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Target Market Segmentation Tips | Buyer Personas and Lifecycle Stages

Does your company have an effective segmentation strategy?

Segmentation is all about taking a larger audience and slicing it down to a smaller audience. This is extremely important if you're in a competitive marketplace, especially where you have incumbents that are either a lot larger than your company or, just frankly, a lot better at digital marketing.

 

Why Market Segmentation Matters

If you really want to stand out from the crowd, you must get your segmentation right.

And usually, for most companies just starting with digital marketing, the first place to start is to segment by buyer personas.

Segmenting by Buyer Personas and Lifecycle Stages 

Buyer personas are a semi-fictional representation of an ideal client based on actual research and some select educated speculation. At the most basic level, the buyer persona is who a person is and what they care about. So we have buyer personas.

The other big place that's important to think about when you're first starting is to segment by where that person is in their buyer journey, the context in which they know your company.

Are they a lead, or are they a customer? Those are the most basic ones. And then when you get a higher level of sophistication, especially if you have a considered sales process, you can think about things like marketing, qualified lead (MQL), sales qualified lead (SQL), which is also sometimes referred to as a sales accepted lead (SAL), and opportunity.

And an opportunity usually maps to having a defined deal stage at some point where you know that this person at that particular company will do business with you.

So when it comes to segmentation, think about your buyer personas and think about where they are in their relationship with your company, as their lifecycle stage. This is important when you're thinking about your big picture strategy.

Empower Your Sales Team to Close Better Deals Faster

When you're designing your lead generation forms that go on your landing pages, this is critical when you have your lists and workflow automation for lead nurturing.

And your sales team will appreciate it as well, because they'll know where to prioritize their resources, with leads that fit where they think they can close the best deals, the fastest, the most efficiently, without discounting, closing on the best terms essentially.

So by combining your buyer persona segmentation and lifecycle stage segmentation, that can be really powerful.

Company Size Considerations

One more area in B2B technology that many sales teams tend to care a lot about is the company's size.

So if you have a drop-down list where you ask people brackets such as does your company have one to 1 to 10 employees, 11 to 50 employees, 51 to 200 employees, which by the way, those are the standard brackets that LinkedIn uses, which I tend to standardize because of that, that gives you another segmentation strategy.

But what I caution you on is when you're first getting started, don't go nuts on segmentation.

Amazon is famous for stratospheric, crazy growth levels by segmenting to this personalization level where you're a segment of one.

Netflix has done this masterfully as well, where they have an absurd amount of segmentation going on.

And because of that, people feel like you've developed the experience just literally just for them. That's not practical when you're just starting, but at a basic level, understand who they are. Understand what size company they come from because many times that'll drive whether they're qualified in the first place or not, as well as understand their relationship with your company, where they are in their lifecycle stage, the context of their relationship.

Those are a couple of key thoughts to be taken into account when you're developing your segmentation strategy.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, have a very high personalization level, provide a great customer experience when people are just getting to know your company before they've even decided whether or not to do business with you.

 

Are you trying to improve your target market segmentation? What's been your approach to segmenting by buyer personas and lifecycle stages. Let me know in the comments below.

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