Updated 7 February 2020.
Segmenting your B2B market and being specific about the market to which you wish to sell is vital. “The world” and “all companies” is too big a place. Nobody can afford to target everyone and “anyone who wants to buy it” isn’t going to help your marketing and sales efforts. Segmenting your B2B market simply helps you focus. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to sell to anybody else.
You need to break it down into manageable chunks. These chunks should contain your sweet spot as well as other markets you wish to approach. A company’s sweet spot is usually the industries in which their first few customers originate. Examine your current customers and who your competitors target. This will help define the types of companies you should be targetting, addressing gaps in your competitors target market.
Below is a list of 8 ways in which to segment your B2B market. They can be used alone, but your sales and marketing activities will be far more successful if you use a combination.
- Industry or sector. For example automotive, transport, travel, health, government, technology
- Geographical region
- Country/language. Perhaps you need to break the region down further such as European countries that conduct business through English, eg the Nordics, The Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Ireland
- Job title. Be sure to analyse which job titles you need to market to. Include the decision makers as well as the influencers
- Company size. No of employees
Some additional methods of segmenting your market that can prove helpful are:
- Behaviour such as price, quality or delivery sensitive
- Needs such as security, power, esteem
Once your B2B market has been defined, you must ensure that your CRM database reflects these categories so that you can segment your database when undertaking direct marketing and target your message accordingly.
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Originally published January 2015.