define your target group of accounts, define who is the correct icp (ideal customer profile) and once defined, determine the appropriate combination of classification variables and information that allows you to know a b2b processing customer and a b2 customer process, which is a b2 customer procession, which is a b2b commercial process . more even it becomes critical when you want to apply to an account based marketing process. segmenting is a totally necessary tool to understand the market.
The increasing competition that we face in our own industry and in each of the markets in which we compete, requires us to continually improve our business processes and the way we reach our customers. Our own go-to-market. Otherwise, our value proposition will hardly be able to differentiate itself from competitors and compensate for our efforts.
By researching a market, we can provide answers to questions related to products, services, intermediaries, prices, suppliers, customers or communication channels, to name just a few. In this way, it is essential to carry out market research periodically. In particular, if our clients are companies and, therefore, we carry out B2B operations.
What is B2B segmentation?
Segmenting is a categorization process that allows the different elements to be treated to be separated. It is a process that consists of the division of the merchandise based on some specific characteristic, trait or attribute. In this way, it is possible to group (potential) customers according to their needs, wishes or behavior and formulate more effective marketing strategies.
We treat a part or the complete set of our target sample and organize it into smaller groups, sufficiently homogeneous with each other and sufficiently heterogeneous with each other. In this way we will have groups -or clusters- of individuals or accounts that resemble each other enough -lookalike- so that we can either apply similar strategies within that group and assume that they will behave the same, or look for more equal pairs those we have in that group if we assume that they are performing according to our expectations.
5 characteristics of B2B segmentation
- It is a methodical process since it is carried out in an orderly and analytical way.
- To segment the market, geographical, economic, social or technological parameters are established, to name just a few. When we talk about segmentation variables in Account Based Marketing we refer to firmographic variables (of a firm or company).
- B2B transactions, unlike B2C, tend to be more complex due to the value of the operations and the characteristics of the products and services (tangible and intangible), therefore, we should have more information on all relevant aspects of the B2B value chain.
- It is a useful mechanism to detect business development opportunities since each segment, homogeneous with each other, may have a more appropriate propensity for certain actions. What works well for a significant sample of individuals within a segment may work for the entirety of that segment.
- With the incorporation of Martech technology, performing a correct segmentation becomes something totally necessary in an Account Based Marketing project.
Importance of B2B market segmentation
A correct market segmentation allows us to understand what a specific group of clients needs. With this information, it is possible to create goods and / or services adapted to the needs and wishes of customers. In the B2B case, these interests are represented by a timely supply, a high level of quality in terms of raw materials and other productive inputs and, among other elements, accessible payment conditions.
Although the main objective is to reduce the market to “minimum” groups, these must have growth projections and, above all, be profitable. Otherwise, the financial sustainability of the business will be compromised. Segmentation also makes it possible to design a differentiated marketing mix according to each group of customers and with respect to competitors.
Types of B2B segmentation
Market segmentation by activity
In this first type of segmentation, different companies belonging to the same economic activity can be identified. For this, the National Classification of Economic Activities (CNAE) can be considered and used since, in addition to presenting the production units in an orderly manner according to a criterion, the codes used can be used to identify and analyze data and statistics.
Geographical segmentation of B2B companies
Depending on the geographic scope of the business operations, it is possible to group them locally, regionally, nationally or even internationally if necessary. A segmentation of this type is essential since, the geographical separation between the production plant or commercial office of the company and its clients conditions the activities of the entire logistics chain, allocation of the client portfolio and, among other aspects, the price competitiveness.
Behavioral targeting and B2B intent
It allows creating databases of leads and, especially, current customers in terms of:
- Economic conditions and purchasing power.
- Responsible for decision making.
- Characteristics of the products and services they demand.
- Type of market they are targeting.
- Suppliers they work with.
- Needs looking for a new supplier.
Economic-financial conditions in the relationship with this new supplier.
These and other questions make it possible to create CRM customer files, implement loyalty programs and, in the digital sphere, produce original and useful content for each segment.
Segmentation according to growth potential
In this type of segmentation, the growth of companies is projected according to the sector or industry to which they belong. Unlike the previous methods, in this case, they are grouped by creating criteria such as: “high potential”, “medium potential” or “low potential”, to follow a commonly accepted methodology in classic segmentation models.
Based on the results analyzed and interpreted, the ones with the most favorable conditions are chosen and, from that moment, the marketing strategies for each segment are formulated.
Recommendations to perform a B2B segmentation
The segmentation process must be tailored to the needs of the organization. At a methodological and analytical level, the function and way of proceeding of the analysis team must be in accordance with the most solid criteria of statistical and mathematical analysis, but this analysis must be adapted and be applicable according to the needs and conditions of maturity. of the target company.
As you can imagine, the process is developed according to the needs of each company, however, we will present some general recommendations that, without a doubt, you can use when necessary:
Collect all the information of the target industry or sector. Knowing the industry from useful, recent and reliable data will help you make better decisions.
Analyze your competitors (direct and indirect). Thus, you will be able to understand which audience they are targeting and what solutions they offer in the market. The competitor analysis or Benchmarking study requires objectivity to choose the most important aspects to be compared and responsibility to formulate strategies and, above all, to apply them satisfactorily.
Study the behavior of your customers (current and potential). As you analyze your clients, business opportunities increase. To do this, a database of leads and customers must be created. In this way, a differentiating and winning commercial offer can be created and communicated.
Choose parameters for segmentation. These can be demographic, economic and, among others, social. Regardless of your choice, make sure you have quantitative and qualitative data to enrich the database and, consequently, take advantage of the identified business opportunities.
Select the niches that best suit the interests of the company. Once you have established the segmentation criteria, you should select only those that are most relevant to your business and with growth potential in economic terms.
Remember that B2B segmentation is a process that must be carried out periodically and not only when creating a company or introducing a new product to the market. Otherwise, the efforts made would not have the necessary continuity and their correct application to our business processes.