The new mantra for social marketing and social lead conversion might well be: hypothesize, test, act.
What does this mean?
Hypothesize means consider.
Consider who your prospects might be.
Consider how to engage more closely, more often, with your existing customers.
Run ‘what if’ scenarios: what if you knew more about your customers’ and prospects’ needs? What if you sought the input of the market? Is it possible to know more about how your products and services are actually used, and by whom?
Then reach out to the social web and listen to the feedback you receive.
And use these inputs in your product planning, marketing, brand development, service offerings, customer engagement.
Test means use the data you now have to challenge long-held assumptions.
What sorts of products and services are your customers and prospects actually asking for?
How do you use the data to define and update these products and services?
How do you use hard facts to take your organization with you – everyone from the CEO down?
Use these data to test in-market. Use these data to sensitize the market, always checking for the feedback, always inputting back into your hypotheses and testing.
Act means just that. Start with a definition of what action looks like, including a definition for success: revenue, profit, sales, retention, market share, something else.
Then act. Don’t use the new-found connection with customers and prospects, and this new-found foundation of data and market intelligence, to hypothesize and test your organization into oblivion.
Because your competitors are probably doing the same thing. (Great if they aren’t, but more likely that they are.)
It’s a three-way process, with the social web connecting all three, to each other and to your organization.
Hypothesize and test come first. Act is where you make a difference.