The concept of segmentation is a sensitive topic for many marketers and companies. It is as important in Business to Business (B2B) as it is in Business to Consumer (B2C). The key is to identify different groups or segments of people and use their data to deliver relevant messages to the right people, at the right time and on the right channel.
In this article, our experts take a closer look at the best practices for businesses to segment their B-to-B audiences online to drive sales.
What is segmentation?
Marketing segmentation is a strategic process that consists of dividing a market into segments or groups. Each segment is made up of consumers with common characteristics, such as socio-demographics, buying habits or demands.
A market is segmented by taking into account different criteria. These indicators make it possible to identify both the behavior and the profile of consumers. Indeed, to correctly segment a market, the following criteria must be taken into consideration:
- Business: sector, turnover, company size and number of employees
- Socio-demographic: age, gender, family situation and place of residence
- Psychological: values, lifestyle and interests
- Behavioral: purchasing, consumption and product use habits
The benefits of segmenting your B-to-B audience online:
A good B-to-B segmentation can help you to:
- Improve your conversion rate: delivering a message that is adapted to each of your different audience segments makes your customers more likely to respond to your offers. This will have a positive impact on your conversion rate and ultimately on your business profitability.
- Enhance your market competitiveness: by targeting a particular segment with an appropriate and personalized message, you will become more easily identifiable in the minds of your target audience and you will differentiate yourself from the competition.
- Save time: instead of developing a bunch of offers that are not adapted to your audience, thanks to segmentation, you are able to develop precise offers and anticipate your targets’ buying behaviors.
- Offer a more personalized experience: by adapting your content and offers to the needs and expectations of your segments, you’ll be more likely to engage your audience with offers that appeal to them. It becomes easier to build a relationship of trust with your users and to enhance your brand image.
How to identify the different types of customers?
Different types of customers can be determined by conducting a market study.
Market research aims to address a panel of consumers in order to collect usable data on potential customers through a questionnaire. The choice of questions is essential; they must follow a funnel logic. Always start with general questions and then go deeper by asking more precise questions. The questions asked must allow you to understand:
- The buying motivations of the targeted customers
- Consumer habits
- Purchase frequency
- The psychological barrier of prices
How to create Personas?
After the market research is completed, personas can be created to transform the data gathered into fictional representations of your ideal customers. This approach allows you to study the customer according to biographical and psychological elements and to understand their behavior, motivations and objectives.
The definition of personas plays a decisive role in the marketing strategy of a company, especially when it comes to a its digital presence. This is because personas allow you to identify and understand:
- How to address your B-to-B customers
- On which platforms your targeted customers are present
- What type of content to create
How do you ensure that the right segments are selected?
Segments must be:
- Relevant: the target audiences of your sector must be easy to reach via your marketing actions.
- Measurable: The segment must be quantifiable and profitable, i.e. you must have a clear idea of the number of potential customers that make up the segment, their purchasing power and their buying behavior. By analyzing these elements, you can measure the profitability of each segment. If you identify a segment that is made up of potential customers, but it only includes a small portion of your audience, then it will not be profitable. Of course, the data used must be recent and reliable.
- Accessible: It should be easy to reach the potential customers of each segment via your marketing actions. In other words, you must be able to communicate with your target group, whether it is through TV, radio, social media, but also to have a geographically accessible target to ensure delivery for example.
You also need to make sure that you’re are using the right social media platforms to address your audience. For example, if you are targeting a young audience, it may be interesting to be present on Tiktok given that this is a platform used frequently by the younger generations.
5 best practices to effectively segment your B-to-B audience:
- Use targeting on social networks:
With Facebook, companies can target their messages to users based on their demographics, interests and geographic locations. LinkedIn, for example, allows you to target by industry, company size, activity, etc. This is a popular feature for B2B companies who are looking to build brand awareness. Other platforms, including Twitter and Instagram, have similar features.
There are two different methods to target your audiences on social networks:
- Paid targeting, which allows companies to be visible to users that are already active on social networks and therefore more likely to be interested in their offers and campaigns. This way, companies can expand their reach and number of visitors, but also generate more quality conversions.
- Organic targeting, which gives companies the ability to tailor their content to specific audiences without paying a fee.
- Create a group
Social media is based on the concept of community. So, with this in mind, you can segment people into different groups based on their interests so as to target different audiences. In fact, online groups allow you to collect data about your brand’s image from a broader audience. You can create groups in the form of a forum to discuss and ask open-ended questions. You can also test new ideas with your group and present them with new content ideas that they might find interesting and relevant.
- Create lists
Social networks like Facebook and Twitter allow users to create lists of friends, followers, event attendees, etc.
These lists can offer you a data base that you can use to send marketing emails to. At Eminence, thanks to our partnerships with HubSpot and SALESmanago, these lists can be combined with your social media monitoring lists. This way you can set up a feed for each of your different buyer personas and create tailored content for leads who are talking about your brand as well as customers within a given industry. In this way, you can engage in more specific and relevant discussions with your audience.
- Publish at different times
Timing is important in marketing, especially on social networks. If your followers are scattered all over the world, it’s a good idea to post throughout the day at times, and at moments when it is most appropriate for each geographic region.
If you post at different times, you’ll be able to capture the attention of a larger portion of your audience. Also, posting at multiple times or at different times of the day can allow you to reach a specific audience that you may have overlooked, until now.
Integrate hashtags into all your messages. This way, you will target people who are interested in your specific keywords highlighted in the hashtags. Indeed, hashtags allow you to immediately reach a wider target, who does not necessarily know you, but who will discover your message because they are interested in the subject you are talking about. Not only does the hashtag help you gain visibility, but it also segments your target audience, attracting Internet users who specifically interested in your field of activity.
- Manage multiple social accounts
If you have a very broad product line, we recommend creating dedicated pages that are tailored to your different audience segments. For example, if you are a brand that operates in the construction industry and you have several product categories aimed at different segments, you can create a page for electronic equipment, another for hardware, etc. A great example of this is Nike who run several YouTube channels, based on the different types of sports each community is interested in: basketball, soccer, running, etc.
The segmentation of your B-to-B audience is a determining step in the development of your marketing strategy and requires a lot of attention. By taking the time to anticipate and prepare your strategy beforehand, you will be able to better target the audience you wish to communicate with and position yourself in relation to your competitors, which will ultimately be an added value for your business.
If you wish to be accompanied in the choice of your target segments in order to improve the quality of your audience and help increase the number of your conversions, contact our experts today by clicking here: https://eminence.ch/contact-agence-marketing-geneve/