A Guide: The Path to Segmentation for B2B Wholesale Distributors

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Founders and marketers are constantly challenged to do more with less; bring in better results with a smaller budget or bring in the same amount of sales volume or leads with a few less headcount.

 

Often, the best method to handle these all-too-common constraints is to improve the efficacy of your marketing campaigns by doing something counterintuitive: look backwards; at your data.

 

Data is the Foundation of Segmentation

 

I’m suggesting you stop trying to develop the impossible marketing plan that does more with less. Instead, you should review which campaigns and content types, for example, have helped you bring that prospect over the threshold to become a customer.

 

Sounds somewhat simple, right? It is in theory, but the real challenge is one that plagues many founders and marketers today because looking backwards requires something every company, no matter their size, struggles with today: capturing and maintaining good data.

 

When you have the right cloud-based applications in place and your entire company is committed to digital as a strategy, the appropriate use of technology reaps many rewards, such as improved processes that make employees happier, faster production times and last but not least, stellar customer experience.

 

But, it can get tricky. As you add more SaaS apps to your tech stack, it requires a slew of ongoing efforts, such as cross-departmental and IT support and user training. Often, marketing relies on sales data and the converse. Everyone in the organization, from top to bottom, has to be committed to use the system in place.

 

In addition to good data, you’re going to need something you can’t buy—time. Each quarter, you should take some time review how your campaigns have performed. Ideally, your SaaS application of choice, often your CRM, should help you track these metrics.

 

Before we talk about the types of segmentation that are most helpful to wholesale distributors, you’ll want to gather the data needed to review your marketing KPIs.

 

Again, either the SaaS application you use as your single source of truth, which is often your CRM, should help you gather this information or export it in the event you need to combine data sets.

 

The KPIs that will help you to determine your marketing and segmentation strategy going forward include:
 

  • Understanding your most effective lead source
     
  • Understanding your most effective (read or downloaded) forms of content
     
  • Your campaign ROI (Return On Investment)
     
  • Marketing attribution

 

Now that you understand which campaigns and types of content are most effective to obtain new customers, you begin thinking about segmentation.

 

For wholesale distributors, segmentation for B2B companies is very different from consumer segmentation as it’s more complex, involving multiple decision makers and typically involves buying for a need versus a want.

 

Relationships and customer service are more relevant in B2B versus B2C, so companies must excel at these. B2B buyers tend to be much less fickle than consumers, because they have to get you approved as a vendor and set up in their system, so it takes more work to get there, hence the resistance to change.

 

Instead of focusing on the needs of the fickle consumer, wholesalers should focus on the following needs-based segments, according to B2B International:
 

  • Price conscious buyers
     
  • Quality/brand focused buyers
     
  • Service focused
     
  • Partnership focused

 

Segmentation is Not Just About Data, it’s About Digital Transformation

 

In addition to theory of the right content at the right time, today’s most successful companies are committed to using technology to not only make data capture a focus, but to transform their business. It’s a proven business advantage today whether you’re launching a happy, little lifestyle eCommerce brand or you’re a wholesale distributor with a global presence.

 

Thomas Siebel, who is currently the CEO of C3 IoT and a former founder that successfully launched and sold his own software company, believes so strongly in the value of digital transformation that he recently argued in support of it company wide. He said:
 

“When I see CEOs who may be experimenting here and there with AI or the cloud, I tell them that’s not enough. It’s not about shiny objects. Tinkering is insufficient. My advice is that they should be talking about this all the time, with their boards, in the C-suite—and mobilizing the entire company.”


If you’d like to learn how Systum can help you better target prospects through segmentation in our wholesale distribution software for small business, fill out the form below.

 

Categories: B2B

Tags: b2b, b2c, segmentation, marketing, digital marketing, wholesale, distribution

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