Everything You Need to Know About Firmographic Data

firmographic data

When consumer brands start their personalization journey, they immediately break their customers and leads up into different segments based on unique demographics.

Segmenting your audience makes it much easier to create relevant content which is used to convert prospects into leads and leads into customers. Like the old marketing saying goes, “if you target everyone, you target no one.”

In the business world, B2B demographics are called firmographic data.

Personalization is more important in the B2B world than many people believe. With 85% of buyers admitting that they’ll completely write off companies who don’t personalize the very first interaction, we may even say it’s mandatory.

Firmographic information alone isn’t enough to create highly relevant content for your buyers but it’s the first place to start your segmentation process.

What Is Firmographic Data?

Firmographic information spans company-wide information and information on the specific user-level. B2B segmentation with firmographics helps you paint a picture of who your customers are so you can target similar audiences in the future with relevant content.

Firmographic Data by Industry

First, you’ll want to paint a broad picture of which industries your customers fit into.

  • NGOs
  • Government agencies
  • B2Cs
  • Other B2Bs

You’ll also want to segment by industry based on verticals like SaaS, manufacturing, e-commerce, healthcare, and more.

Firmographic Data by Size

Do you target small and mid-size operations or fortune 500s? Size is very important because a mom-and-pop shop has different needs than Amazon.

Firmographic size usually involves two components:

  • The amount of revenue a company makes.
  • The number of employees in the company.

If you find that almost all of your customers are small businesses, you could further segment those groups based on specific numbers – like companies with 5-10 employees or 10-20.

Firmographic Data by Location

In a global economy, location may not seem important anymore – but it is.

Where are your customers headquartered? Where do they do business themselves? Do they have more than one location?

Not only is this important for understanding your customers’ needs, but it also helps you send timely emails and further personalizing your communication methods.

Firmographic Data by Performance

Understanding your customers’ performance is valuable for thinking of yourself as a partner rather than a vendor. When you create content based on this information, you show that you care about their business’s overall wellbeing and growth.

To break your customer segments down based on performance, look at figures like

  • Market share
  • Quarterly or annual sales figures
  • Growth and losses (both in employees and revenue)

User-specific Firmographic Information

Finally, it’s also valuable to look at your leads and customers on a specific level to make your content as effective as possible.

  • Job role
  • Title
  • Department
  • Buying power

Why Should You Care About Firmographics?

Personalization is critical in B2B as we enter 2020.

According to the Salesforce State of Marketing report in 2017, 65% of businesses said they’ll consider switching vendors if a brand doesn’t make any effort to personalize communication materials.

Today, that figure is likely much higher.

The latest Salesforce report states that 84% of consumers – and 83% of business buyers – say that being treated like a human being rather than a number is the key to winning their business. Buyers expect a consumer-like experience from brands so highly personalized content is crucial for making that happen.

Firmographic data can’t do all of the work but it is the best place to start with segmentation. Understanding your current customers and leads on a firmographic level helps you answer their questions, solve their problems, and understand what they need from your company.

What Is Firmographics Used For?

Firmographic information is used for creating personalized content strategies.

Look at all the different firmographic categories mentioned above. A buyer working for a Fortune 500 company requires different things than a startup trying to stay afloat. Why would they read the same blog posts and watch the same videos?

Even within a company, firmographic data is important for creating personalized content. CEOs have different questions for your company than the rank-and-file end users of your product – yet the work for the same company on the buying team!

In practice, you can use firmographics to create

  • Targeted social media advertisements
  • Relevant email campaigns and newsletters
  • Authoritative blog posts
  • Tutorial and explainer videos about your company
  • A/B testing

Every time you create a specific piece of content, keep a specific firmographic segment in mind.

For B2B Segmentation, Firmographics Aren’t Enough

While firmographic data is the most important place to start segmenting your audience, B2B segmentation with firmographics alone isn’t enough.

Understanding a lead’s role and buying power at a company doesn’t tell you

  • Their specific daily problems and needs
  • Why they’re visiting your website
  • Their stage of the buying cycle
  • Which competitors they’ve already researched
  • How much they know about your company
  • Which type of content they prefer (blogs, eBooks, podcasts, video, etc.)

Instead, it’s best to use firmographics as a base and build onto it with other information like

  • Behavioral data off your website
  • Behavioral data on your website
  • Intent data

Once you have all of that, you can use firmographic data as a base to build a personalized content strategy for different segments of your audience – and current customers – to increase demand generation, lead generation, and customer loyalty.

Skyrocket Lead Conversions with Personalized Landing Pages

Hushly can help you take charge of your personalization strategy with data you already have!

Using behavioral data, you can create hyper-personalized adaptive content hubs with content bingeing features, self-nurturing landing pages, and much more. Since your sales team only has control over 10% to 43% of the buying process, it’s important to squeeze every drop of engagement out of your website. That’s where Hushly comes in.

It’s so easy that you can have the entire platform up and running in as little as 30 minutes. Plus, we’ll never charge you for storage or maintenance fees – you’ll only pay for the genuine leads you collect through our system.

Check out Hushly’s awesome content bingeing features to get started!

