PLM, Product Development and Social Search

Last week I wrote a post about how I can see twitter and other social tools can be used to predict the future of products. As much as social tools’ popularity is growing, the importance of monitoring these tools are growing. Manufacturers in consumer goods, telecommunication and others facing end users (but not only), can think about various ways to get input from social environment these days. I can see multiple use cases.

Requirements Gathering
Social space can be an excellent environment to find what are your potential customers are looking for. There is a real possibility to establish a set of keywords that can be used to find them out. The same social connections (i.e Twitter and Facebook) can be used to communicate new products with advanced features.

Quality Monitoring
Another interesting use case, in my view. I can see multiple users communicate the experience about a product they use in the social network. Pro-active monitoring of such experience can provide a good input to quality department and help to fix product problems on the early stages of usage.

The competition is a significant threat for most of the manufacturers these days. You can use the same social tools to monitor your competitor’s activity. In my view, it becomes a must thing to do nowadays.

I’d like to put below a short collection of various online social search and monitoring tools. These tools mostly cover Twitter, Facebook, Social Bookmarking sites such as digg, redit and some others. This is of course not exhaustive. I had chance to listen to Steve Arnold presentation yesterday and would like to give me credit to him related to the selection of search tools. I loaded most of the examples and links with “Product Lifecycle Management” keywords. This is what I’m monitoring. However, you can play around various keyword selections relevant to you.

Topsy. A search engine powered by tweets.

Sency. Search what is going on.

Its Trending. a real time feed of the most shared content on Facebook

Glozer. What is trending online?

Tweetmeme- Hottest Links on Twitter.

Collecta.Real-time information.

Itpints. Real-time search.


What is my conclusion today? It is amazing how much information you can find these days. As a manufacturers, you can get a significant competitive advantage in using these tools. As a software vendors, you can get an ultimate connection to your users and their experience. This is, of course, an addition to all existing traditional methods of work.

Just my thoughts…
Best, Oleg



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