Why You Need to Use AI for Needs-Based Segmentation

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On the surface, needs-based segmentation sounds intriguing and effective.

Why wouldn’t you want to segment your leads and audience based on their needs?

Once you do that, you can create effective content, distribute it, and nurture leads towards a purchase.

Unfortunately, things don’t work out so seamlessly in practice. Here’s a look at why segmenting your audience by needs often goes wrong and what you can do instead.

needs-based segmentation

What is Needs-Based Marketing?

As a concept, needs-based marketing involves segmenting your audience based on their unique problems, concerns, and potential solutions.

Seems simple enough, right? You do some reconnaissance, figure out what your audience wants, and target them with relevant content.

Here’s the biggest problem (or problems) with manual needs-based segmentation in B2B. The buyer’s journey isn’t linear. Plus, the company needs change – sometimes even while they’re going through the buying process and conducting research.

On one hand, segmenting your audience based on needs is indeed effective for creating relevant content. You can learn about your leads and potential future leads to develop hard-hitting content for them.

Once it comes time to distribute the content, however, manual needs segmentation isn’t enough.

To top it off, needs segmentation for content creation is only as good as your worst intel. If your data isn’t accurate – and for 62% of B2Bs, it’s not – that throws off your content creation strategy.

Why is AI Vital for Needs-Based Segmentation in B2B?

No matter how you slice it, when you segment your audience to deliver content, you’re working retroactively.

Instead, artificial intelligence can provide your visitors with relevant content based on their behavior, intent data, and behavior of similar past visitors.

In other words, every visitor still gets a needs-based experience because the AI system can pinpoint everything faster and more effectively than a human. Here’s a quick look at some of the algorithms:

  • Content similarity models: The algorithm watches what a visitor consumes on your site and recommends similar pieces of content.
  • Collaborative filtering: The algorithm looks for patterns in the current user, compares it to behaviors of previous visitors, and recommends similar pieces of content.
  • Session-based similarity: The algorithm follows the path the visitor takes and recommends relevant pieces of content based on the sessions of previous visitors.

But AI doesn’t just help you distribute content. It can also help you remove fake leads and purge bad data from your system.

40% of B2B databases contain massive problems like duplicate fields, missing entries, or outdated information. That causes massive problems when you try to use the data to base your content marketing strategy.

Instead of collecting a ton of information from leads, all you need is an email address. AI will use publicly sourced information to finish the rest. Plus, it can update as things change so you’re always working with fresh and exact data. Here’s a snapshot:

enrichment process


How to Use AI for Seamless Behavioral Segmentation, Value-Based Segmentation, and Needs-Based Segmentation

If you’re not using manual (human) needs-based segmentation, how can you provide your leads with the personalized experience they expect?

Research shows 85% of buyers will completely dismiss a brand that doesn’t personalize the very first touchpoint. So what can you do to meet this need?

AI offers a few solutions to personalize every visitor experience with content recommendations. Here are a few tools you can use almost immediately.

Adaptive Content Hubs

Most blogs don’t work well with broad personalization strategies. When a visitor finishes reading a blog post, they must scroll backward through your content or browse different broad categories until something sparks their interest.

Instead, adaptive content hubs use artificial intelligence to learn about every visitor’s needs and provide personalized content recommendations.

You don’t have to follow up with leads through email quite as aggressively because they can research, learn, and educate themselves while they’re still on your page through personalized recommendations.

Self-Nurturing Landing Pages

Self-nurturing landing pages function similarly to Netflix. Instead of leaving your visitors at a dead-end and single call-to-action, self-nurturing landing pages offer your leads a continuous stream of personalized content recommendations.

Yes, it’s kind of hard to comprehend because traditional marketing tells us every landing page needs one CTA to demand instant conversions.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that over 90% of your visitors aren’t ready to commit so you need to give them the tools to nurture while they’re still on your site.

Plus, the AI system instantly identifies intent, needs, and stage of the buying cycle so it can choose content that gently guides your visitors towards a conversion.

Personalized Exit-Intent Popups

Exit-intent popups are effective but most B2Bs don’t use them properly.

No one wants to fill out a lead magnet form as they’re trying to navigate away from your website.

Instead, AI gives them a personalized popup with content recommendations. Again, the algorithms use behavioral data to detect needs, interests, and intent so it can choose content that both reduces bounce rates AND nurtures your visitors towards a purchase or lead conversion.

People are much more likely to stay on your site and eventually hand over an email address for follow up correspondence when you aren’t asking for their personal details.

Human Lead Verification

As discussed a little above, human lead verification makes sure you’re only collecting highly qualified leads and accurate data.

The beauty here is that you don’t have to ask leads for a ton of personal information like their phone number, company name, and job role. All you need is a business email and country.

Instead, the AI uses public information on LinkedIn to build comprehensive profiles AND weed out fake leads at the same time.

Use AI to Create the Valuable and Personalized Experience Your Leads Expect

Hushly AI allows you to harness the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide every visitor – whether known leads or anonymous browsers – with unique experiences.

