Business-to-business marketing relies on many different tactics and strategies. For example, most businesses rely on other companies to manufacture or supply raw materials.
Getting those suppliers on board takes some work, but also benefits B2B marketers who can rely on those partners to deliver results. Another tactic is conducting customer user groups to uncover specific pain points that your product or service can solve.
Unlike B2C marketing, which can rely on consumer insights, B2B marketers must conduct research to identify the needs and preferences of specific groups of buyers. This helps them better understand how their product can meet these requirements, which in turn leads to more effective marketing strategies.
B2B market research methods include customer surveys, interviews, and data analysis. In addition, businesses may utilize the services of market research firms to gather information and conduct studies. Attending trade shows and conferences also allows companies to interact with potential customers and observe market trends and technologies.
Conducting market sizing exercises is another important element of B2B marketing research. This involves determining the size of a particular market, such as how many refrigerated trailers are currently in use or how much is spent each year on trucking services. The results of these studies are used to inform business decisions, such as determining whether to enter a new market or develop a new product.
Unlike B2C marketing, where buying decisions are often impulsive and made by individuals, business-to-business buying is usually a collective decision with several stakeholders weighing the pros and cons of various solutions. As a result, buyer personas are important for creating content that resonates with your prospects and customers.
Start with your existing client database and identify common characteristics among the most valuable buyers. Use qualitative research like surveys and interviews to collect data on their goals, pain points, and decision influences.
Consider demographic information like age, gender, education level, and location. Firmographic information, such as industry, company size, and job title, is also useful. Other factors that can be helpful in creating a buyer persona include lifestyle details, such as their hobbies and interests. Also, find out where your buyers spend their time online and in which publications they read to keep up with trends in their industries. This information can help you tailor your marketing and sales strategies to meet their needs.
Market segmentation in B2B marketing is similar to customer segmentation, but differs in that it divides prospective buyers into subgroups based on their shared characteristics and actions rather than on individual customers or leads (in which case it would be called customer segmentation). A common method of market segmentation is to use firmographic data, which can include information like company size (headcount and annual revenue), industry, and geographic location.
Using this data, marketers can create marketing campaigns that cater to each target audience. It can also help nurture product development by giving companies a deeper understanding of their core audiences and the needs that motivate them to buy.
Ultimately, market segmentation helps with personalization—something that 73% of millennial B2B decision-makers say they value most. In fact, a study by Mailchimp found that segmented email campaigns saw 14.3% higher open rates and lower bounce rates. It’s a great way to improve the experience for your customers and boost sales conversions.
In this phase, B2B marketers determine which channels and tactics will be most effective in each stage of the buyer journey. For example, thought leadership content is best suited to prospects in the awareness stage while account-based retargeting ads are more effective in the consideration phase. To better understand the needs of your buyers, review your existing customer data. Identify customers who derive significant value from your products and services and ask why they choose your solution. This will help you build a profile of your ideal customer and use this information to guide your marketing strategy.
Market segmentation is a process of identifying and categorizing different groups within your target audience that share common characteristics, needs or behaviours. Using this insight, you can create tailored marketing campaigns that will engage your buyers and generate better ROI. For example, defining segments by company size can help you focus your efforts on engaging ideal organization sizes that will find value in your products or services.