Williams-Sonoma, which owns Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids, is ahead of many companies when it comes to gathering and using information. For example, by collecting the names of those who bought cribs from one of its stores or online over the years, the company has been able to target marketing messages to this list, so that they get offers for toddler beds, twin beds, teen and dorm room furnishings at the appropriate time, building both business and brand loyalty. Two questions, then. Are you gathering information from customers in an organized way? And do you have a plan in place to use that information to present them with products or services at the right time? If not, there’s no time like now to start.