» Segment Your Business Marketing Lists to Avoid Easy Mistakes

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Business marketing principles often overlap with consumer marketing, but business marketing is unique because it focuses on an organizational decision-making process rather than the individual consumer. Your success in business marketing depends, in part, on telling the right story to the right organization via prospect segmentation.

The segmentation process partitions your business marketing message along pre-built lines you specify. Since each group within your segmented prospect list receives a unique message, this can dramatically increase response rates. Clearly, a management team in the restaurant business is more likely to respond to a business marketing message focused on "cutting-edge kitchen equipment" than "cutting-edge medical equipment".

While this is an obvious example, you can segment your business marketing lists using variables that fit best with your overall strategy. In consumer marketing we often use demographics and psychographics to accomplish this. However, in business marketing, we use firmographics.

Firmographics are segmentation variables such as industry, company location, number of employees, and yearly revenue. The first step is to compile data on organizations you consider prospects. Then, using data scrubbing techniques - and sometimes statistical analysis - you arrive at a business marketing list containing your firmographic classifications alongside pertinent contact information.

Stop here. Examine how your prospects are clustered around your firmographic classifications. Is 84% percent of your business marketing list located in Texas and 16% in Pennsylvania? Then don't bother optimizing your campaign landing pages for business search trends in California. Your segmentation data will help you make rational business marketing decisions that maximize your response rate.

Business marketing segmentation through the use of firmographics helps you target your promotional efforts. This leads to greater success.