You can easily add features like adaptive content hubs, self-nurturing landing pages, and personalized exit-intent popups to your site right now and watch lead conversions skyrocket by 51% guaranteed!

needs-based segmentation

6 Types of Content to Create for Effective Firmographic Segmentation

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By now, most B2Bs have figured out that generic content won’t work for every visitor.

You must personalize your content if you want to win over leads and prevent churn.

Firmographic segmentation is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal for creating effective content for your prospects, leads, and even customers too.

While segmentation isn’t the be-all-end-all solution, it is important in the creation stage. For delivery, however, artificial intelligence can help you provide a hyper-personalized experience based on behavioral data.

Here’s how to merge the two for the most effective content marketing results.

firmographic segmentation

6 Types of Content to Create for Effective Firmographic Segmentation

Each segment of your audience demands distinct types of content. Leads in each stage of the buying cycle also require unique types of content to empower their journey. Here are a few must-haves based on your firmographic data sources.

1. Videos

Research from LinkedIn shows that about half of B2Bs consume video during the buyer’s journey. Unlike consumers, B2Bs spend quite some time watching each video too: five minutes on average!

Use your firmographic data sources to create impactful videos for your prospects and leads. Introduce potential buyers to your company’s values and mission. Create unique videos for your team members like your marketing and sales directors.

Since we know B2Bs spend considerable time watching video, you have some freedom to get creative with your content and keep your viewers engaged. Just make sure it stands out and answers all questions. Think of video as a digital liaison between your sales team and leads.

2. Case Studies

For audience segments a little further along in the buying process, case studies are absolutely vital.

In fact, 42% of B2Bs say case studies are the most valuable pieces of content they consume during the journey. Wow!

Once you have some firmographic segmentation down, use your knowledge about your audience to understand their needs and concerns. Next, look for relevant clients for case studies they’ll appreciate.

Remember you’re trying to use case studies to win over leads so put yourself in their shoes when you choose case studies – not necessarily your best or favorite clients.

3. End-User Explainers

Too many B2B marketers neglect end users when they segment their audience and create content. Unfortunately, this is costly. Even if end users aren’t involved in the buying process, they’re still the ones using your product or service every day.

Videos can come in handy for tutorials and explainers. Talk to your customer service department and ask about some of the most common questions or problems people run into.

For end-users who prefer to read over watching videos, shoot for some tutorial blog posts or frequently asked questions. You could even break a FAQ into different categories and topics to answer every possible question that may arise once someone starts using your product or service.

4. Podcasts

Podcasts are huge right now. Yep, even in B2B. 64% of B2Bs say they value podcasts in the early stages of the buying process.

Use podcasting to help leads get a feel for how you operate. Educate them about your industry and company. Bring on some experts to answer questions.

Use firmographic segmentation here to identify specific audiences who you could target with hyper-relevant podcasts. If you’re using an ABM strategy, don’t be afraid to throw some company names around in your show.

5. Industry Blogs

Of course, blogs are necessary. Unfortunately, 63% of senior execs say the content they consume is far too generic. Yikes.

Spend time learning about your different segments and what problems they face daily. Use your industry blogs to directly address their problems and offer solutions.

6. Guest Blogs

Guest blogging is effective when you choose the right places. This is where some solid firmographic segmentation comes in handy.

As you start learning about your audience, look for different websites or blogs they share on their social media accounts. You’ll know they hang out on these sites to find interesting blogs.

Get strategic with your guest blogging. Don’t just choose blogs that fit with your industry and impress colleagues. Go where your audience goes.

Why AI-Driven Tech is Vital to Effective Firmographic Segmentation

Firmographic segmentation is most useful for learning about your audience and creating content.

It typically includes data such as:

enrichment process


Once you have these pieces of information, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of every lead’s needs, concerns, and daily life at work – all of which come in handy for creating relevant and valuable content.

But there’s one major problem plaguing most lead databases: Bad intel.

Lead data expires quickly. People change email addresses, switch jobs, get promotions, and data goes stale. Unfortunately, unless you correct the problem, you’re still using expired data to drive your firmographic decisions and content.

Instead, AI allows you to ONLY collect an email address and pulls the rest of the firmographic details from public sources like LinkedIn so they’re always current.

Artificial intelligence also allows you to create a hyper-personalized experience on your website for every visitor – whether known or anonymous.

Using behavioral data from each visitor AND previous similar visitors, AI offers the most relevant piece of content possible at every stage of the buying process. Instead of following leads and prospects around the internet to keep up the conversation, AI does all the heavy lifting while they’re still on your website.

You spend so much time and money creating highly relevant and authoritative content. Don’t bury it in your blog! Use artificial intelligence to put your best pieces of content on display for every visitor.

Take Your Firmographic Segmentation to the Next Level with Hushly AI

Hushly’s AI-driven tools like adaptive content hubs, self-nurturing landing pages, and exit-intent popups make it easy to personalize every touchpoint along the buyer journey.

You focus on creating awesome content. We’ll focus on delivering it to your leads in the most effective way at the perfect time.

firmographic segmentation