Social network software (Ideascape) pushes customer feedbabck further than was possible with traditional focus groups and surveys. Users submit product development ideas into an ongoing contest for approval by their peers. Ideas rated highly by other users bubble up to the top of the list, providing submitters with notoriety as well as reward incentives. Corporate marketers can take the highest-potential ideas into their own product development process. Your marketing team is empowered with thousands of scored ideas, which they can then move into more traditional research methods.
Although you don't necessarily reach a different customer, you do get a different response from a customer at 3 a.m. in their underwear than you would if they were in a room with twelve other people. What's more, there are so many new ways to communicate via the net. Your new mantra should be about connecting the best ideas and most relevant information to people, places and things. Besides, openning the door, you never know who will show up.