According to the Next in Personalisation 2021 Report by McKinsey & Company, 76 per cent of purchases are made from a business that segments its market. That’s how important B2B marketing is for businesses looking to drive profits. If you aim to elevate your business and improve your marketing approaches, B2B marketing is the ideal path forward.
In this blog, we’ll unravel the essence of B2B marketing, exploring its nuanced strategies and revealing the key to unlocking the doors of corporate success. Whether you’re a marketing pro looking for new ideas or someone starting a business, we’ve got you covered.
B2B Digital Marketing
B2B, short for Business-to-Business, refers to the marketing approach used by companies selling their products or services to other businesses rather than individual consumers. The end goal for both B2B and B2C marketing is to make sales and boost revenue. But the journey to get there? Completely different.
B2B marketing revolves around catering to organisations where someone represents their company while making a purchase. It’s like a software company offering tools for streamlined payroll management or an office supplier providing essentials for other businesses. Conversely, B2C marketing caters to individual consumers and their specific needs. This blog completely focuses on B2B marketing and its dynamics.
How Does B2B Digital Marketing Work?
B2B digital marketing acts like a roadmap guiding businesses through their decision-making journey, similar to how we decide on products as individual consumers. Imagine a business facing a challenge—maybe they anticipate a surge in demand for certain goods or need to enhance their team’s skills. That’s where the journey starts: researching options to find the best fit.
The strategies in B2B digital marketing involve highlighting how your business can solve their specific problems, showcasing what makes you stand out from the competition, letting them try or test your offerings, and making it easy for them to seal the deal.
You can use various B2B digital marketing strategies to promote your business. You can make sponsored posts on LinkedIn to share news, establish a strong presence on business-focused platforms and become a reliable expert in your field. Other strategies include search ads, creating online content, and blogs and tutorials that explain your business.
Businesses often find it tricky to handle customer engagement. This is where B2B market segmentation can truly make a difference. It’s a strategic approach to launching campaigns and entering the market. By segmenting your market into groups of similar preferences and characteristics, you can create effective account-based marketing (ABM) drives.
Market segmentation is the process of discovering different groups within your target audience and then customising your message to connect with them on a deeper level. These groups can be based on demographics like location, age, income, or behaviour, such as their buying history. It can even tap into their personalities, values, and attitudes. It’s about organising your contacts into smaller, more specific groups so you can give each group exactly what they want.
Why does this matter? According to marketing expert Seth Godin, when we try to appeal to everyone, we often end up creating generic content that’s not tailored to anyone in particular. Audience segmentation helps you avoid this by making your marketing more personalised and focused. It enables you to identify your target groups, communicate with them directly, and meet their requirements head-on.
When your message feels like speaking directly to someone’s interests or concerns, it creates a more personalised connection that helps you build lasting relationships and customer loyalty. By attracting leads with content that speaks directly to their needs, you can create a stronger bond with them that goes beyond just a one-time sale.
B2B Market Segmentation
B2B companies use five segmentation methods to divide their market into target markets and align them with their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Each approach provides unique insights into potential accounts, helping target marketing and sales efforts.
Much like demographics in B2C, firmographics delves into descriptive attributes of businesses. These include company size, industry, and location. Though some marketers find this accessible and cost-effective, relying solely on firmographics might lack depth. Hence, combining it with tech insights or behavioural data is recommended.
Organisations understand and derive insights based on a company’s technical landscape, investment nature, and usage. Companies can plan their marketing based on these insights that highlight gaps, preferences, and potential tech investments.
Organisations perform intent segmentation by analysing prospects’ online behaviours and interests related to their offerings. This helps identify accounts demonstrating purchase intent, enabling a focused approach to accounts with higher conversion potential.
This segmentation helps reach different audiences within an organisation. Persona segmentation helps to create messages for different stakeholders, recognising various roles influencing purchase decisions within the company.
Journey stage segmentation
Identifying where potential customers stand in their buying journey helps craft targeted content. Journey stage segmentation is based on the stages, such as qualified, engaged, and post-sale. This segmentation ensures relevant messaging and interaction at each phase.
Understanding the different stages that potential customers go through before becoming loyal customers is important in effective marketing. The stages include qualified, aware, engaged, marketing qualified account (MQA), opportunity, customer, and post-sale. You can ensure relevant and powerful messaging by considering these stages when segmenting your marketing efforts.
B2B Market Segmentation Strategies
Devising effective marketing strategies allows you to be more specific with your marketing efforts and maximise your resources.
Undifferentiated segmentation strategy
This strategy is often associated with mass marketing that targets the larger market. It can be suitable for large companies selling generic products but can lead to less effective campaigns due to its broadness.
Differentiated segmentation strategy
This strategy comes in between mass and personalised marketing, identifying broader market segments and customising marketing strategies for each segment with common characteristics.
Niche segmentation strategy
Niche segmentation aims to identify smaller, unique sub-segments within broader markets. These micro-segments present untapped needs but require a balance between specialisation and audience size for profitability.
Customised segmentation strategy
This strategy aims to create campaigns on an individual level. Highly personalised experiences based on specific user attributes or preferences are created using technology. By getting customers involved and leveraging the power of technology, this method achieves unmatched levels of personalisation and delivers optimal results.
B2B Market Segmentation Use Cases
Spotify’s ascent to the top of the music streaming world wasn’t just about offering the same music catalogue as its competitors. Spotify strategically grouped listeners based on their music preferences—beyond the typical genres like rock or classical, recommending overlapping tastes. Spotify’s machine learning algorithms expanded music categorisation into 5,000 genres, with fine-tuned sorting based on mood, tempo, energy, and more. This segmentation allowed Spotify to offer personalised music recommendations, catering to individual preferences.
IBM executed a successful B2B marketing campaign by utilising firmographic segmentation. They employed firmographic data such as industry, company size, and location to identify their target audience. By tailoring its marketing messages and content to specific segments, IBM created personalised experiences for its prospects. The company developed industry-specific case studies and whitepapers that addressed the unique challenges faced by companies in different sectors. This targeted approach helped IBM generate higher engagement, better lead quality, and ultimately, increased sales. IBM’s adoption of firmographic segmentation provides a great example of how data-driven marketing strategies can significantly improve the effectiveness of B2B marketing campaigns.
How can Vajra help?
The landscape of B2B marketing is not just expanding but evolving in intricate ways. As B2B marketing evolves, segmentation remains the golden key. Knowing what resonates with your audience significantly influences the success of your marketing endeavours. If you’re a marketer looking for new and innovative ideas or an entrepreneur just starting in the business world, exploring the ins and outs of B2B marketing segmentation can lead you straight to the path of corporate success. Sometimes, navigating through the B2B marketing space can be an uphill battle. Hence, working with a global B2B marketing agency or a B2B marketing group is highly recommended.
At Vajra Global, we offer efficient B2B marketing, marketing automation and consultation services to various niches with our skilled B2B specialists. Get in touch with us now, and let’s get started.