b2b segmentation

Segmentation is a marketing tactic that you’re probably familiar with. It is a way of grouping people and audiences by shared attributes and behaviors. For example, B2B marketers typically see value in segmenting their audiences by industry (such as healthcare, financial services, retail), company size (such as enterprise vs. small business), funnel stage (such as top, middle, bottom), stage of relationship (such as first-time visitor, returning visitor, target ABM account, customer, loyal advocate) — just to name a few.

There are many reasons that you would want to segment your audiences. With segmentation, you can target different campaigns to different groups, filter test results to see how they are impacting different audiences, and conduct research and analysis. I’ll dive deeper into these uses in an upcoming blog post, but before you can start grouping visitors or users, you need to understand the data sources you can leverage to build out these segments and which provide the basis for personalizing experiences for your prospects.

I recently attended B2B Marketing Exchange in Scottsdale, AZ, and I noticed that there was a lot of interest in what data could be used in B2B segmentation and personalization. So in this blog post, I’ll explain three of the main data sources B2B marketers can leverage which should give you plenty of ideas for your own business.

1. Situational Data

Although you may not be able to recognize most of your prospects and/or customers the first time they land on your website, you can still determine a lot about them based on their situational data. Are they coming from a referring site you have an advertising program with? You can use that knowledge to speak to that audience in a particular way. In what region are they based? With that information you can tell them about a specific event you’re hosting in their area (and help you identify the right salesperson to put them in touch with). With the right reverse IP lookup solution (such as Evergage’s B2B Detect), you can also identify their company name, industry, employee count, and revenue — which is hugely valuable, especially for ABM efforts.

All of this situational data can help you tailor your website to an individual even if you have no information about his or her unique interests.

2. Behavioral Data

You can learn quite a bit about someone the moment they land on your website, but you can learn even more by paying attention to what pages they’re viewing and, more importantly, the time they spend and how they behave on those pages. These are the activities that give you deeper insights into their true interests and intent. For example, even if you cannot identify someone’s industry from their IP address, once she starts engaging with insurance-related content on the website, you can infer that she is interested in the insurance industry. And if a return visitor is spending time browsing case studies, you can infer that she is further along in the buyer’s journey (not an early-stage researcher). You should also pay attention to how far someone scrolls down a page to understand the amount of content consumed.

Based on all of this information, a B2B marketer can tailor her website to show visitors their favorite topic or category of content that matches their stage of the funnel, and recommend content they may have missed as they make their way through your site. If they go to exit the site before viewing any resources, you can show them a message highlighting something relevant they may have missed before they leave for good.

3. Profile Data

Once you are able to identify a visitor (through an email address or other identifier), you can take information from your marketing automation solution or CRM to further personalize their experience. That includes information on whether or not the visitor is a current customer, whether her company is a target account, or if she has ever spoken to a salesperson. In this way, you’re already leveraging the information you’ve gathered on a person or account and making their experience even more relevant.

Additionally, when you’re able to identify someone, you can take into account any behaviors they have taken in other channels (such as how she has engaged with the mobile site or which emails she has clicked through).

All of this information (as well as the data from the previous two categories) can be stored in a single profile for each individual or account (see below for an example).

b2b segmentation

Final Thoughts

With these three data sources, you can start to group your users by any of the above categories, or even mix them together. For example, you could make a segment of visitors in the tech industry who are researching your solution, or use profile data to target VPs of Marketing who are interested in demand generation. With Evergage, there is no limit to the number of segments you can create, or how narrow or broad your segments can be. If you have access to the data, you can create a segment around it.

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