Best use of the Apteco Marketing Suite Award 2017

Having a ‘repeatable process’ around data analytics was a revolution for the business solutions area of Canon

Company overview

For 70 years Canon has been delivering leading edge imaging technologies to customers across the world. Established in 1937 Canon has grown into a global comapny operating in a diverse range of markets, including business solutions, consumer imaging, broadcast and communications, medical systems and industrial products. An endless flow of ideas and innovation has kept Cannon at the forefront of its industry. In choosing products and services from Canon, businesses and consumers opt for reliable, stylish and advanced technologies. 

Canon license the Apteco Marketing Suite via their chosen Apteco approved reseller, Dun & Bradstreet, for use in their Business Solutions (B2B) area.

D&B logo


Canon captures data on an ongoing basis about the use and reliability of all its printers and multi-function devices in customer’s premises. This data is difficult to summarise and visualise, particularly when being applied to marketing and strategic needs. Canon wanted to understand more about its customers and overlay this with the behaviour seen in the data. In essence, to identify the type of customers who seem to be the most committed to printing and copying, with the longer aim to deliver business transformation by segmenting customers and building the support model to service the segments.

For the first time, we are truly able to put customer behaviour at the centre of our thoughts, which enables us to consider all the ways we can help our customers achieve more of what they want.


The ability to fully understand customers print behaviour to serve them better.

This could be through the deployment of more appropriate print equipment, replace equipment nearing the end of its life, or to drive the adoption of software and cost-cutting techniques in order, to grow longer-term relationships between Canon and its customers.

Existing analysis in Canon was based purely on invoice-data. As most customers are invoiced quarterly, this effectively means turning hundreds of data points a year into just four, severely limiting the uses such data can be put to. Identifying the timing of consumption is almost impossible, it can only be pin-pointed to the quarter it occurred in, ignoring the fact that information is received on a weekly basis for most installations.

The Solution

Over 200k customer accounts (both old and current) were matched to the D&B universe, and built into Market Insight (FastStats), to provide basic segmentation characteristics. Then, over 400k printer contracts were included, providing a unique insight over time of what customers had installed and what they replaced with. Finally, the most complex element was to take over 5m meter readings from those printers and identify which customers printed at what points in time. Whilst these readings all had a time-stamp, the occurrence was not at regular intervals, so a model was created to turn irregular readings into something usable by Canon.

This provides the foundation for a behaviour-led customer segmentation. By understanding seasonality by industry and size of organisation, Canon will better serve all customer types and deploy the right resources. It also unlocks the ability to predict most-likely behaviour, and therefore ensure the customer’s needs are met at the right time, in many ways. The insight of types and volume of print aligned with the industry has enabled insight to predict future use.


Through deep analytics, Canon has gained a better understanding of customer needs, built a segmentation model for a more customer-led approach to its market and the analytics has created the foundation for Canon’s Business Transformation Programme which has now been implemented.

As for data points:

  • 198k customer records
  • 122k salesforce records have been classified
  • 3m addressable market defined

Having a ‘repeatable process’ around data analytics was a revolution for Canon. The use of Market Insight / FastStats to understand customer verticals and scale, then map to the relevant sales team in the CRM, has introduced both rigor and scalability, providing the science to restructure teams across the business to support the new strategy. The sales teams are now able to use the system both to look-up the relevant company, find the correct division and understand their individual usage trends. A longer-term plan will be to look at a more formal integration with the CRM (SFDC).

Says John Marks, B2B Strategy Manager at Canon UK: 

“Through the use of Market Insight / Apteco FastStats tool combined with the D&B data, Canon has achieved full customer segmentation, it also continues to provide the visibility needed to help shape a ‘Customer Centric Approach’, which will ultimately drive a better customer experience over the medium term”.

Peter Daniels, Customer Insight Manager at Canon UK adds:

"The insight that the Market Insight / FastStats tool brings to the table has been ground-breaking for us. For the first time, we are truly able to put customer behaviour at the centre of our thoughts, which enables us to consider all the ways we can help our customers achieve more of what they want. As, this benefits customers as well as ourselves, it is a great platform for long-term partnerships with customers and should lead to ever-stronger relationships.”