Marketers committed to customer relationship management (CRM) have to maintain data on each of their clients, particularly those most profitable to the enterprise. These best customers need and deserve to get the very best attention. In return, the expectation is that the business will be able to retain these customers' patronage. Emerging markets in which there is no data to determine best customers present marketers with a daunting challenge.

One such example is the emerging and newly deregulated gas and electric utility market. Of course, utilities have considerable data about customers' energy consumption. In some cases, they know what appliances customers own or, in the case of businesses, particular energy needs. However, in a competitive environment, this data does not answer critical customer relationship questions.

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