The times, they are a changin’….a notion famously expressed by Bob Dylan some 50 odd years ago, and one that can be applied to organizations’ and their product development practices as a result of social media. In recent years, technological advancements have changed the socio-economic landscapes for organizations, and have created an ever competitive and complex market. Social media is playing a pivotal role, with an unprecedented rate of adoption that surpasses conventional tools such as the radio, telephone, television etc. Companies across all industries are having to use social media in product development in order to stay current on fine-tuned market needs and trends. Social media offers the potential to significantly improve a business’s performance. It is being used by companies to not only communicate to their customers, but also to learn about their customers, in hopes of advancing product development.
Reworked by Regis is a custom home decor and refurbishment artisan based out of Edmonton, AB. Regis Mahoney, the artist behind Reworked by Regis, takes discarded furniture and restores, redesigns, and rehomes it. Customers can commission custom projects through Regis, or can purchase items she has already made at local markets or through Facebook, Instagram, or Etsy.
Throughout FIFA’s divisions, I believe that FIFA has created the most significant collaboration between two of its departments such as Marketing, and Communications & Public Affairs Division. Each department is in charge of developing different aspects of FIFA’s goals. FIFA’s most important goals are; creating opportunities for fan engagement, providing best experiences for fans, players and all stakeholders at events, providing up-to-date information on game time, scores, and ticket information. FIFA accomplishes this through FIFA’s web site, FIFA’s App, and all Social Media channels. Marketing at FIFA consists of many sub-divisions that include Brand & Marketing Communication, FIFA Marketing Russia, FIFA Quality Concept, Hospitality, Licensing, Marketing Alliances, Marketing Event Management, Production, Sales, Strategic Development and Ticketing. FIFA’s Marketing is committed to providing sponsors with “right packages”, promoting events to fuel fan excitement at host nations, managing premium hospitality events, creating innovative and tailor made marketing programs enhancing fan experiences, managing brand identity at FIFA and events. Communications & Public Affairs Division handles public relations, internal communications, and FIFA weekly magazine. FIFA’s digital department is in charge of FIFA.com, social media platforms, FIFA app, and video content through FIFA TV. The digital department is also in charge of the storage of data, photographs and documents. FIFA’s media department handles the communication to the media and media facility services for FIFA events. FIFA’s public affairs department handles the communication, relations and engagement with public, authorities and policymakers. FIFA has established a group to develop a comprehensive mobile and digital strategy designed to improve engagement with FIFA’s stakeholders. The work was built upon FIFA’s established platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and the FIFA app, which was downloaded 30 million times around the FIFA World Cup 2014. I wonder how many times the FIFA app will be downloaded in the 2018 World Cup in Russia? In order to watch the video, FIFA has granted permission via YouTube
Goal or No Goal! One of the most prominent incidents in 2010 World Cup that precipitated the need for goal-line technology was a goal incident that happened between England and Germany match. When England and Germany were part of the second round match, Frank Lampard the English mid-fielder, kicked the ball towards the goal, and the ball bounced off the crossbar and bounced back out to the field of play. Video replay was the only means to check whether the ball crossed the goal line back in 2010. Video replay was only used by media, sports commentators and not used as a tool by referees to decide “on goal or no goal”. Sepp Blatter FIFA President, after watching the game and replay from the stands he agreed that when the stakes are this high, justice outweighs tradition, germinating the idea of the need for Goal-Line Technology (GLT) especially for soccer World Cup events. Goal-Line Technology would remove any doubt about whether a goal has been scored. Why do we need Goal-Line Technology (GLT)? GLT is to support match officials in their decision making during a soccer match as the speed of the game and their position on the field of play may not allow them to make the proper call during games. The human eye can only handle approximately 16 images per second, so the ball will need to be behind the line for at least 60 milliseconds. In some cases the ball is only behind the line for a few milliseconds before a player kicks it back or it rebounds back into the field of play. When this happens the human eye cannot see whether the ball has crossed the line. The human eye can detect balls with a speed of 12km/h or less. Players these days are able to kick a ball with the speed over 120km/h – this would be undetected by the match officials. Goal-Line Technology was Approved Goal-Line Technology (GLT) was approved for use in football by The International Football Association Board (The IFAB) in 2012. Referees no longer have to decide themselves whether the ball has crossed the line or not without technical assistance. After 9 months of testing in England, Germany, Hungary and Italy, at a meeting in Zurich on 5 July, 2012 decided to introduce Goal-Line Technology into football. Of the 8 companies that participated in the first round of tests, only… Read more »
There is nothing like a cold, refreshing beverage on a hot summer day. But what’s even better is sharing a drink over a conversation with a friend, colleague or a hot date you’ve met for the first time. In 2012, Coca-Cola Australia launched the #ShareACoke campaign. According to this Coca-Cola Australia video, the company’s research data presented an opportunity to re-engage with a generation that has a strong online presence and has grown up never tasting their most iconic product. In fact, the video shares that 50% of teens and young adults (also known as millennials) had never tried ‘Coke.’ They saw this gap and needed to come up with a strategy to change that.
