In deciding what they want to achieve with their data, companies can usually begin by looking for ways to do more business with existing customers. For example, says Andrew Mahler, CEO of Mx Group, a digital marketing company, companies can use their customer data to:
ACCELERATE REPLACEMENTS. A manufacturer of industrial equipment might look through its data to find customers who are buying more spare parts to prolong the life of their purchases. The manufacturer can analyze purchasing trends to help customers understand how replacing equipment can be more effective than continuing to repair it. They can also develop best practices and policies for proactively contacting customers when replacements are appropriate.
“COMBINING data FROM SEPARATE PARTS OF A SINGLE COMPANY can help you connect dots and leverage EXiSTING relationships to gain credibility.”
OPTIMIZE UPGRADES. Companies can look for customers who are likely to want a higher-end version of products. When customers buy a given product, says Mahler, “they may not realize that there is a more optimal product that you have for them.” Based on the usage and type of business involved, a company may find that upselling may meet certain types of customers’ needs more effectively.
EXTEND THE PRODUCT FOOTPRINT. Where can the company offer customers ancillary products? For example, customers ordering server hardware may be interested in purchasing bundled networking equipment as well. Or, customers using a company’s product in one area of an industrial plant may have other areas where that same product could be used in entirely different applications.
LEVERAGE CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS AND SUPPORT ACCOUNT-BASED MARKETING. Companies can combine internal and external data to gain a more comprehensive view of an entire customer organization. Thus, a manufacturer selling to one division of a company might uncover opportunities to offer its products to other division. It could then work through its existing contacts to gain referrals for the new business and use the data-driven insight to support the new sales effort. The data, says Mahler, “can help you connect the dots and leverage the relationships you have to gain credibility.”