December 08, 2015

The Most Effective Way to Segment and Target Your B2B Audience

As B2B marketers struggle to drive awareness in today’s competitive marketplace, they’re discovering less is more, according to the 2015 iris B2B Participation Survey. After speaking with 200 key figures in the advertising and marketing worlds, the iris survey found that to create and deliver content that attracts and retains customers, a random approach of targeting everyone just won’t cut it. Instead, you need a strategic outline for conceptualizing, drafting, and balancing your marketing efforts.

While developing an effective content marketing strategy isn’t easy, following these steps will help you get your business there:

1.       Don’t try to reach everyone: Some 56 percent of the B2B marketers polled feel that using three to four target segments in their communications is ideal for garnering a return on their investment (ROI). The key to effective content marketing then is to focus your efforts on where you think you can get the most response; that is, don’t break your audience into too many niche sectors that may not produce adequate ROI. Start by focusing your content on just one or two customer segments at a time. These first segments should comprise your best customers, the models for your target buyer persona.

2.       Remember it’s a two-way street: A successful brand takes marketing and puts it into the context of consumers’ lives. Instead of preaching to consumers, 70 percent of the marketing professionals surveyed believe content should be example-driven rather than laden with advice. For instance, by creating culturally relevant conversations, experiences and moments, you’re producing more than just a message; you’re potentially building a life-long connection with your customers.

3.       Take a data-driven approach to your content: Almost half (49 percent) of the marketers from the iris survey say they prefer more fact- and figure-focused content. So, instead of just telling your customers something does or doesn’t work, explain why and back up your reasoning with specific data. Be careful, though, not to lose the story behind what you’re saying or to allow it to inhibit your content’s creativity.

The best marketers stay focused on who their customers are and take a data-driven, professional approach to creating content. We’re not saying you shouldn’t have some fun with your customers; just make sure you can deliver the goods when push comes to shove.

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