In our fourth B2B marketing step we profiled our addressable market. Now we have a detailed picture of the market we’re trying to market and sell to. This is good. If we don’t understand the market and where it needs our help, then we can’t help.

The fifth B2B marketing step is segmenting our addressable market. That’s right, we’re going to further divide our market. Imagine that your market is a pizza and you’re going to slice it up. These slices are market segments, except that the process of deciding how you slice up your market is not that straightforward. It’s also crucial.

Many companies segment their market by the obvious factors like geography, size and so on. They’re perfectly valid, but they may not be the best ways to divide the market into alike groups. You could segment by attitude to risk, openness to your type of solution, cultural bias, stage of maturity, type of business problems, type of buying process for your solution; the list is as long as you want to make it. The trick is to to segment according to what is most compelling for your offering and by extension your marketing.

Imagine that you can only segment your market in 2 ways, and each way is an axis on a graph. The x axis is your first segmentation ‘knife’ , the y axis your second. Then you have to plot the companies or company types on the graph according to where they fall on each axis. Then you have to decide which cluster of companies or company types you are going to target. When you see your market visually laid out like this, according to the segmentation axes you have picked, then you understand how important it is that you segment in the right way.

Get your segmentation right and your next two steps are easier and more accurate.