For SaaS brands, it’s important to know who they’re selling to and how best to reach them. After all, B2B sales is all about knowing your customer well, and building solid relationships – so as to offer a consistent customer experience.
This is where segmentation can be crucial, helping you learn more about your target market so as to approach, persuade and convert leads into customers.
This is exactly where segmentation variables for B2B markets come into play. For B2B businesses, understanding and leveraging these is crucial to enhance the ROI on their sales & marketing efforts.
But how to leverage these segmentation variables for B2B markets effectively? This article offers a comprehensive overview of how you can do so. We’ll not only cover the importance of B2B segmentation, but also explore how to use these variables to construct your own B2B outbound strategy framework.
So let’s get started!
What is B2B market segmentation?
Before we get down to discussing the segmentation variables for B2B markets, it’s important to know what segmentation really is!
In simple terms, B2B market segmentation is nothing but a process of dividing a broad business market into smaller, more manageable groups with similar needs & characteristics.
This strategic approach is pivotal in amplifying the effectiveness of both marketing and sales efforts.
We typically see two dominant approaches in B2B market segmentation:
- B2B Micro Segmentation in Marketing: This method involves dividing the market into exceptionally detailed segments.
By focusing on specific characteristics like company size, specific needs, or purchasing capacity, businesses can create highly personalized marketing strategies.
- B2B Macro Segmentation: Contrasting with micro segmentation, macro segmentation deals with broader market categories.
This might include segmenting businesses based on industry type, geographical location, or overall market trends.
Benefits of B2B Segmentation
Another aspect you need to consider before understanding how segmentation variables for B2B markets work are the benefits of the segmentation process.
Keeping that in mind, here’s a quick overview of the same:
Before understanding what segmentation variables for B2B markets work for your business, SaaS companies need to understand the benefits of micro-segmentation.
Keeping that in mind, here are the benefits of using micro-segmentation in your marketing & sales efforts:
- Tailored messaging: Using micro-segmentation in marketing and sales allows businesses to delve deep into the specifics of each customer group, understanding their unique preferences, challenges, and needs.
This knowledge enables the creation of highly personalized marketing messages, which resonate more effectively with each segment.
For instance, a SaaS company might find that startups in the tech industry have different software needs compared to established financial firms.
By tailoring their messages accordingly, they can speak directly to the concerns and aspirations of each group, making their sales & marketing efforts more impactful.
- Increased conversion rates: Personalized marketing strategies crafted through micro-segmentation naturally lead to higher engagement.
When customers feel that a product or service is specifically catered to their needs, they are more likely to be interested and make a purchase.
This targeted approach reduces the scattergun effect of broader marketing campaigns, ensuring that marketing efforts are concentrated where they are most effective, thereby boosting conversion rates.
- Product development insights: Micro-segmentation offers granular insights into the preferences and pain points of different customer groups.
These insights are invaluable for product development, guiding SaaS companies in refining existing products or developing new ones that cater to the specific requirements of each segment.
By aligning product development with the nuanced needs of various segments, businesses can create solutions that are more likely to satisfy and delight their customers.
- Efficient budget allocation: Understanding which segments are most profitable or have the most growth potential allows businesses to allocate their budgets more strategically.
Instead of spreading resources thinly across the entire market, companies can focus their investment on the segments that offer the highest return.
This approach not only maximizes ROI but also ensures that marketing and development resources are used in the most efficient manner possible.
Now that we’ve delved deeper into the benefits of B2B micro-segmentation, it’s time to understand the benefits of the other approach.
Some of them are as follows:
- Broad Market Insights: B2B macro-segmentation provides a bird’s eye view of the market, helping you understand the broader market dynamics.
This approach is particularly useful for SaaS companies looking to grasp the overall structure and trends of the industry they operate in.
For instance, macro segmentation can reveal how different industries are adopting technology, the average budget sizes for software solutions in various sectors, or the general preferences among large enterprises vs. small businesses.
- Strategic business decisions: With the broad perspective gained from macro segmentation, businesses can make more informed strategic decisions. This includes decisions on market entry strategies, pricing models, and expansion plans.
Such insights enable companies to steer their strategic direction in a way that aligns with larger market opportunities.
- Streamlined communication: Developing effective communication strategies that resonate with larger audience segments is another advantage of B2B macro segmentation.
It allows SaaS companies to craft messages that address the common pain points, aspirations, and preferences of broader groups.
This approach is particularly effective for brand-building and awareness campaigns, where the goal is to reach and resonate with a wide audience.
- Budget optimization: B2B macro-segmentation assists in aligning resource allocation with broader market trends. This strategic allocation of resources, whether in marketing, product development, or sales efforts, ensures that investments are made where they’re likely to have the greatest impact.
For SaaS companies, this might mean focusing more resources on rapidly growing industries or scaling back in markets that are showing signs of saturation.
