Discussions Strategic Marketing

Please answer the following question within 3-5 paragraphs (not a full page).

Q1. Social media and marketing research  
   
Marketers have traditionally used research methods such as focus groups, observation, trend analysis, and competitive research to help develop and gauge customer response to new products.Today, social media is also helping companies understand consumer preferences and develop new products. 
Have a look at how Wal-Mart, Frito-Lay, Samuel Adams and Kohls are using Facebook and Twitter and let’s try to answer the following questions:

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For these companies, how is social media useful for marketing research?
What other companies and products might benefit from this approach?
What are the pros and cons of using social media for market research?

Q2. Big Data     
One of the major trends over the past few years in marketing research is the use of “Big data”. This is data, usually collected at individual customer level across a variety of platforms – online and offline, which gets merged into a “big dataset” to create a quite detailed picture of customer behavior.
Have a look at the following NY Times article, which gives a very nice overview of how “big data” is used by marketers. 

What are the opportunities for marketers associated with using this type of data? How reliable/useful are these types of analyses?
In your opinion, are there any ethical concerns when using this type of data? What are some of these ethical risks – and what could be done about it?

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