We’re continuing to think about the impact of social media (flickr, YouTube, MySpace) on virtually everything.  The idea comes from a great post over at Chief Marketer.  We’ve already looked at the first two mentality shifts (Pull is the New Push and Don’t Just Target…Connect).  Here’s the third:  If we’re trying to reach our market more effectively we have to move from reacting to understanding.  But what does this mean?

First, it implies that we’re actually getting to know the market.  Not just anecdotally.  Personally.  It is important to be rubbing shoulders.  Talking.  In settings where you can observe and interact.  That will be more helpful than any reading.

Second, it means that you’ll need to test your ideas on a sample.  When we’re trying something new we need to be developing prototypes that allow us to test our developing understanding to see if we’re on the right track.  There’s a cool article on the protyping done at the Mayo Clinic’s SPARC lab over at Fast Company.

Third, and this is really important right now, whatever we’re developing should take into consideration the rapidly developing social media trend.  Whatever we’re developing.  Figure out a way to leverage social media.  But don’t just react.  Understand your market first.

Moving from Reacting to Understanding