A powerful component of social media from a business perspective is the ability to listen to what consumers are saying. Social listening technologies are available to track conversations around specific phrases, words or brands. As a result, companies are able to identifying new opportunities that may not have been on their radar, and many are responding with innovative product development or design. Twenty-five years ago, it would have been costly and time consuming to gather focus groups in order to gain feedback. But today, this valuable market information can be gathered in a matter of minutes—assuming of course that people are in fact talking about your brand. The food industry is a specific sector where product development is critical to success. There are a number of reasons why this specific industry is constantly creating new products or innovating existing ones. I chatted with my colleague, Karen Proper, who is a technical manager in the product and process development department at NSF International to gain more insight on this topic. Karen and her team work with clients in the food and beverage industry to help bring a product concept to life, overcome production challenges or to innovate an existing one. When asked why product development is so integral to business, especially in the food industry, Karen replied, “Product development keeps companies competitive in the marketplace, compliant to regulations, able to react to ingredient and manufacturing process changes, and also responsive to trends and consumer demands—all of which are critical to success in the food industry today.”
As I sit, and write this blog today I am sipping on nothing but Mildmay’s finest alkaline spring water, Flow. If you haven’t experienced Flow water yet you truly are missing out. This naturally alkaline spring water is from owner’s (Nicholas Reichenbach) , own family farm in small town, Mildmay, Ontario. The water is packaged into a recyclable Tetra Pak box that is PET and BPA free. This packaging is the first of it’s kind to be used in North America. Since beginning packaging the water has become recognized across North America, and has even gained Josh Donaldson from the Toronto Blue Jays as a spokes person for the brand. Flow prides itself on having a package that is ‘as positive as their water’. In Canadian Grocer article, Canadian company gets into the Flow with spring water, Reichenbach quotes, “It appeals to conscious consumers… people who like high-quality, healthful water and really care about what they put into their body. They also equally care about minimizing their carbon footprint and minimizing their impact on the environment”.
If you were using social media for personal or business use in Canada during the summer of 2016, you will have no doubt heard at least something about The Tragically Hip. The favoured Canadian band was touring in what likely would be their last, due to frontman Gord Downie’s onset of brain cancer. Concerts sold out and media of all sorts took note of what was developing into a notable time in our country’s music and lifestyle history. As the final concert came to pass in August – complete with the attendance and interaction of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – an influential social media phenomenon was occurring. Ensight Canada reported, “In addition to multiple trending topics throughout the weekend of the concert, social media posts about The Hip and (Gord) Downie’s First Nations comments generated roughly 20 million potential impressions across Canada over the past week. What’s really telling is that Canada has about 14 million daily Facebook users, so when we look at the impressions generated, we can conclude almost everyone in the country who used the internet or social media came in contact with the story in some way.”
