This is one technique among a series I’m covering on conversation mining for lead generation.

Here is another way to find leads who desire the benefit your product or services offers.  Think about the benefit in terms of the problem it addresses.  A gluten-free benefit’s corresponding problem is gluten or wheat allergy.  This technique is very straightforward for health products because medicine has given us well-defined terms for the diseases and ailments they cure.  For other product categories it can be more challenging to express the problem in a concise way.  You may require a phrase or a few types of phrases to express the problem.  That said, there are certain rare cases of named problems that fall outside of medicine.  For instance we are all familiar with the problem of “spam” in our email.  For some reason people have chosen to name that problem.  Whatever the problem is, enter each phrasing or name as a primary term in your topic.  If it’s a phrase then NetBase will expand it automatically so you don’t have to come up with all the linguistic variants.  For instance I could say “worn out phone case” and it will match variants like “my phone case is worn out”.

In the example below we pinpoint unmet needs in yet another way.  People who think the mouthwash Listerine is too harsh might like the gentler version called Listerine Zero.  Let’s say we wanted to target them with a digital coupon redeemable online or at a store.  To do this, we have set up a topic on Listerine.  In our dashboard we’re showing a bar chart widget of things people dislike about Listerine.  We’re then filtering down just to Twitter to illustrate how you might take different tactics by channel.  Finally, we’re showing a stream widget sorted by time so we can make our offer via tweets in real-time.

Thinking about your own business, what is the problem or unmet need your product or service solves?  Can it only be expressed as a phrase or is it a problem that your consumers name in a single word?  Alternatively, think about the things your prospect would be complaining about if they suffered from the problem you can solve.  In our example above, the product was Listerine Zero whose benefit is that it’s gentler than Listerine.  So we looked for people who complained that Listerine itself was too harsh.  See how gentle and harsh are two sides of the same coin?  Both are terms that can be used to define your topic.  The difference is in how you employ the topic in your dashboard.  Look for people who want your benefit and then look for people don’t want the problem.

I’d like to thank my colleague Jessi Stafford for contributing to the development of this technique.

To discuss how this or any of the other social lead gen techniques from the series could work for your specific case, please contact NetBase (info@netbasequid.com) for help assessing your requirements.

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