How to Easily Create a Data-Driven B2B Segmentation Strategy

B2B segmentation strategy

Segmentation in marketing is not a new concept – technology has just changed the game at a rapid rate.

While consumer brands have always had plenty of data to work with, most businesses must rely on a couple of hundred customers at best.

Tech advancement has made the job easier but it’s still a struggle. You wouldn’t be reading this if it wasn’t.

Nielsen reported back in 2009 that B2Bs had “discovered” segmentation. Ten years on, 80% of businesses still fail to implement successful personalization strategies.

Let’s break down the basics on how to segment B2B customers and getting your B2B “demographics” in order.

Your B2B Segmentation Strategy Should Start with Clean Data

Not only do consumer brands have larger datasets, but their data also tends to have a longer shelf-life. A retail brand can reasonably assume that a parent is still going to need children’s clothes for the foreseeable future.

B2Bs don’t have that luxury.

A quarter of all B2B databases contain critical errors and 62% of all businesses are working with data that’s up to 40% wrong.

Data in B2B quickly go stale: People change jobs, companies change names and grow, and phone numbers change.

It’s critical to start with a clean database. The results of your B2B segmentation strategy will drive the personalized content you create so it’s crucial that you’re working with accurate intel.

At Hushly, we recommend getting rid of lead magnet forms and using human lead verification. Lead verification systems will ensure that you’re only collecting high-quality data from real people.

Personalization isn’t only for converting new leads. You need it to maintain the customers you already have, too.

65% of businesses say they’ll consider switching vendors if a company doesn’t make any effort to personalize communications (think blog posts, email campaigns, social media adverts). An effective segmentation strategy is vital.

How to Segment B2B Customers

Once your data is cleaned up and ready to go, you can start creating an effective B2B segmentation strategy based on your current customer base and leads.

B2B “Demographic” Segmentation

B2B demographic segmentation looks a little different than B2C. In B2B, demographic segmentation is called “firmographics.”

The firmographics you choose to segment will depend on your target audience, current customers, and business goals. Here are some of the most common B2B demographics.

  • Job title
  • Job role
  • Department
  • Location
  • Industry
  • Buying power

Those are all useful B2B demographics for account-based marketing. You can also segment based on company details.

  • Company size (employees and locations)
  • Company revenue
  • Market share
  • Public/private status
  • Profit trends
  • Years in business

Each one of these groups has unique problems and concerns. See why understanding how to segment B2B customers is so important for building loyalty AND attracting leads?

B2B Segmentation Strategy by Tier or Intent

Remember the days of Myspace and choosing your top-8 friends? We tended to pick our friends who were most similar to us, right?

Tiering your audience is kind of similar. Think of tier segmentation as the lite version of account-based marketing.

You’ll break your audience into groups based on factors like

  • How closely they resemble your ideal customer
  • Lifetime customer revenue potential
  • The lead’s intent behind visiting your website

Using intent data can help you maximize your tier-based segmentation strategy.

B2B Segmentation Strategy by Content Type

Since you’ll be using your segments as a foundation for content planning, it’s wise to break your customers up based on which type of content they like to consume.

  • Video
  • Podcasts
  • Authority blogs
  • Thought leadership
  • eBooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Email newsletters
  • Webinars

Research shows that 49% of B2B buyers watch videos during the buying journey which a whopping 91% value webinars – but buyers at which level in the company? With about seven people involved in every B2B transaction, nailing down your content segments is critical for creating the most relevant content.

Needs-Based Segmentation in B2B

Firmographics and content are important, but they don’t paint an accurate picture on their own. Instead, use behavioral data to implement needs-based segmentation in B2B buyers.

Use information based on where a lead signed up or which blog posts a customer read on your site to get an idea of their general needs.

You can also just come out and ask with surveys, but behavioral data tends to be more accurate.

Will Your B2B Segmentation Strategy Work?

Numbers and statistics mean nothing if your strategy doesn’t actually do what it’s supposed to do. Once you create a few meaningful segments, ask yourself the following questions before you start investing in content, email campaigns, or paid adverts.

Does the Segment Stand Out in a Meaningful Way?

Make sure each segment is totally unique.

Remember that you’ll be assigning future leads to each segment as well so you need to have some concrete personas figured out here either for entire teams or specific roles if you’re planning on using your B2B segmentation strategy for account-based marketing.

How Many Companies/Accounts are in Each Segment?

Of course, this will depend on your company size as well. As a general rule of thumb, however, your segments shouldn’t include just one or two companies/accounts.

It’s not cost-effective or wise to spend your time and money creating content for just two or three accounts (unless you really believe it’s worth the risk in the case of account-based marketing).

Does Each Company/Account Fit into a Single Segment?

Each company or type of account should clearly fit into a single segment. Don’t worry, your segment can have several attributes that we’ve mentioned above (ex: end-users at mid-size companies who need efficient software and consume podcasts).

The reality is that it may take you some trial and error to get the system right. Just try to make wise decisions before investing your time and energy.

Level-Up Your B2B Segmentation Strategy

Hushly makes it easy to create the personalized landing pages your leads expect. With real-time personalization features like adaptive content hubs, content bingeing, and exit intent popups, you can take your segmentation strategy to the next level with high-quality behavioral data and more!

See how Hushly works to get started!