Prosumers and social networks as marketing information sources. An analysis from the perspective of competitive intelligence in Brazilian companies

<p></p><p>Abstract The Internet and Web 2.0 changed the way people obtain information and relate to the environment they live in. In this context, social networks emerge as indispensable sources of information on the wide intelligence process, accessible and low-cost, which need to be better understood and exploited, as they can create advantage for companies. This study aims to determine how social networks are used in the information gathering phase, focused on competitive intelligence. The intention was to propose an analytical and conceptual model of verification of social networks as sources of information. Therefore, there was a qualitative, exploratory and descriptive study based on semi-structured interviews and covering five national companies of different segments and sizes, engaged in the Competitive Intelligence activity. For the data analysis, we elected the content analysis technique, and the systematization of information was performed with the software Atlas.ti. The results showed that companies are attentive to social networks as sources of information, as they recognize their importance primarily due to direct contact with prosumers, and highlight the need for their verification, considering the model as very important and feasible for sorting market information.</p><p></p>