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Segmentation in B-to-B Markets: The Role of Data


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Business marketers rely on segmentation for marketing efficiency and effectiveness. This presentation explains how to segment business markets, the key segmentation variables, how segmentation aids prospecting efforts, how to create personas, and how clean data makes segmentation easier.

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Segmentation in B-to-B Markets: The Role of Data

  1. 1. Segmentation in Business Markets@ZoomInfo The role of data@RuthPStevens@DG_Report1
  2. 2. About Ruth▶ Ruth Stevens▶ Consults on B2B customer acquisition and retention▶ Get a free copy of Chapter One of her new book at
  3. 3. About Don ▶ Don Wynns ▶ Business Development at Zoom Information ▶ Focuses on product strategy and strategic partnerships3
  4. 4. What is a customer segment?A group with similar wants and needs.▶ Distinct from other segments (different segments have different needs).▶ Homogeneous within the segment (common needs).▶ Responds similarly to market stimulus▶ Stable enough to market to.▶ Actionable. Can be reached by communications and distribution channels.▶ Substantial enough to be profitable.
  5. 5. Why segment?▶ Efficient use of limited resources. ▶ Choose the most profitable groups to target.▶ Develop effective marketing strategies. ▶ Speak to customer needs in a relevant way.▶ Monitor success and re-segment as needed. ▶ Continuous improvement.
  6. 6. The segmentation process1. Identifying segments within the target audience.2. Selecting target segments.3. Creating product mix and communications mix for each target segment. ▶ Positioning products to serve the segment. ▶ Profiling segment to develop impactful messaging. 6
  7. 7. Segmentation variables for B-to-B from Bonoma, Shapiro, “How to Segment Industrial Markets, HBR▶ Demographics ▶ Purchasing approaches ▶ industry, company size, ▶ purchasing function, buyer- customer location seller relationships,▶ Operating variables purchasing policies, purchasing criteria ▶ company technology, product/brand use ▶ Situational factors status, customer ▶ urgency of order, product capabilities application, size of order ▶ Buyers’ personal characteristics ▶ character, approach
  8. 8. Defining your target customers for prospecting Characterize your target, by key variables: ▶ Industry ▶ Company size ▶ Job title/function ▶ Other (but make sure it’s actionable).8
  9. 9. Challenges of Data Decay on Segmentation Initiatives 72% of businesspeople change one or more key elements on their business card each year What does this mean for you? Your prospect contact data is likely decaying faster than you are able to update it.REPORT: Sales & MarketingInstitute: B2B DATA DECAY, HOWBAD IS IT AND WHAT TO DO!
  10. 10. Challenges within your Data Set Missing Pieces to the Segmentation Puzzle ▶ Industry: Are you pursuing opportunities consistent with your existing buyers? ▶ Company Size: Need/budget for offer? You can’t score a lead without reliable “firmographic” data ▶ Titles; Personalized offers resonate. Marketing to outdated or incorrect titles is expensive & dilutes the brand10
  11. 11. Maximizing Segmentation Value ▶ Successful, multi-channel marketing organizations commit to ongoing data management and cleansing initiatives ▶ The inherent decay of B2B data makes an annual “spring data cleaning” insufficient. Rust never sleeps, and neither does data degradation. ▶ Marketers and their performance are being measured more closely than ever - ensure your metrics of choice are based on real opportunities.11
  12. 12. There are solutions… ▶ Find a service oriented data provider that provides a suite of offerings inclusive of data provisioning and an ongoing commitment to data hygiene ▶ Buyer Beware – the data provider ecosystem is filled with false promises and inflated metrics! ▶ Test before you buy - ask these questions: ▶ Is your data provider reputable? ▶ Do they have a track record of success and references? ▶ Do they have a commitment to privacy regulations?12
  13. 13. Understand the needs of your target Sources of insight: ▶ Talk to sales people and customer service staff NEEDS: Examples ▶ Primary research • Solve a problem ▶ Online • Gain recognition ▶ Focus groups or 1:1 interviews • Save time, money ▶ Surveys • Increase productivity ▶ Advisory board13
  14. 14. Create “personas” ▶ Persona: A fictional character representing a target segment. ▶ Aka “profile.” ▶ Useful in crafting relevant messaging and motivational offers. Meet Joe. Hes owner and CEO of a growing, mid-sized stock brokerage company. Joe is a gregarious guy, married, with two children. His wife works, so there’s always more to get done in the day than they can handle. Joe wears a suit to the office, but is actually more comfortable in casual clothes. He drives a roomy 4-door. In the downturn, his company took quite a hit, so he’s looking for ways to get back on track and run the business more efficiently, using technology.14
  15. 15. Tech influencer persona Meet Stan. Hes database administrator at a large manufacturing company in suburban Illinois. Stan is single, and lives in a rental apartment with his two dogs. On weekends, he favors day hiking and watching his favorite sports teams on Internet television. He’s a gadget-lover, and early adopter of consumer electronics. He never wears a suit to the office. He drives a late-model SUV. Stan appreciates how people in his company are always asking him for tech advice. His company understands the value of technology in gaining a competitive manufacturing edge.15
  16. 16. Talking their languageTech buyer Easy to install. No downtime. End-users won’t complain. I can look like a hero. “Spend less.”Business Easy to use. Will save us time and money. Helpbuyer me get the job done. I can look smart. “Sell more.”
  17. 17. Example: Relevant messaging Tech buyer Business buyer
  18. 18. Summary▶ Segment audiences by industry, company size and job title or function.▶ Research the needs of your most profitable segments.▶ Create personas as the basis of crafting relevant messaging.▶ Communicate the benefits of value to each buyer type.
  19. 19. Thank you @RuthPStevens