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Customer Data Platform for Industrial OEMs and Machinery manufacturers

Pete’s Super Submarines“ is the old name of which company?
Try selling them Nuclear warheads!

Key messages:

  1. Future is about data quality
  2. Data Quality is not a one-time fix, but a continuous improvement process
  3. Investing in a data quality engine that unifies, cleanses, and organizes data is a critical step in the digitization journey 

Loyal customers are 5x as likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, 4x as likely to refer, and 7x as likely to try a new offering.
But you need to know who all your customers are (not just the top 5-10%), where they are located, what equipment they have, and what are their possible needs.

Two major trends happening in the industrial world:

  • eCommerce has changed the way B2B commerce takes place. Customers can now directly connect to the manufacturers via online platforms and marketplaces. Traditional channels have given way to eCommerce platforms in retail and are making accelerated inroads into the B2B market. This will fundamentally change how OEMs and machinery manufacturers will have to engage their customer base. Their traditional muscle power of distributors, channel partners, and which used to define them as market leaders will be destabilized by simple weblinks. Manufacturers will have to manage and nurture their customer base and actively curate it. 
  • With the plethora of information available on digital media, today’s customer is as well informed as ever. Punching simple www URLs in their favorite browser or  “Googling It”, they pretty much research everything online before even doing their first contact. As per Martech 2020 article, in B2B a person reads an average of 13 content pieces before making a decision. This in itself means two things:
    • Manufacturers need to ensure that they are present in digital space in searches and feeds to remain in the active mental space of customers and prospects.
    • When a customer is ready to contact them they have handy all possible information about the customer which includes historical interactions and the analytics derived on top of the data. Otherwise, the risk is that the prospect might just churn as they might find the manufacturer not able to hold the discussion at the similar “being informed” level at which the prospect is approaching the manufacturer. 

This all leads to one thing, knowing and managing the customer base actively. CDP is the term that has come into vogue to represent the technology that makes this possible. The core of the success of a company is the quality and quantity of its customer base and the ability to retain and further grow it. And that means knowing the customers very well and the data needs to be available at the front-line employee’s fingertips. The fingertip in the modern world is an easy-to-use digital system, ideally a mobile or web app with search capabilities. 

A recent survey by Martech says that 90% of current CDP solutions don’t meet business needs. Overwhelming frustration is with customer segmentation and customer profiling, which is the core of CDP. 

On top of that, B2B industries bring one more dimension to the notion of CDP and that is the Installed Base. Each customer has a set of different types of equipment, which is an important piece of data to know and actively manage. B2B sales are not one-off transactions but each piece of equipment that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and maybe more is a long-term engagement. As the equipment is commissioned and ages, it needs consumables, part replacements, warranties, and guarantees. And believe it or not, this information is not easy to find and assemble among the multiple ERP, CRM, and multiple other services and support systems that have come into existence over time because of mergers and various technology upgrade exercises. And it is not foreign to find a customer record existing with multiple names even in the same system. Do you know what the current name of “Pete’s Super Submarines” is? 

CDP for industrials needs a unique capability to actively manage not only the customer base but the Installed Base at the same time. Knowing each and every piece of equipment and where they are located across the Pacific and Atlantic and Indian ocean is a must if they want to get the maximum Customer Lifetime Value. Any analytics, prescription, or prediction is meaningful and reliable when it happens over a rich and unified data set. 

Actively managing the customer base and Installed Base is no longer a choice.

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