What is Behavioural Segmentation in B2B?

If you’re in marketing, you’ll know that dividing up your target audience into smaller groups is key when it comes to marketing the right products to the right consumer base. 

Marketing companies typically divide up their consumers into segments by age, gender and location, but what is behavioural segmentation in B2B? By adding in a behavioural dimension, companies are better able to understand the needs of their customers according to four categories: purchasing behaviour, usage timing, benefits sought and customer loyalty. 

So, what is Behavioural Segmentation in B2B?

Behaviour segmentation is an important way of dividing your target audience based on four main categories:

By using this data, marketers are better able to respond to the needs of each segment of their consumer base, and can in turn target their marketing campaigns more effectively. With the right content and specific targeted marketing, behaviour segmentation can result in higher numbers of conversions. 

  • Purchasing Habits 
  • Timing of usage
  • Benefits sought
  • Customer loyalty
What is Behavioural Segmentation in B2B?

The Four Types of Behavioural Segmentation: 

Purchasing Habits

One way companies can segment chunks of their consumer base is by analysing certain purchasing habits. While one section of their customer base - for example, men aged between 25 and 39 - might be considered one block, their buying habits might vary greatly. 

For example, some of these buyers in this segment might rely heavily on reading reviews or speaking to your existing customers before making a purchase, while others make purchasing decisions based entirely on price and value. This means that if companies direct all their marketing efforts to the same group, the results aren’t going to be as effective. 

Instead, companies can divide up customers by purchasing habits and better target their marketing. For example, targeting those whose purchasing habits rely largely on promotions with discount codes, and targeting those who read reviews with verifiable social proof of their trustworthiness (rave reviews, etc.) 

Dividing up your target audience into smaller groups is key when it comes to marketing the right products to the right consumer base. ”

Timing of Usage 

Timing is another key factor at play when it comes to behavioural segmentation. Companies can analyse their customer behaviour based on when they interact with their business. 

For example, some customers might uniquely use a business at the weekend, or during school holidays, or during festive periods. Marketers can then divide up these customers and target their campaign more efficiently. 

Benefits Sought

Another way to differentiate customers via behavioural segmentation is by “benefits sought.” This is a way of establishing or identifying one (or several) key features of a business that retains a certain type of customer.

For example, some customers might stick with one company or business because it offers the highest possible quality, despite the price being much higher than the average for the same service elsewhere. Similarly, a business may offer certain perks (such as free next day delivery, VIP membership, loyalty points etc) that keep certain customers loyal and stave off competition. 

Customer Loyalty

The fourth type of behavioural segmentation is customer loyalty. Understanding customer loyalty is incredibly important, as it helps companies remain competitive and ward off any potential competition from similar companies. 

When it comes to analysing customer loyalty, the important questions to ask are the following:

  • Why does the customer stick with my company, rather than go to the competition?
  • Of the perks that we offer, which help our customer retention rate remain high?
  • How should loyal customers be compensated?
  • Which of our customers are the most loyal and why?

By understanding these questions, businesses can maximise their customer loyalty and enjoy high customer retention. 

Examples of Behavioural Segmentation 

To make the concept a little more clear, here are some hypothetical examples of behavioural segmentation in action:

Purchasing Habits

  • Analysing when your customers purchase from you and sending timely email marketing campaigns.
  • Segmenting your audience by the service or products they purchase and sending tailored messages 

Timing

  • Running a festive advertising campaign to discern if customers are more susceptible to make purchases / ramp up activity during holiday periods
     
  • Knowing when the financial year end of your clients is so that you can see if you can provide any additional value with excess budgets they may have.
     
  • Knowing that the customer enters their busy period at a certain time of year and pre-empting this. 

Benefits Sought

  • Creating a lead magnet (a discount, free gift, extra samples) in exchange for information
     
  • Knowing that the client has a specific problem every year that your product or service can solve.
     
  • Segment your audience by goal type. For example, a marketing agency may segment by lead generation vs brand awareness.

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