Imagine an effective, streamlined way for enterprises with both B2C and B2B lines of business to identify cross-sell and new growth opportunities. It exists today. And that’s good news for brands under constant pressure to find new revenue growth tactics.
Consumer brands are already investing in marketing and the customer experience as ways to differentiate and grow share of wallet in their hyper-competitive markets. Now they are wisely turning their attention to data-driven processes. Doing so unlocks creative paths to driving growth from cross-sells without continually clawing their way to new customers.
Uncovering commercial opportunities
Perhaps ironically, one of the most promising and largest growth areas for consumer brands lies in their commercial solutions. Numerous brands have already recognized and capitalized on the huge opportunity of cross-selling commercial solutions to existing consumer customers.
Banking on their established trust with and access to these consumers, they are generating new revenues on the commercial side of their businesses. They are doing so by identifying and pursuing commercial opportunities through their consumer relationships.
Consider the examples of businesses that tap into their thousands and even millions of consumer customers to identify paths to additional commercial revenues. Banks like Citigroup and Wells Fargo can market business banking business owners who currently use their personal bank services. The same goes for insurance providers like The Hartford and Progressive, or lenders like LendingTree who can find potential business borrowers for their new SMB loans from their millions of consumer borrowers. Take Spotify, which just launched Ad Studio to help more businesses create audio advertisements. With over 200 million users, Spotify could target existing users who are in marketing, digital, or leadership roles at growing brands. The list of examples goes on and on.
In many cases, these brands are aware of a certain subset of existing business customers within their existing consumer customer base. However, with the right technology and data, they can identify a new set of existing consumers who are also business owners and highly promising prospects, labeled as Audience B in the graphic.
This is the sweet spot and low-hanging fruit for consumer brands. Once they identify and cross-sell to this segment in their sales and marketing efforts, they can see tremendous business impact. Namely, they can grow their reach to the entire population of business prospects.
Challenges solving the underlying data linkage problem
Like many customer experience and growth strategies, this one comes down to solving a technology and data challenge.
Most brands already have the essentials in place to effectively market to these prospective business customers: mailing addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers. However, they lack visibility into which of their consumers are also business owners and business decision makers, and which businesses they work for. That oversight is due to the failure to link the identities of consumer and business customers
Companies need to connect a third-party data source to their consumer data to identify that overlap. While certain solutions promise to enable this visibility, they have fallen short to date.
Data integration solutions and service providers like Epsilon lack the B2B data that enables the linkages between consumer and business. Plus, they are often deficient when it comes to APIs that enable real-time matching.
Data providers offer amazingly deep and broad B2B data. Yet they too are unable to link consumer contact data back to business information.
The reason for this linkage break is that consumer records contain basic data like personal email, phone, and address, while business records contain attributes like business phone, business email, title, role, and company. Because the two sets of data don’t share common data fields, it’s challenging – if not impossible – for these vendors to link the records.
The solution: unique data and APIs
A solution is now available to put an end to these frustrations. It addresses the key requirements below to overcome these limitations to date.
1. Consumer-contact-to-business-contact linkages.
The first step is linking consumer contact records to business contact records to identify matches. This is complicated since consumer records might contain just a name, email address, and phone number. With the right data and APIs, it’s possible to effectively enrich business contact information with additional consumer data in one profile, making it possible to then match to an existing consumer contact record. Not only does this enable your business to find each consumer’s business profile, it also enables you to mine your consumer customer base for the roles that matter to you (e.g., owners, VPs, directors, GMs, controllers, etc.).
As shown in the graphic below, we now know that Tim Barrington is the president and general manager of a company.
2. Business record linked to the business contact record.
The next step makes it possible to uncover information about the business, helping the brand further segment and personalize its business solution offers based on the business profile. This linkage also enables operations and data teams to enrich their internal systems with critical data points on existing business clients.
Continuing with the example above, we now see details about the company that Tim works for, including industry, size, and locations.
3. Matching technology to link records and resolve identities.
Just like your solution is only as good as the underlying data, your ability to match accurately and at high rates is equally as important. This process matches and links the same business and contacts records from many data sources to a single record with business ID or contact IDs. Ideally, the solution will use real-time, fuzzy matching models that apply machine learning to maximize the accuracy and rate of matches.
4. Third-party data ecosystem to enable linking and discovery.
Cross-sell may be a top priority due to the go-to-market efficiencies that often lead to shorter sales cycles and lower costs than new customer acquisition. However, visibility and access to the total addressable market is a major value add. The best solution provides access to large third-party data sources, which is important for two reasons. First, additional data sources create a larger matching pool, enabling higher match rates that pinpoint existing consumer customers who are also business buyers. Second, external data sources help teams identify net-new business buyers they can acquire.
