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Is Your B2B Business Taking Advantage of Company Demographics?

Posted on Oct 28, 2016 11:30:00 AM by Chans Weber

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On today’s business landscape, B2B sellers cannot afford to approach their target market as a single group. Instead, they need to drill deep and segment their audience in order to drive everything from product development and marketing, to post-sales customer service and loyalty programs. Indeed, as noted by Harvard Business Review:

A radical demographic shift is transforming the nature of consumer markets. Until the turn of the century, population growth powered more than half of global consumption. As population growth slows, that will fall to only one-quarter in the next 15 years. Per capita spending will be the engine of consumption growth. In this new world, companies need to know which consumers have the purchasing firepower, where they are, what they want to buy, and what drives their spending.

But how do B2B sellers know which customers have the “firepower” and should be pursued – and which don’t and should be ignored? That’s where company demographics enter the picture.

Buyer Personas vs. Company Demographics

Whereas buyer personas are about building profiles of ideal target buyer types, company demographics are about harvesting data to flesh out this picture to get a better sense of who and where customers are. Perhaps the simplest way to look at this is that buyer personas focus on quality insights, while company demographics focus on quality information. Both are necessary to (as noted above) find customers that have the “firepower” to keep a B2B seller profitable for the long-term, and a step ahead of the competition.

What’s Included in Company Demographics

While every B2B seller is different and needs to glean company demographic information that translates into actionable intelligence, below is a high-level look at what’s generally included in the demographic mix for each company being profiled:

  • Industry and sector
  • When the company was founded
  • The structure of the company (privately held, publicly traded, VC-backed, etc.)
  • The company’s headquarters
  • The company’s target customers
  • The company’s footprint (where it does business either directly or through channel partners, etc.)
  • How many people work at the company (typically segmented as: <100, 100-500, 500-1000, >1000)
  • Whether the company targets individuals, other businesses, or both
  • The company’s annual revenues (this information is sometimes available through public filings, Bloomberg, etc.)
  • Channels that the company uses to promote its offerings
  • The extent of the company’s online footprint (i.e does it conduct 50% of its sales online, 75%, 100%, etc.)

In addition, it can also be quite helpful to have some information on the company contact person, such as their job title, how long they’ve been with the company, and how much decision-making authority they have (this kind of data isn’t truly demographic in nature, but if it’s available through press releases or other sources, then it’s certainly in a B2B sellers’ best interest to grab hold and use it).

With this being said, keep in mind that contact people at a company can change very quickly – so it’s important not to build the profile around a specific individual who may or may not be around when it comes time to close the deal. Furthermore, as noted by Gartner Group, in a typical 100-500 employee-sized firm, an average of 7 people are involved in a purchase. So once again, building demographic profiles around specific individuals is a bad idea. Remember: we’re talking company demographics here, not contact demographics. 

Learn More

At Leap Clixx, we help our clients build robust company demographics by performing deep research across multiple sources (publicly available, industry databases, etc.), and if it’s part of the program, we also develop and administer surveys to capture valuable data.

To learn more about how we can help your B2B business find customers with the most “firepower”, contact us today. Your consultation is free. For more helpful marketing tips and advice, download our FREE eBook "A Guide to Inbound Marketing Best Practices":

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Lead Generation