In summary, both micro and macro segmentation offer distinct yet complementary benefits. Micro segmentation allows for personalized marketing and deeper customer insights, leading to higher conversion rates and more targeted product development.
Macro segmentation, on the other hand, offers a wider view of the market, facilitating strategic business decisions, optimized budget allocation, and the ability to spot and capitalize on emerging trends.
Together, they can significantly enhance the ROI of sales and marketing efforts for any B2B SaaS business.
Segmentation variables for B2B markets – Meaning & Types
Segmentation variables for B2B markets are specific criteria or characteristics used to categorize and divide a broad business market into distinct segments or groups.
These variables help in identifying and targeting specific groups of businesses or organizations within a larger market, allowing for better-optimized marketing and sales strategies.
This targeted approach is often more cost-effective than other broad, one-dimensional approaches
Overall, the use of segmentation variables in B2B markets is a cornerstone of modern marketing and sales, allowing companies to operate with greater efficiency in an increasingly competitive market.
Common segmentation variables for B2B markets
Now that you’ve got a fair idea of what segmentation variables for B2B markets are, it’s crucial to know the different types of such variables you can use.
Based on our insights, here are the most common variables used by B2B businesses for segmentation:
Demographic segmentation variables
Demographic-focused segmentation variables for B2B markets involve categorization based on firmographic data like industry type, company size, annual revenue and other similar attributes.
For example, if your SaaS company has more customers in India than the US, you should double down on the former to improve your sales & marketing ROI.
Geographic segmentation variables
Geography-based segmentation variables for B2B markets usually divide the market based on geographical demarcations such as the country, region or postal code. This approach is ideal for companies having products/services that vary in relevance across different geographies.
For instance, a company may target only urban areas or specific countries where its product has higher demand.
Product usage segmentation variables
Product usage segmentation is a type of segmentation variable in B2B markets that categorizes customers based on how they use a particular product or service.
This approach is especially relevant in today’s diverse market, where different businesses can use the same product in varied ways, each deriving different types of value from it.
Understanding the usage patterns is crucial to create more informed, strategically-led products and marketing plans.
Purchase behavior segmentation variables
Using purchase behavior segmentation variables in B2B markets involves categorizing businesses based on their purchasing patterns, history, habits and tendencies. This type of segmentation is crucial for companies to understand how different business customers make purchasing decisions, their typical buying cycle, and what factors influence these decisions.
By analyzing purchase behavior, companies can tailor their sales and marketing strategies to align with the specific needs and habits of each segment, leading to more effective engagements and improved sales outcomes.
Technographic segmentation variables
Using technographic segmentation variables in B2B markets involves categorizing potential or existing customers based on their existing technological profiles, preferences, and needs.
This type of segmentation is particularly useful for companies offering tech-based products or services, as it provides deep insights into the technological landscape of their target market.
Using them, the company can then create content, features and user experiences that align with the competitor’s offerings & make the customer experience even better.
Psychographic segmentation variables
Using psychographic segmentation variables in B2B markets involves categorizing businesses based on psychological attributes such as corporate values, culture, goals, and priorities.
Unlike demographic or geographic segmentation, which focuses on tangible, measurable characteristics, psychographic segmentation delves into the more abstract, qualitative aspects of a business.
It’s a powerful tool for understanding the underlying motivations and attitudes that drive business decisions.
Common B2B segmentation examples: Macro and Micro Segmentation
Monday.com, a popular project management tool, provides an excellent example of both micro and macro segmentation in a B2B context, illustrating how these strategies can be effectively employed for marketing and sales purposes.
Let’s explore Monday.com as one of the key B2B segmentation examples and analyze they’d use segmentation to enhance customer engagement & business growth:
Macro Segmentation at Monday.com
Macro segmentation involves categorizing the market on a broader scale. For Monday.com, this could mean segmenting their market based on industry type, company size, or geographic location.
- Industry Type: They might segment their users into industries like technology, marketing, construction, and education. Each of these industries has unique project management needs, and Monday.com can tailor its marketing messages to address these specific requirements.
For instance, for the construction industry, the focus might be on field and office collaboration, whereas for education, the emphasis could be on classroom and administrative project tracking.
- Company Size: Monday.com can also segment its users based on the size of the company – startups, small to medium businesses (SMBs), and large enterprises. The needs of a startup using project management tools will differ greatly from those of a large corporation.
For SMBs, Monday.com might focus on cost-effectiveness and scalability, while for larger enterprises, the focus might be on integration capabilities and advanced features.
- Geographic Location: Different regions may have varying needs and preferences. Monday.com might tailor its marketing strategies to align with regional trends, local languages, and cultural nuances.
Micro Segmentation at Monday.com
Micro segmentation, on the other hand, is more granular, focusing on smaller, more specific groups within those broader categories.
