You have not been archiving emails for no reason! Using big data analytics to cluster B2B interest in products and services and link clusters to financial performance


*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

1 Scopus Citations


The potential of big data analytics when it comes to gaining business insights, such as market trends and consumer preferences, has captured the interest of both scholars and business practitioners. However, the extant literature has so far provided limited empirical evidence to demonstrate how big data analytics can create business value. To address this research gap, this paper followed a novel big data analytical approach that involved analysing email archives about product/services demand clusters in a B2B setting. We analysed 621 k emails exchanged between 2009 and 2018. We identified a number of discussion clusters that were considered proxies for the interest buyers expressed in the products/services on offer. These clusters and associated discussion trends were linked to the company's revenues and financial performance, showing good predictive power. In doing this, we have demonstrated how widely available data, such as emails, which all companies have, can be used to underpin new methods for the early identification and monitoring of product demand trends, informing marketing strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-29
Number of pages14
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Early online date1 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020



  • Analytics
  • Big data
  • Emails
  • Internal
  • Market research
  • Sales

Cite this