us to find out how Brainmates can help you with your social media strategy or check out our Event Calendar to see when we are running our next Social Media for Product Managers training course.