Consumer-to-business matching in action
One of the largest banks in the US generates more than a third of revenues through its consumer business, but has grown its business banking to 22% of revenue. With a goal of driving even more business revenue, the bank wanted to identify likely business owners (LBOs) that it was unaware of within its consumer population.
Radius applied its B2B2C solution to help the bank identify commercial opportunities within its consumer base. The Radius solution delivered a 2x higher match rate than the bank could achieve using internal methods. The result is that the bank increased the number of LBOs identified for SMB marketing purpose by approximately 26%. It is able to pursue them by pushing a business marketing messaging through consumer channels such as web, mobile, branch, call center.
With the right data and matching engine, enterprises with both commercial and consumer business lines can cross-sell commercial solutions to current consumer customers. Unlike manual consumer-to-business reverse lookup approaches that yield low match rates, this sophisticated solution combining unique data and a matching platform delivers high, game-changing match rates.
- Published in Business 2 Community
NEW YORK — Say the words ‘Midlife Crisis’, and most people think of cringe-worthy scenes like graying men squiring around much-younger paramours in zippy sports cars.
Matt Welch went in a more wholesome direction: Baseball cards.
Specifically, the 46-year-old editor-in-chief of Reason magazine set out to collect every Topps-brand baseball card ever printed of his beloved Angels. It took roughly five years and $1,000, but this past New Year’s Eve, the final two cards came in the mail.
“Strange things happen to men in their 40s, and this was my midlife crisis,” says Welch, a New York City resident originally from Long Beach, California. “I hadn’t thought about baseball cards in 30 years. But then I bought one, then two, and it was so pleasurable I thought ‘Oh hell, why not?’”
A relatively harmless midlife crisis, to be sure. And one which his wife Emmanuelle Richard has given her tacit approval. “She’s said from the beginning, ‘It beats the convertible, and it beats the expensive mistress,’ “ he jokes.
But it is a crisis nonetheless, which no doubt feels very familiar to 40- or 50-somethings who feel increasingly alarmed at the passage of time. One common response: Whip out the wallet.
They got to this big empty house and said, ‘What have we done?’
Whether it’s for an extravagant vacation, a pricey hobby or a shiny new ride, the many challenges of midlife can lead us to throw off our usual financial restrictions, if only for a moment.
“People spend all this time investing in their marriages and careers and families, and then 10 or 20 years down the line, they often want to renew their enthusiasm for life,” says Dr. James Hollis, a psychoanalyst in Washington, D.C. and author of “Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life”.
“That can lead to risky purchases. I knew one couple whose marriage was teetering on the brink, and they went out and bought a home they couldn’t afford. They got to this big empty house and said, ‘What have we done?’”
The danger is that the midlife splurge comes during a period of life when North Americans can ill afford it. After all, in their 40s and 50s, many members of the so-called ‘Sandwich Generation’ are dealing with the twin financial challenges of raising children and helping their own elderly parents.
Meanwhile, they must save for their own retirement, a task for which most Americans have fallen woefully behind. One recent Wells Fargo survey found that 41 percent of those in their 50s were saving nothing for their golden years.
That all makes for a delicate financial dance, with no room for a misstep. That’s why experts advise that those in midlife need to be extra vigilant that some big, emotional purchase doesn’t mess up a lifetime of diligent planning.
Financial planner Robert Foley of Tustin, California says the key is to recognize these midlife emotions when they occur. “It’s normal and okay to have these feelings,” says Foley, who just turned 50 himself and admits to “longing for the sports car I never had”.
Set up some roadblocks for yourself, so those emotions don’t translate into massive bills. Clearing larger purchases (over $500 and up) with your partner, for instance, can be one line of defense against overly impetuous decisions.
Also, build some smaller indulgences into your budget instead, advises Charlotte, North Carolina financial planner Michael Baker. Allow yourself a bigger-than-usual vacation, tie it to some milestone like a birthday or an anniversary, and then work towards it in anticipation.
That way, like a dieter allowing yourself an occasional dessert, you won’t go crazed with deprivation and react by going too far in the other direction.
Matt Welch’s baseball card quest was just such a minor extravagance and seems to have done the trick. At the very least, his affordable midlife crisis got him an excellent collection to show off to fellow Angels fans.
His favourite card: Bobby Grich, a “badass” second baseman with flowing locks and a gigantic ’70s mustache.
Welch’s advice for others desiring a midlife splurge? “Get the spouse’s buy-in early on,” he quips. “That’s very important.”
© Thomson Reuters 2015
- Published in National Post
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