Social Product Development

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Social: A "Trend to Watch" for 2011 (props to the Creo team)

I'm "officially" back in the office today, although doing my best to avoid friends and co-workers, as I've been lucky enough to get a head cold as a parting gift from my holiday vacation. Since I've lost my voice, I'm going to quickly pass the baton to someone else who has a lot to say - our own Geoff Hedges from the Creo team.

Geoff recently published a round up of "Trends to Watch for 2011" on the Creo page...and while I like Geoff already, I like him even more since he included social on the list. And not just social as a nice to have - he asserts that companies NEED to get more social to compete in the coming years.

Check out the full article here:

Geoff pulls out three primary potential benefits for product companies, which I've paraphrased with some additional comments of my own:

1. IT consolidation - It's hard to stop people from doing what comes naturally to them, and in this case, natural = social. If you don't manage your social computing strategy, you're likely to end up with employees using fragmented, consumer-oriented products to try to improve their business processes. By creating internal alternatives for social capabilities and behaviors that are already happening, IT departments can manage the use of social applications, improve processes conducted through social tools, field support requests more easily, and eliminate sources of IP leak. I'm pretty sure I just made that last term up, but I think you know what I mean.

2. Closer connection to the user - Marketing and product development may not seem to have a lot in common on the surface, but when your marketing becomes interactive - a little touchy-feely shall we say - there are huge opportunities for product development to gain insight it didn't have before. Social marketing engagement can enable you to gain direct feedback from your customers, whether you're asking or just listening. You may not want to hand the pen directly to the user, but you might want to check out their sketches and wish lists before you hit your own drawing board.

3. Enhanced collaboration - Collaboration is the buzzword to end all buzzwords, right? But there's a reason we keep coming back to it. A mentor of mine told me once that there is more value in strengthening your strengths than in strengthening your weaknesses. What he meant, he said, was that being really good at something makes you valuable - for the things you're not good at, it's more efficient to just find a really good resource to help you (contract writers everywhere rejoice). And that's the promise of social when it comes to working in teams - you provide value through the things that you do know, and social helps you find the folks that know the rest.

So what do you think of Geoff's view? I encourage you to read the full article on the Creo page and comment there - or you can leave comments on the future of social here.

If you're interested in hearing more from Geoff and the rest of the Creo team, follow the @PTC_creo moniker on Twitter.

You can also read more about Creo in this recent article published in Prime magazine:

No comments:

Post a Comment