Social Media has proven to be a great tool that companies can use to research their target market. Traditional market research can be expensive, but with social media companies can now reach out to a vast audience for feedback and opinions. The benefits of using social media to gather information include low/no cost, instant results, and simultaneously creating another channel of communication with customers that make them feel valued. One downside is of course the potential for customers to provide negative feedback on something as public as Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms, but negative feedback is still very valuable if not more valuable than the positive.
In Spring of 1998 after recently being fired from a brewery, three friends set out on a canoe trip. That canoe trip would lead to a campfire conversation that would change all of their lives. Greg Taylor, Cam Heaps and Greg Cromwell “The Three Fired Guys” wanted to make a Pilsner that would compete with the best in the world. They did just that! Their brewery is named Steam Whistle, drawing from the inspirational sounds of steam rushing from factory whistles, signalling the end of a fulfilling workday and a time for personal reward.1 The Three Fired Guys built their company with a retro feel, when marketing of goods relied on the trust between manufacturer and consumers. Steam Whistle understands the importance of listening to their consumers and makes ever effort to do so by utilizing social media.
The advent of social media opened so many doors for businesses. It also brought about opportunities to build new doors or alter the old ones. Product innovation has changed rapidly in recent years, as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest exploded to become the social media titans they are now. Brands are becoming more and more daring with their innovation initiatives, bringing about bolder and bigger campaigns every year. Kalypso notes that many of the companies they polled on the topic don’t use it for sweeping changes or big projects – it would seem many companies are just dipping their foot in to test the water. Or maybe they are waiting to see how their peers succeed and/or fail?
Organisation Name: Lolly Wolly Doodle. Website: http://www.lollywollydoodle.com/ Industry: Personalized children’s wear and accessories. Started as a way to use up extra fabric from crafting clothing for her own children, Brandi Tysinger-Temple used social media with some unexpected results. When looking at the clothing available to children in stores, Brandi Tysinger-Temple felt they didn’t reflect her view of how a child should… Read more »
Organization name: GitHub Name of Contacts: Tom Preston-Werner, Co-Founder and Former President, GitHub Chris Wanstrath, Co-Founder and CEO, GitHub PJ Hyett, Co-Founder and COO, GitHub Industry: Code Sharing Network – Social Networking Site for Programmers Web references: GitHub – @GitHub Twitter – @Twitter Mark Otto – @mdo Jacob Thornton – @fat Company Overview College drop out, Chris Wanstrath began development of GitHub in October of 2007. By… Read more »
Organization Name: Kickstarter Industry: Investment/Crowdsourcing Web References: kickstarter.com Description of how social media is used for business performance: In the business world, where many aspiring entrepreneurs and early startup companies to start a business in hope that he or she would have something that is groundbreaking, a revolutionary new business idea or product that can change the way to we… Read more »
Seen above; a Youtube video released to subscribers and social media followers to promote an upcoming expedition and release of a cask that was stilled in honour of the Highland Park founder; Magnus Eunson Case Study: The Edrington Group Industry: Wine and Spirits Raise a dram to the innovative and proudly Scottish global enterprise; the Edrington Group. Makers and custodians… Read more »
Organization Name: Sunday Afternoon Productions Industry: Entertainment, Romantic Series Contact: Elizabeth May, MBA Liz, what social media tools did you use to help launch your series? “We started a customer engagement strategy before we even started shooting. It began with Facebook and Twitter, and coincided with the launch of an Indiegogo Campaign. Once we started gathering production stills we also… Read more »
Organization Name: Grounded Coffee Company Inc. Industry: Retail, Service Name of Contact: Nicole DiPinto, Scott Campbell Grounded Coffee Company in Midland, ON serves the freshest coffee in town. A bold statement, maybe, but one that’s hard to dispute, mainly because of the Probat professional coffee bean roaster located on-site, in the cafe and the burlap bags filled with fair-trade, organic… Read more »
“93% of digital marketing and advertising professionals believe that utilising social media as a mechanism for customer feed back provides an exceptional opportunity for product development.“ ~ Crimson Hexagon With consumer opinion and feedback so easily accessible to corporations through a multitude of social media channels, organizations have started to realize that these tools may serve a larger purpose… Read more »