24th Feb, 2022
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- In the digital era, demand generation mainly relies on generating and nurturing leads via various online channels. This can be done more effectively by segmenting your audience.
- Audience segmentation can be based on several factors. Segmenting the audience provides more profound insights into customers’ needs and wants. This helps in better targeting potential customers and converting them into buyers.
An essential aspect of digital demand generation is generating leads and nurturing them into loyal customers. However, generating high-quality leads can be quite challenging, particularly in the highly competitive digital space. This is where audience segmentation can be of great help. It enables the marketing team to tailor outreach campaigns and fuel the sales pipeline with relevant leads.
What is audience segmentation?
Nobody can stop a marketing campaign from being a success if it directs the right resources to the right audience at the right time. But to identify the right audience, audience segmentation is the key.
Audience segmentation refers to dividing the audience into categories based on different parameters, such as their age, gender, interests, needs, or location. This enables the marketers to tailor the sales communication and deliver personalized messaging to the target audience. Thus, you can reach out to your customers better than your competition.
To illustrate the effectiveness of audience segmentation, let’s take an example. Spotify has become the market leader in the music streaming space by getting ahead of much bigger companies like Apple and Amazon. It has achieved this feat by categorizing its listeners based on different genres. Its algorithms categorize music into 5000 different genres. It went even further with segmentation by sorting music based on mood, beats per minute, energy and style. This enabled Spotify to offer personalized suggestions to its listeners, which made all the difference.
Â Why is it important for the B2B audience?Â
B2B audiences are far more informed and aware than their B2C counterparts. Therefore, the prospect outreach strategy needs to be laser-focused and relevant. To do this, enterprises should segment their audience for different account-based marketing (ABM) initiatives. Granular audience segmentation adds more depth and relevance to sales communication and helps conversations move linearly and horizontally. Moreover, enterprises can forge strong connections with the audience.
Different types of B2B audience segmentation
There are plenty of ways to conduct customer segmentation, but the best ones depend on factors such as available data, industry type, budget, and so on. Segmentation can be done on the basis of the following:
It refers to the business version of demographics. It commonly includes industry, company size, revenue, customer type, and geographic location. Such data is readily available and does not change frequently, making this type of segmentation popular.
This type of segmentation groups customers according to the role technology plays in their lives. This can help companies market new technologies among early adopters more vigorously.
It is about classifying customers according to their intent or what they’re looking for. This enables the companies to give their audience exactly what they want.
This is a subjective method since it groups the customers according to what they need from your product or service. This can be very effective as it targets people facing similar issues and understands their buying motivations.
The previous method looked at customers’ needs, whereas this method looks at how they act. This data can be gathered by observing the ways customers interact with your product and content and the channels they use to do so. This method provides accurate insights into what buyers want.
Profitability segmentation is based on the quality of the lead. It can use factors such as average customer lifetime value, acquisition channel, and lead quality. This segmentation ensures that the right resources are allotted to the most profitable leads. This allows you to target better.
How to carry out effective audience segmentation?
Here is a list of things organizations should keep in mind while segmenting their audience for faster B2B demand generation.
Decide on the categorization criteria
Find out which categorization will serve you in the best way possible. For this, you can seek answers to questions like:
- How is your product or service relevant to customers?
- How does your product or solution make the prospect’s life easier?
- How can you help them achieve their business goals?
- Which stage of the buying cycle are they at?
- Do you need to spread brand awareness further?
This information will help you go deeper and target the right people with the right resources. It will align your marketing efforts in the right direction.
Understand your customers’ needs
Not all buyers are at the same stage of the sales funnel. Buyers at different stages have different needs and challenges. The better you understand them, the better you can target them with personalized ads and offers and deal with their issues better.
This will help you to generate leads. But the important thing is to nurture those leads. For this, you need to keep focusing on them as their needs evolve when they move ahead in the sales funnel. Eventually, you can group them based on their interests, needs, etc. and provide them with the content which addresses their specific issues.
Know your platforms
There is no dearth of communication channels available for marketing your products. But, not every channel has the same significance for your brand. Some platforms are more effective than others since most of your target audience might consume information from a specific channel. For instance, people might ignore promotional emails but are more likely to pay attention to a LinkedIn post. Thus, you can segment your audience based on the channels through which they interact. This way, you can spread information through the platforms which reach out to most of your audience.
Gather and analyze data
Audience segmentation is not a one-time thing. You need to constantly update your categorization of customers as they evolve with time. A different segmentation criterion likely serves you better after some time. But, the prerequisite to segmentation is gathering and analyzing data. Without accurate data, your marketing efforts are futile.
Data is a dynamic entity, and digital automated tools can be used along with human validation methods to keep it relevant and updated. The organization, thus, needs to keep its databases updated through data hygiene to gain a competitive edge over others.
Being a part of the B2B market, you should understand that not all prospects are relevant. If you are reaching out to firms that have no interest in your offer or no need for your product, it is just a waste of resources. Thus, audience segmentation is of particular importance in the B2B space. So, if you wish to boost your marketing returns, go for in-depth audience segmentation. You can even utilize the services of digital marketing agencies, which offer sophisticated means to segment customers, achieve in-store branding, and drive growth.