Impact of Social Media Analytics on Product Development

Will i be outcasted by product development fraternity, if i say that Product development team’s need to listen more closely to device whispers and customer’s roars’s rather than to technology bells for developing products that are more desirable by the consumers of electronic devices.

Lets look the the major changes that are happening with the consumers of electronics devices companies, which would product development

  • Every day, consumers are using connected devices generating 5 petabytes of data. Just to be clear, that’s 5 times 10 to the fifteenth power or 5 quadrillion bytes. Hidden in this data is a set of device usage and failure patterns, a huge source of potential insights for improving the products design and features.
  • These consumers are part of the world’s largest focus group, social media with millions of consumers regularly sharing their honest and candid opinions online. Companies don’t have to seek consumers’ opinions via panel or research study, they’re already available. Yet, at the same time, may consumers are willing and eager to go one step further and participate with companies to develop better products.
  • Customers sometimes are returning devices that are not faulty due to usability, software issues, remotely, and this is resulting in huge cost of “No fault returns” for device manufacturers.


Despite the fact that social media and device channels represent a rich, continuous stream of customer feedback, few organizations are equipped to take advantage of these inputs in product development life cycle due to

  • No formal strategy for utilization of social media inputs –Unable to make transformational changes in Organization structures, process, tool, practices and company culture to gain full value of social technologies
  • Low Budget for social/device analytics – Companies are not able to define metrics and ROI for using analytics for product development due to which management is not funding such initiatives
  • No Actionable analytics – Companies don’t have strategy, process and tools to plan and utilize the social/device information into actions for product development.
  • Unable to build/utilize Collaborative focus groups – Not able to build collaborative product focus groups to engage customers through social media means due to IP ramifications, Quality of knowledge exchange, etc.
  • Minimal IT experience internally to build or integrate complex systems – Companies have products from different vendors, for integrating social media/device analytics with product development and it’s very difficult task to build or integrate these disparate systems

A better path forward

Let’s look at how product development team’s of electronic industry companies can engage with their consumer and also leverage huge amounts of data on the user’s devices to improve the products

1. To generate new ideas for products

Using crowdsourcing and co-development with customers, companies can generate new product Ideas, which can then be routed to product portfolio and product requirements for new Product development. Companies can also collaborate with consumers to decide and prioritize new features for the product.

Lets look at how some of the companies engaging consumer’s for ideation

Samsung – “We get most of our ideas from the market,” said Kim Hyun-suk, an executive vice president at Samsung, in a conversation about the future of mobile devices and television.

Madison Electric’s led the company to launch the Sparks Innovation Center(crowd sourced, collaborative approach), which has been the point of origin for five profitable new Madison Electric products .

2. Product design improvement and geographic specific product customization

Once products are released to market, the best and most reliable feedback on electronics products and software services can be found online from the social media updates of opinion leaders and influential tech blogs, tweets and so forth. These data can be analyzed, filtered and provided to the product development team for building the product improvements.

Device usage patterns and issues in the devices can be tracked, collated and analyzed to provide insights on the product improvement to be done to the product features and usability.

3. Remote Product Support and software/firmware upgrades

Online customer feedback can be assessed not only to decide on service strategy to fix the current generation of products, but also in coming out with software upgrades, new versions and generations of products.

Three simple, but powerful ideas will allow your company to have more engaged customers and improve overall product experience

Below presentation captures the details of the blog.


About aslamhirani

I am working from last 19+ years in areas of Product development, agile coaching, software R&D process consulting. I have been working in agile development model from last 10 years and coaching agile teams from last 6 years in areas of agile assessment, agile adoption, agile transformation, agile scaling, distributed agile development and agile competency development. I work with software R&D organizations to help them improve their effectiveness and efficiency with reuse, process improvement in development and testing, competency development, innovation in R&D, collaboration improvement across teams, automating devops and so on
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