What are firmographics?

As the conceptual similarity already suggests, the term firmographics basically describes something like demographic data – only for companies instead of for persons. In Germany, this term is still relatively uncommon, although many of us use firmographic classifications on a daily basis.

firmographics in B2B marketing

The purpose of firmographics

Firmography allows marketers in the B2B context to describe and subdivide their target groups in a similar way as B2C companies do with the help of demographic variables. Instead of age, place of residence and net income, a companyographic categorization uses variables that make sense for grouping and segmenting companies.

Some of the most common firmographic dimensions:

  • branch
  • location
  • turnover
  • number of employees
  • legal form
  • group affiliation / independence
  • growth
  • profit / loss

By grouping them together on the basis of relatively simple characteristics, companies that are similar in certain respects – based on the assumption that they will also tend to be similar in their needs – can be quickly and effectively grouped together. Firmographics therefore allow a quick, rough target group description.

Boundaries of firmographics

Just as demographic data in B2C marketing can only ever describe a small part of a person schematically, company geography as a target group determiner quickly reaches its limits. Because the grouping on the basis few variables remains in each case extremely roughly and stereotyped. The target group can be reduced so very fast to a small part of all existing companies, but still the companies within this group will show substantially more differences than similarities. Firmographics are therefore only suitable for very superficial segmentation.

Only the amount of data adds depth

With each additional variable you use to differentiate your audience from all other companies, you will increase the similarity of the companies in that group. So in order to target your budget and tailor messages precisely to the specific needs of your potential customers, you need a sufficient amount of firmographic data.

You can use the Implisense Pro database to accelerate their research and application. Filter by hundreds of daily updated data points and narrow down your target group with just a few clicks. Based on relevant criteria that match your product or service. You can also simply turn the tables – and learn more about your target group: Enter some of your existing customers and let Implisense Pro determine in which firmographic sizes they are the same or similar. This will tell you which variables are actually relevant to the description of your target group – and you can automatically have other companies that match this profile suggested to you.

Determine the really relevant firmographic variables and use firmographics in a systematic way to segment your target group.

Are you overestimating your target market?

If you misjudge your target market, it is not only difficult to evaluate your sales and marketing success. Above all, this circumstance will lead to you wasting resources on supposed interested parties who in reality are not interested at all. Conversely, a realistic assessment of your target market allows you to use your marketing and sales resources much more efficiently and successfully. Nevertheless, many companies still tend to take the categorization of potential customers too far – partly out of ignorance, partly out of false convenience.

target market

Goal-oriented segmentation of your target market

The most common mistake: These companies do not make the decisive final step in segmentation. The three stages of approaching your target market:

1. Total market

How large is the entire market in which you operate? For example, if you offer cash register software for laundries under German law, your total market includes all laundries in Germany.

2. Adressable market

Limit the share of the market to which your offer really fits. For example, if your POS software is particularly suitable for companies above a certain size, your addressable market could in this case include all laundries in Germany with 20 or more employees.

3. Accessible market

The fact that your offer could basically fit a company of this kind does not mean that you can actually reach it in a specific case. Whether there is a concrete need for an offer like yours depends on many more factors. By selecting potential customers with a specific need for a product or service such as the one you offer, you can narrow down your target market extremely promisingly.

The right answers through the right questions

Obviously, the success of the often neglected step 3 – i.e. the limitation of your actually accessible market – depends on you choosing the right selection criteria. Firmographic data alone is no longer sufficient at this point. After all, you want to know which companies are specifically interested in an offer like yours – and why! You therefore need to identify signals that indicate the level of interest among your potential customers at the current time.

It is in the nature of things that there is no universal scheme for this. The information you need to do this relates to the specific context of your own offer. To select the right data, you need to know and understand the purchasing process of your target customers. However, the following questions may provide initial clues:

  • Who are the relevant decision-makers?
  • Who are the actual users?
  • Does the company have the necessary budget?
  • Is it the right time for our solution?

Evaluating and using data

Implisense Pro helps you to obtain and evaluate the relevant data. The database provides you with hundreds of up-to-date data points on all companies registered in the German Commercial Register. With just a few clicks, you can select your total market based on the specific criteria you have defined – and in this way determine all the companies that form your accessible market.

Remember, however, that this is a dynamic structure. Since your available market should represent companies with a current need, it is a snapshot. Make your marketing plan accordingly flexible in order to be able to react promptly to changes. Implisense Pro’s daily updates keep you up to date in near real time when something relevant changes in one of your leads.

Avoid the mistake of inadequate market segmentation in the future and use Big Data for a targeted use of your marketing and sales resources.

Customer segmentation – it is all about the data

Customer segmentation is designed to focus more on those customers that are most profitable for your business or have the greatest growth potential. To this end, all those customers are combined into a segment that have the same or sufficiently similar characteristics that are considered relevant. This is absolutely essential in order to make optimum use of your company’s resources in marketing and sales and, if necessary, to gear product development to specific customer segments.

But there is one thing you should definitely bear in mind: A meaningful and reliable segmentation can only succeed if you also have a sufficient data basis.

How to segment customers

Customer segmentation in the team

 

The best way to segment your customers involves two essential steps.

  1. The first thing you do is to decide whether your customers are very profitable for you or not at all. Of course, customers who fall into the second category do not necessarily have to be rejected. Filter among them by those with adequate growth potential. Or try to generate future profits from an innovation in product development or pricing.
  2. In the second step, you further subdivide the group of profitable customers. The aim should be to bring together customers with similar needs. So that you can then address them in sales and marketing with targeted messages or tailor your products even more strongly to them.

No success without data

To ensure that your customer segmentation is not arbitrary, but that sufficient conclusions can actually be drawn from your classification, it depends on both the quantity and quality of your data.

