Real-time customer response isn’t a new phenomenon, by the way. B2B companies have been doing it for years. The best B2B firms are very responsive to customers. For example, if Walmart calls one of its suppliers, you can bet that the supplier drops everything and gives its important customer total attention. But compared with consumer companies, B2B firms have relatively few customers. Keeping tabs on how your key accounts are feeling and what they want is more manageable if they number in the dozens, rather than the millions. Ideally, what consumer companies need is an adaptive personalization system that can analyze the customer base and figure out not only which products are trending and why but what would be the best personalized product (often an information service) for each customer. Get the full story at Harvard Business Review