Audience segmentation is a critical component of any B2B company’s growth. Trying to fit each customer in the same category is one of the biggest mistakes a B2B company can make. Sensitivity to diverse customer needs and interests can keep you in the running for the win.
Research reveals that segmentation makes companies 60% more likely to understand customers’ challenges and concerns and 130% more likely to know their intentions. Moreover, segmenting based on personas provides 90% of companies with better know-how about their audience, and 82% of companies using personas build an improved value proposition.
Modern-day commerce cannot thrive on the "one-size-fits-all" ideology. In an era where personalization can make or break a business/brand, it is critical to be mindful and inclusive of what different B2B audiences want and how you can best serve them.
What Is B2B Audience Segmentation?
B2B audience segmentation involves finding and grouping customers who share similar needs, behaviors, and so on. Thus, it focuses on approaching such different sections or “segments” as per their behavior patterns and requirements.
By segmenting your B2B target audiences and understanding them closely, you can build better connections with them and enhance your overall marketing strategy. Audience segmentation is about how you can best satisfy customers' needs to maximize your revenue and growth.
How Can Audience Segmentation Help B2B Companies?
Audience segmentation is a trade secret of some of the most successful B2B companies. According to a Mailchimp study comparing the performance of segmented and non-segmented marketing campaigns, email campaigns leveraging audience segmentation garnered 14.3% higher open rates, doubled click-through rates, 4.6% lower bounce rates, and 9.4% lower unsubscribe rate.
Successful audience segmentation leads to increased customer satisfaction, which in turn, locks in customer retention and loyalty. As your customers can count on you for your products and services, they develop trust in your brand for future collaboration and can recommend you to their contacts.
You can save your resources by directing them toward potential customers. Going after a mass audience, including the unreceptive lot, will only instill resentment in them, thereby sabotaging the scope of future collaboration.
B2B Audience Segmentation Challenges
The flip side of B2B audience segmentation is that it can be challenging in some ways. This shouldn’t stop you from segmenting your B2B audiences, as the benefits far outweigh the challenges. Moreover, it’s good to know the challenges and ace them to win an edge over your competitors.
If your B2B company comprises a mix of team-based and individual decision makers, audience segmentation can become complex owing to the conflicting inputs of different stakeholders.
Unlike B2C buyers, B2B buyers are more thoughtful about company expenditures. When it comes to spending for their company, B2B buyers tend to have a mental shift from personal to practical preference. They focus more on what they need instead of what they want.
To successfully segment the audiences, you need to identify the drivers of customer needs. To this end, you will have to probe the company size, volume purchased, or job function.
B2B markets have more complex products and systems than B2C. Such products are tailored for the company purchasing them, depending upon their size, scale of operations, and so on. By this rationale, nearly every individual would be a segment in and of themselves.
How To Segment B2B Audiences
Few challenges do not taint the importance of audience segmentation. If done right, it is a major business booster.
There are four key methods to segment B2B audiences.
In firmographic segmentation, audience segments are created by grouping common company or individual characteristics, such as company size, location, industry, revenue, customer type, age, expenditure, and so on. This approach is one of the most common in B2B markets as it is easy and economical. However, it lacks detail as it does not segment audiences on the basis of behavior or needs.
One of the quickest and most convenient but rather crude ways to segment B2B audiences is geographic segmentation, which is done per the customers’ location. The basic assumption of this method is that all members of a geographically similar segment will behave almost similarly.
One of the more advanced B2B audience segmentation methods, the behavioral method groups customers according to similar buying behaviors. The buying patterns, such as buying frequency, brand loyalty, purchased products, and so on, reflect the common determinants of this method. The advantage of this approach is that it gives an insight into buyers’ bucket lists. It also indicates their needs. The downside is that behaviors are dynamic. They can change, often, depending on the circumstances and customers.
This method is one of the most preferred and accurate. It clubs customers based on what they need from a product or service. Also, it is a subjective analysis, which focuses on where the purchase stems from and its need. Lower price, service support, customized solutions, ease of use, and shorter lead times can be some customer needs and attitudes toward a product. The downside of this method is that it is difficult to identify customer needs.
We strongly recommend segmenting your clients, prospects, even inactive clients. If you aren't equipped to do this, as a one-time fix or on an ongoing basis, we can help! Please reach out or book a meeting to talk about the condition of your contact lists.