Why don’t we just ask our customers?

Social Media helps in listening to your customers

Why is social media an important business development tool for Market Intelligence professionals?


Topics related to social media have been a welcome addition to this year’s M-Brain Conference (formerly GIA Conference) in Amsterdam. One of the pre-conference workshops on Monday was a well-received one concentrating on social media strategy, content, and monitoring. On the first conference day on Tuesday, attendees were treated to a presentation with the headline “Social Media ““ The Next Big Thing?” by Ville Tolvanen, founder and leader of Finland’s Digitalist Network.


Digitalist is very much an enterprise for the social media era. It has no organization or hierarchy. It’s based on problem solving through events, social media platforms, and a loose network of members creating an almost constant stream of online content. Out of that, actual business solutions emerge, but Tolvanen is not really a traditional consultant or business leader. He is more like a networker.


Filled with potentially viral soundbites, slogans, and catchphrases (“Data is the new oil”, “Live the strategy”, “Digitalization is the biggest power shift from companies to customers in our era”, “There is no old media and social media, there is just media”), Tolvanen’s presentation seemed to be designed to be tweeted and re-tweeted.


Social media is a business development tool


Tolvanen’s biggest and best point focused on a topic which is very important for the Market Intelligence community: business development. MI professionals traditionally approach business development by concentrating on the collection and analysis of data. Tolvanen’s suggestion was that in the social media age, even business development can be outsourced to customers.


“Why do we always have to know everything ourselves? Why don’t we just ask our customers?”


That certainly doesn’t mean that all data collection will happen on Twitter or that us MI professionals will be out of work any time soon. What it does mean is that social media and social media monitoring are useful tools in our toolbox, and that there’s probably much more that we can do with them than we have previously thought.


By Saku Oikarinen, CCO at M-Brain


The Global Intelligence Conference is a three-day event for professionals focusing on the key strategic success factors of Market and Competitive Intelligence. It is internationally recognized as the best intelligence conference with 100% recommendation. Why? Because the conference is characterized by in-depth workshops, practical case presentations, thought provoking panel discussions, interactive roundtable sessions and a lot of networking opportunities. And it is vendor free.

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