B2b marketers have always been at a disadvantage when it comes to segmentation. Unlike our B2c colleagues we don't have geo-demographics and lifestyle characteristics and as a consequence rely on business classification and other business variables to target customers and prospects.
This inherent weakness means it has never been possible to talk to our B2B clients about their customer's preferences, interests or life-stage. For some clients this is not a problem, their objective is simply to generate leads for the sales team to convert.
However, there are many products and services where the buyer does not engage with a sales person; purchasing insurance, office supplies and work clothing are good examples of this. In these scenarios understanding how the buyer 'ticks' and how to elicit a positive response through a relevant and timely message and product offer is central to improved response rates and more importantly, additional sales revenue.
Ok - us B2Ber's may be at a disadvantage but if we do a bit of 'outside the box' thinking and overlay SoHo and SME business records to consumer profiling tools, we can very often uncover insight about the business owner. The benefit of leveraging this new perspective is the ability to segment and appeal directly to the individual - not a faceless company - just like a B2Cer. I am now looking forward to my first client meeting to talk about Trevor, his love of ballet and charitable giving and his upcoming need to insure his work van.