New B2B Market Segmentation Recommendations

[dot_recommends] March 7, 2022 Manufacturing Marketing Tactics

Forget the niche! Go broad and think big when targeting your B2B marketing

B2B marketing chart of top brand affinity drivers: 23% brand trust; 23% customer service; 14% price; 11% innovation …

Advice to narrowly focus your B2B marketing has become outdated. Broader is better according to the latest data-driven B2B market segmentation recommendations. This is because B2B buyers behave more and more like B2C shoppers online.

Historically, broad targeting applied only to B2C marketing. Now, though, with buyers changing their online behaviors, B2B marketers stand to gain by expanding their target audience.

Wider target = Bigger pie = More customers = Greater revenue

 

Forget Dominating a Niche Market

B2B companies have long been told to find a gap in the marketplace and fill it with your goods and services. Owning a niche market made sense when B2B buyers had fewer options to consider.

Now, with globalized online buying, research shows going big and broad with your target market will help your small or mid-sized business (SMB) grow faster.

 

Take A Fresh Look at the Competition

One reason you want to focus your marketing at every possible B2B customer is that your customers are focusing on every possible supplier.

You’re no longer only competing with similar-sized companies. You’re competing with top brands.

Analysis of B2B customer migrations show that all companies in a particular industry compete with the biggest companies in that market.

I realize that the new competitive landscape may make you uneasy. But it’s not all bad news!

B2B customer mobility moves in both directions: customers moving from smaller companies to larger companies and from larger companies to smaller companies.

This means your small or medium-sized company has the opportunity to acquire customers from the top brands in your industry.

 

What About Market Segmentation?

Market segmentation still matters. Just avoid overly restrictive segmentation and go after all reasonable customers in your market.

The new rule: If a company buys what you sell, they are your potential customer.

Still, you’ll want to segment your target market to deliver the most relevant content messaging to buyers in each segment.

We recommend segmenting based on the following:

  • 1.    What do the companies in the segment need?
  • 2.    How do the companies prefer to acquire the solution to their need?
  • 3.    What approach will deliver the best ROI from marketing to the segment?

 

Where market segments overlap in answering these questions, consider combining them for greater efficiency.

 

You Still Need Buyer Personas

Beware of going so broad with your target market that you no longer know your audience. Buyer personas still apply even when you widen the lens of your target market focus.

Stick to solving your buyers’ problems and showing them your value. Meet them with meaningful content every step of their journey.

 

Clarify Your Brand Position and Stay True to You!

Even though B2B market segmentation recommendations have changed, it doesn’t mean you should try to be everything to everyone.

As shown in the graph above, the top drivers of B2B customer loyalty are brand trust and customer service. Notice that price was nowhere near as important as brand trust!

Know what you’re best at and stick to your brand position.

Now may be a good time to take another look at your brand positioning, but it’s not a time to abandon it altogether. If you marketed yourself to a niche market, step back, zoom out for a new perspective, and rebrand to include more potential customers.

 

Make the pie bigger!

The reality is, you and every other company that sells what you sell are competing for the same pool of customers. Why not reach out to all of them?

Those are my thoughts on B2B targeting for faster growth. What are your thoughts? Connect with us on LinkedIn or Tweet us. We’re always happy to talk.

—parin

Managing Partner

Image source: MarketingCharts

 

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