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3 Ways Social Data Should Replace Focus Groups

Focus groups. Known for their presumed ability to provide real consumer insight into pain points and desired product features, focus groups have been the go-to go-to-market experimental methodology for decades. But there are many problems with focus groups. They kill innovation, for one. And this: “As with any method based on asking users what they want— instead of measuring or observing how they actually use things — focus groups can produce inaccurate data because users may think they want one thing when they need another.” – Jakob Nielsen, NN Group Focus groups are nothing like the context in which your [...]

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Social Intelligence about Headphones – #4 Why So Negative?

[This is part of a series of recaps on this Sennheiser Social Intelligence report] One of the ways to break up the raw data is to sort mentions or posts by geographical location. In general, the US Geography map is very pretty to look at, since there’s typically a gradient that works itself artistically throughout the 50 states. But when I saw Sennheiser’s map, my first thought was this: If this map were for a presidential candidate’s ratings during the Iowa caucuses, he or she would have a heart attack. For some reason, sentiment about Sennheiser is very negative in [...]

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Social Intelligence about Headphones – #5 Forest For the Trees

[This is part of a series of recaps on this Sennheiser Social Intelligence report] The thing about analyzing data from social media is that there are possibilities that I could have never imagined with traditional surveying techniques. With social intelligence, you can see what people want, exactly when they want it. That capability sometimes gives us tunnel vision, though—narrowing down on specific authors, or specific dates, or specific words—and we forget to take a look at the bigger picture. Instead of looking at Sennheiser or Beats or Skullcandy, why not take a look at the whole category of “headphones” and [...]

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Social Intelligence about Headphones – #3 Keep Your Friends Close

[This is part of a series of recaps on this Sennheiser Social Intelligence report] Surveys are usually touted as being anonymous. Nothing you say can be traced back to you, so you can feel free to complain, gush, or troll to your heart’s content. Customers who don’t file complaints individually but express their frustration in anonymous surveys probably won’t get their concerns fixed right away. This is why being able to zero in on individual authors of posts is pretty useful. Customer service can address, in real time, a disgruntled customer who posts something like “Sennheiser earphones broke again. Gonna [...]

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Social Intelligence about Headphones – #2 Listening In On the Competition

[This is part of a series of recaps on this Sennheiser Social Intelligence report] Social intelligence is more convenient than general surveying because you can easily get information on not only how your brand is doing, but also how your competitors are doing. Just by creating a few more topics to search, Sennheiser can be compared to the other brands in the market like Skullcandy, Bose, Beats by DRE, Plantronics and Koss. According to the report, Beats by DRE dwarfs Sennheiser, Skullcandy, and most of the other headphone brands when it comes to share of buzz, and it’s mostly positive [...]

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The Ten Things We Fear (And Love) About BYOD

Two years ago, BYOD was just another acronym jockeying for acceptance by the technorati. Today, BYOD is a full-on phenomenon, the dominant way by which tablets like the iPad and Android smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S are entering companies. This is happening in plain view, and with the full approval, of IT managers and CIOs. Take Cisco Systems, where employees use more than 50,000 mobile devices, all of their own choosing. Or Safeguard Properties, which is encouraging its 8,000 freelance home inspectors to arm themselves with iOS and Android devices. Or my employer, SAP, which has adopted Genius Bars [...]

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