Your B2C business might ignore anyone who doesn't fit the profile of your usual customer. Why, for instance, would you target recent graduates when you normally sell your product or service to affluent senior citizens? In certain circumstances, though, it makes sense to look at the bigger picture.

Consider the case of a 25-year-old man who rents an apartment in Phoenix, earns $23,000 a year and has $5,000 in savings. "For a credit issuer," writes David Danziger at Chief Marketer, "he may be an okay risk for a low credit limit. For a company selling long-term insurance, he's not on the radar screen. For a company selling family vacation packages, he's irrelevant. For a full-service brokerage, he's a dud."

But what if we add some new factors to the mix? His parents, who live in New York, have a net worth of $4 million; his brother, sister-in-law and nieces live nearby; the entire family is planning a family cruise in the near future; and the man's parents might retire to the Phoenix area to be near their children and grandchildren.

Suddenly, someone who would go unnoticed looks much more intriguing. "[I]n restricting ourselves to household level information, we miss out on critical information that may be relevant today," he argues, "and will certainly be relevant tomorrow."

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