Crowdsourcing tools and other social media are increasingly used to survey statistically significant groups of customers. These tools are very useful for perceiving trends and connections between groups of customers. Social media is also seen as a means of reducing the cost of surveying large numbers of respondents.
Product developers are producing fast prototypes to garner early customer feedback. Then developers create another iteration that is placed in front of customers as well. This approach runs counter to the stages-and-gates system, which is a serial process. These fast, iterative prototypes are one aspect of agile product development. Each iteration gathers deep customer information.