“Market segmentation” and “buyer personas” are sometimes pushed to the side as a lofty, unimportant part of a marketing strategy. The truth is, these audiences should be determined before any marketing collateral is created. It’s especially true for a website, which will serve as the primary branding and lead generation tool for a business.
Couple this with the need for a positive user experience (e.g. navigation, content, design), many businesses fail to create a website that truly addresses their audience’s web browsing goals.
In this post we’ll outline four different market segments to consider for your website. The important thing to remember is not all of these segmentation strategies should be used at once. It’s better to segment based on two or three characteristics to avoid the risk of creating a busy and confusing website.
This is the most obvious choice for B2B websites. Many companies service multiple industries and tailor content on their website to the specific needs of that industry.
For example, consulting firm Deloitte features “Industries” on the top navigation of their website, with any easy drop down listing the 20+ industries they serve. While your industry list may not be as robust, it’s important to use the appropriate language for each.
Seniority & Function in Company
In B2B, most of the time the prospect is working with a sphere of influencers. Meaning, the individual you’re selling to is rarely the sole decision maker in the process. They may have to report back to team members, senior manager, C-suite executive or even the CEO. For example, the primary buyer may have a staff that is dictating software requirements. Your website content should make it easy for that prospect to share information with leadership and other influencers.
Education technology provider BlackBoard, Inc. serves institutions ranging from kindergarten to universities. Within each education level, “Solutions by Role” is outlined to address the different needs of each party involved in purchasing and applying their product (e.g. teachers, administrative leaders, presidents and provosts and IT departments).
Size of Company
If you service a broad range of company sizes, it may be appropriate to create separate pages on your website to address their specific needs. An IT firm that offers storage for large enterprises and small businesses will have different packages and solutions for each.
Another example is insurance firms who serve a wide variety of employers. On the Aetna employers and organizations page, their menu lists small businesses, mid-sized businesses and national accounts as just of a few of their important audiences.
Many B2B websites still fail to break out all their services into multiple pages on their website. It’s a huge mistake to force your prospect to scroll through content unrelated to their needs until they find the service of interest to them. Additionally, make sure your top, most valued services are getting the most attention throughout your website. Nuances and variations of a service can still be addressed, but not every aspect of the business needs equal attention.
Qualcomm is a great example of prioritizing all their technologies. On their products page, mobile is given the greatest attention, with networking, automotive and health care ranking below. Anything else is grouped in “All products” for prospects interested in more.
We must remember that people browse the web differently. Implementing a content strategy that organizes your web content based on two to three browser characteristics will ensure that website visitors find what they’re looking for in a timely manner. Most importantly, this strategy gives you the best chance to convert.