Research Drives Segmentation Strategies - (Archived)

Segmenting your target markets and audiences opens up opportunities for more focused and effective sales, marketing, and even product development. For example, while overall sales for a product are strong, a segmented view could reveal that only one or two customer types or titles are driving that success. This information can help shape strategic decisions around whether a portion of the marketing or product development dollars should be concentrated on those high-potential customer types, how messaging can be tailored to address their unique needs, how sales or channel partners can more effectively serve them, and more.

Many organizations rely on research for such business intelligence. With the correct survey design and analysis, quantitative customer and prospect surveys can reveal promising segmentation strategies. In fact, some researchers utilize statistical techniques such as correlation and cluster analyses to aid the development of segmentation insights.

Some of the categories that B2B and B2G organizations commonly use to segment their customers and prospects include:

  • Organization size: revenue, number of employees, number of locations
  • Purchase behavior: annual purchase value, frequency, projected purchase value, length of customer status
  • Purchase process: motivators and drivers, influencers, final decision makers, steps, length of process
  • Usage: number of users, frequency and cycles of usage
  • Location: characteristics of operation locations, geographic clusters, political considerations, environmental factors.

Researchers and stakeholders should collaborate during survey design to help ensure that the granularity in which the organization attempts to collect and view segmented data is kept to levels that are actionable. Such decisions can be impacted by the sales/channel model, by plans for new product development, and by other business considerations. In addition, cost-effectively executing segmented marketing is also dependent upon your organization’s database resources and capabilities as well as the degree to which rental email and postal lists, trade magazines and web sites, industry events, and so forth can be segmented.

Though there will be some natural limitations that must be considered, the more segmented your market approach is, the more relevant you will be to customers and prospects.

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