The conventional wisdom goes as follows: as it is in B2C, so shall it be in B2B, sooner or later. This is not to say that B2B audiences don’t maintain specific characteristics or present specific challenges to marketers more broadly and email marketing professionals specifically, but instead to highlight that at base all audiences are comprised of people, and what people like in the context of being marketed to is often consistent for both their business purchases and their personal ones. Site Impact’s experts can tell you with confidence that while trends move more gradually in the B2B environment, they often end up reflecting preferences shown in B2C audiences over time. With that in mind, it’s hardly surprising to see an increasing preference amongst business buyers for highly personalized content; after all, B2B tends to be a very person-oriented niche anyway, and as brands are getting more and more onboard with targeted content for consumers, many of those consumers are also business buyers, and they want to see the same effort put in by brands looking to get them to buy in that context. To that end, microsegmentation--that is, breaking down your marketing segments into smaller, more specific audiences--is here for B2B.
Segmentation shouldn’t be new to anyone who’s been doing email marketing within the past 5-10 years, of course; but microsegmentation is another beast. Microsegmentation is the next level: instead of broad swathes of audience (defined by generalized factors like age ranges, income level, and so on), microsegmentation drills down to a deeper level to create audiences closer and closer to an audience of one--through use of data like buying history, internet activity and so on. Microsegmentation is a way to build small audiences that you can target highly tailored content to, with the goal of getting more conversions due to the highly relevant nature of the offer and the pitch. B2C email marketing efforts have been increasingly trending in this direction for some time now, though B2B has still tended to broader types of segmentation in the majority of cases.
When it comes to segmentation practices, an outdated system loses you a lot more opportunities than you may realize. Not only do you have the issue of bad or junk data resulting in emails going to invalid addresses--or to people who once were interested but now are not--you also have the lost opportunity of not tailoring your message sufficiently to the needs of your recipients. Of course, the process of transitioning to a microsegmentation strategy can be a lot of leg work; it’s much better and easier by far to partner with an email marketing agency that knows the ropes already and already has the data and the systems in place. But whichever method you choose, it’s increasingly becoming vital to move away from older forms of segmentation and get with the new wave.
Microsegmentation is the way of the future for B2B brands just as it has been for B2C email marketing professionals. As so often happens, the standards that B2C brands have led their prospects to expect--namely, highly relevant, targeted and tailored advertising content--have come to be expected by business buyers as well, namely because those business buyers are consumers, too. By drilling down deeper into data to create more specific, smaller audiences you can get much more consistent results with targeted messaging that is highly relevant to each prospect’s needs and wants. Contact Site Impact to learn more about our B2B email marketing services and how they can help you stay ahead of the curve.