Last week, I described a use case entitled “Retail Omniscience” wherein companies can use emerging text data mining technologies to gather, filter and summarize information from social media, then unify the information with internal knowledge tools to help retail and call center employees perform better when interacting with customers or prospects.
The value of that use case was based on Accenture research  which found that (1) most consumers conduct significant online research before buying a mobile device, and (2) they usually buy mobile devices in retail stores, rather than buying online. Since the publication of that Accenture research, Google and OTX published a study in March 2010  which found that consumers predominately use the Internet for pre-purchase research, followed most commonly by conversations with sales or support employees, and friends or family (see chart from eMarketer below).
Now that Google, OTX, eMarketer and Accenture all agree, we can probably feel confident that anyone selling mobile devices should proactively provide their retail and customer support employees with the same level of knowledge that is available to their customers through online sources such as forums and other social media. To understand how that can work at scale for even very large companies, please see my earlier post on the subject.
If you are interested in discussing ideas for developing these capabilities in your organization, drop me a line any time.
- I am an employee of Accenture, and I work with teams who conduct market research, in addition to leading client projects related to social media and most high tech industries.
- Source: “Canada Wireless Study”, Google and OTX, March 1, 2010.