- Usage Patterns: Monday.com can segment its users based on how they use the platform. Some teams might use it primarily for task management, while others might leverage its capabilities for CRM or data tracking.
Understanding these usage patterns allows Monday.com to provide targeted tips, feature updates, or support to enhance user experience.
- Customer Lifecycle Stage: They can segment customers based on their stage in the customer lifecycle – new users, regular users, and power users.
New users might receive more educational content and onboarding support, while power users might be targeted with advanced features and customization options.
- Decision-Maker vs. User: In B2B environments, the person who decides to purchase the software might be different from the actual users.
Monday.com can segment its communications to address the pain points and interests of both groups – focusing on ROI and efficiency for decision-makers, and ease of use and collaboration features for end-users.
In summary, by employing both macro and micro segmentation, Monday.com can effectively organize its customer base for targeted marketing and sales strategies.
This dual approach allows them to address the broad needs of different industries and company sizes while also catering to the specific needs of individual user groups within those larger segments.
How to Use Segmentation Variables for B2B Markets? – Stepwise Process
Using segmentation variables effectively in B2B markets is a strategic process that can significantly enhance marketing, sales, and product development efforts.
Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide on how to use these variables effectively:
- Identifying the Right Variables: The first step is to determine which segmentation variables are most relevant to your business. For B2B markets, these often include company size, industry sector, geographic location, technographics, and purchase behavior.
The selection of these variables should be guided by your product or service offering and the unique characteristics of your target market.
- Data Collection and Analysis: Once the variables are identified, the next step is gathering data related to these variables.
This can include internal data from your CRM or sales database, as well as external data sources like market research reports or industry databases.
Advanced analytics tools can be used to analyze this data, helping to identify patterns and trends that can inform your segmentation strategy.
- Creating Segments: With the data analyzed, you can now create segments based on common characteristics identified in your data.
For example, you might segment by industry (e.g., technology, healthcare), by company size (e.g., SMEs, large enterprises), or by technographic factors (e.g., companies using specific types of software or technologies).
Each segment should represent a group of potential customers with similar needs and characteristics.
- Developing Tailored Strategies: Each segment will likely require a different marketing and sales approach. Develop strategies tailored to the specific needs, preferences, and behaviors of each segment.
This might include personalized messaging, targeted content marketing, or specialized sales pitches.
- Implementation and Monitoring: After developing your strategies, implement them across your marketing and sales channels.
This step should be accompanied by rigorous monitoring and analysis to assess the effectiveness of your segmentation approach.
Tools like Google Analytics or marketing automation platforms can provide valuable data on engagement, conversion rates, and ROI for each segment.
- Continuous Optimization: The final step is an ongoing process of refinement and optimization. As market conditions change and new data becomes available, regularly review and update your segments and strategies.
This might involve adjusting your segmentation variables, re-analyzing your data, or tweaking your marketing and sales tactics.
A continuous improvement approach ensures that your segmentation strategy remains effective and aligned with the evolving needs of your market.
Incorporating these steps into your marketing and sales processes can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your B2B strategies, leading to improved customer engagement, higher conversion rates, and better overall ROI.
Remember, the key is to remain flexible and responsive to new data and market trends, continuously adapting your approach for optimal results.
Effectively utilizing segmentation variables for B2B markets is crucial for improving marketing and sales ROI. They play a significant role in the lead research process, enabling more targeted and effective strategies.
For businesses looking to enhance their market understanding and segmentation capabilities, Cleverviral’s data intelligence solutions offer an integrated approach, combining buyer intent and segmentation to boost your sales pipeline.
If you’re looking to leverage the power of B2B intent data & guide your lead research process through expert-led guidance, drop us a line at [email protected] or fill out the contact form now!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is market segmentation in B2B marketing?
Market segmentation in B2B marketing is the process of dividing a broader business market into smaller, more defined groups or segments based on certain shared characteristics or needs.
These segments are typically created using various criteria such as industry type, company size, geographic location, specific business needs, purchasing behavior, or technological usage.
The primary purpose of market segmentation in B2B is to enable businesses to tailor their marketing strategies, products, and services more effectively to each specific group.
What are the variables of B2B segmentation?
Segmentation variables for B2B markets include demographic criteria (industry, company size), geographic location, behavioral factors (purchasing habits, product usage), and psychographic elements (corporate values, culture).
These variables enable precise categorization of businesses for tailored marketing strategies.
What are the 4 variables used to segment business markets?
The 4 most common segmentation variables for B2B markets include:
– Demographic segmentation variables
– Geographic segmentation variables
– Technographic segmentation variables
– Psychographic segmentation variables
What are B2B segments?
B2B segments refer to distinct groups within a business-to-business market, categorized based on specific criteria or characteristics.
These segments are created to better understand and address the varied needs, behaviors, and preferences of different types of business customers