B2B Articles - June 07, 2013

Defining B2B marketing lead segments

Defining customer/client segments and profiles is a vital part of the B2B marketing planning process. These segments are based on the differences in your customer base and can be used to create and define content strategy and messaging. For example, customer segmentation can take shape as email lists with connected and related landing pages.

business marketing segments

These segmentations can be used to construct marketing outbound or inbound plans, email lists, high-level messages, websites or CRM solutions that tie in with marketing processes. In designing a segmentation model, the goal is to create buckets of structured categories, which will allow for sorting and filtering.

B2B market segmentation

  • Demographics - Include factors like location, nationality, languages and end user demographics/languages. This unit may include important factors including whether the company scope is global, national or regional.
  • Industry - Although this could be fitted into organizational characteristics, industry could act as a top level filter for B2B segmentation
  • Organization characteristics - Factors like: company size, age, and company life cycle
  • Purchase approach - May include: buyer/seller relations, purchase history, policies, criteria, internal power structure that influences buying behavior
  • Operations specification - What technologies do they embrace? Do they employ digital media? Are there aspects to the lead/target's operations that would impact their buying behavior?
  • Situational factors - Product application or typical size of an order. Or is the buying behavior based on time, environment or variables.
  • Personal factors - Does the buyer have personal likes or dislikes. More granular factors that effect buying behavior.
  • Opportunities - If opportunities could be designed as a structured list, then this could make for a fantastic segmentation for sorting B2B companies
  • Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) - A list of identifiers published by the United States Government assigned to businesses based on the main product or service provided.
  • Lead score - An internal (your company) unit of measure to rank leads based on performance factors (such as opening an email or responses). This measurement allows a sales team to prioritize leads.

Applications of B2B lead segments

Below are a number of examples on how a marketing agency would apply B2B customer segmentation. The potential applications are numerous for a B2B marketing and sales process, but these examples help provide some context for both their importance and usage.

  • Marketing planning and strategy: value proposition and targeting
  • High-leveling messaging and content strategy
  • Email marketing: lists, messages, landing pages and call-to-actions
  • Advertising & PPC: segmentation of campaigns and messages
  • SEO strategy: keyword and inbound strategy with search
  • Event marketing decisions
  • All ROI for marketing: Which segments drive the best performance? Which segments have the most unrealized potential?
  • CRM lead scoring with marketing automation
  • Multi-channel marketing with targeted communications

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