How Advanced analytics is changing B2B selling

How Advanced analytics is changing B2B selling

From targeted online advertising to more precise recommendation engines, consumer markets are bursting with innovation around machine learning and advanced analytics. While there’s less buzz around business-to-business markets, these innovations are changing the game in B2B as well, even in old-line industries selling what might be considered commodity products.

A growing number of B2B companies are using data and analytics to add services that bring new elements of value to customers, and in some cases new sources of revenue.  These elements are fundamental attributes of a company’s offering in their most essential and discrete forms – things like product quality, flexibility, and associated expertise; they lift value propositions above commodity status and benefit customers in particular ways. (For a deep dive into the elements, see our related HBR article “The B2B Elements of Value”).

Consider recent moves by Australia-based Orica, which provides packaged explosives materials to mining companies worldwide. Orica’s explosives are being used in roughly 1,500 blasts per day, and until a few years ago, data on those blasts existed on bits of paper and in disparate electronic sources. Orica invested in digitizing all that data and combining it with data supplied by its customers, including the objectives of the blast, conditions of equipment at the site, the exact techniques and products used in the blast, and the outcome.

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