  • Quantity
    Basically, customer segmentation is a statistical procedure. And this is all the more meaningful the larger the samples are. Segmentation only makes sense from a sufficiently large customer base. In order to be able to derive certain rules from the similarities and differences of your customers and to largely exclude the factor of chance. The smaller your customer file and the less data you have on your customers, the coarser and less precise your segmentation will be. And the more error-prone it becomes.
  • Quality
    So that you can actually work in practice with the properties you use for your segmentation, the available data must actually be measurable. You will find some more detailed impulses for this in our article on the quantifiability of data in the creation of target customer profiles – a very related topic.

Once you have defined your segments and assigned your customers to them, it is advisable to confirm these results by means of a random user survey. Or to uncover and eliminate weaknesses of your customer segmentation in this way.

Generating and using data

With Implisense Pro, you can expand the database to your customers at the touch of a button to receive hundreds of additional data points for each of them at a stroke. In this way you gain many additional starting points to generate similarities and differences. The software can also help you here – and even more: Enter the companies you have combined into a customer segment at Implisense, and the algorithm automatically finds numerous other companies that resemble this group. Extreme power for your new customer acquisition.

Tailor your sales and marketing activities as well as your product even more specifically to the customers that enable you to make the most profit and achieve the greatest growth! With the help of a truly meaningful customer segmentation on a solid data basis.


Simple customer segmentation with Implisense Pro

Now you can easily expand the database of your existing customers and generate additional leads that fit into your most profitable customer segments.

Free with Implisense Pro during the trial period!

 


 

Kundensegmentierung – auf die Daten kommt es an

Kundensegmentierung soll dazu dienen, sich stärker auf solche Kunden zu konzentrieren, die sich für Ihr Unternehmen am meisten lohnen oder das größte Wachstumspotenzial bergen. Dafür werden jeweils all jene Kunden zu einem Segment zusammengefasst, die sich in den als relevant erachteten Eigenschaften gleichen beziehungsweise hinreichend ähneln. Das macht absolut Sinn, um die Ressourcen Ihres Unternehmens in Marketing und Vertrieb optimal einzusetzen sowie gegebenenfalls auch die Produktentwicklung auf bestimmte Kundensegmente hin auszurichten.

Doch eines sollten Sie dabei unbedingt beachten: Eine aussagekräftige und belastbare Segmentierung kann nur dann gelingen, wenn Sie auch über eine hinreichende Datenbasis verfügen.

Vorgehen bei der Kundensegmentierung

Kundensegmentierung im Team

Gehen Sie bei Ihrer Kundensegmentierung am besten in zwei wesentlichen Schritten vor.

  1. Als erstes teilen Sie Ihre Kunden danach ein, ob diese für Sie sehr profitabel sind oder weniger bis gar nicht. Kunden, die in die zweite Kategorie fallen, müssen Sie natürlich nicht zwangsläufig abstoßen. Filtern Sie unter diesen nach jenen mit einem angemessenen Wachstumspotenzial. Oder versuchen Sie, durch eine Innovation in Produktentwicklung oder Pricing auch aus solchen künftig Profit zu generieren.
  2. Im zweiten Schritt unterteilen Sie dann die Gruppe der profitablen Kunden weiter. Ziel sollte es dabei sein, Kunden mit einem ähnlichen Bedarf zusammenzufassen. Sodass Sie diese dann in Vertrieb und Marketing mit gezielten Botschaften ansprechen oder Ihre Produkte noch stärker auf diese zuschneiden können.

Kein Erfolg ohne Daten

Damit Ihre Kundensegmentierung nicht willkürlich ausfällt, sondern sich tatsächlich hinreichende Rückschlüsse aus Ihrer Einteilung ziehen lassen, kommt es sowohl auf die Quantität als auch auf die Qualität Ihrer Daten an.

  • Quantität
    Im Grunde ist die Kundensegmentierung ein statistisches Verfahren. Und das ist umso aussagekräftiger, je größer die Stichproben ausfallen. So macht eine Segmentierung erst ab einem hinreichend großen Kundenstamm Sinn. Um tatsächlich gewisse Regeln aus den Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschieden Ihrer Kunden ableiten zu können und den Faktor Zufall weitgehend auszuschließen. Je kleiner Ihre Kundenkartei und je weniger Daten Sie zu Ihren Kunden zur Verfügung haben, desto grober und ungenauer wird Ihre Segmentierung ausfallen. Und desto fehleranfälliger wird sie.
  • Qualität
    Damit Sie mit den Eigenschaften, die Sie für Ihre Segmentierung heranziehen, auch tatsächlich in der Praxis arbeiten können, müssen die dazu vorliegenden Daten auch tatsächlich messbar sein. Einige genauere Impulse dazu finden Sie in unserem Beitrag zur Quantifizierbarkeit von Daten bei der Erstellung von Zielkundenprofilen – ein sehr verwandtes Thema.

Haben Sie Ihre Segmente definiert und Ihre Kunden diesen zugeordnet, empfiehlt es sich, diese Ergebnisse durch eine stichprobenartige Nutzerbefragung zusätzlich zu bestätigen. Oder auf diese Weise Schwächen Ihrer Kundensegmentierung aufzudecken und zu beheben.

Daten gewinnen und nutzen

Mit Implisense Pro erweitern Sie den Datenbestand zu Ihren Kunden mit einem Knopfdruck, um auf einen Schlag hunderte zusätzlicher Datenpunkte zu jedem von ihnen zu erhalten. So gewinnen Sie viele zusätzliche Ansatzpunkte, um Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede zu generieren. Auch dabei kann Ihnen die Software übrigens helfen – und noch mehr: Geben Sie bei Implisense die Unternehmen ein, die Sie zu einem Kundensegment zusammengefasst haben, und der Algorithmus findet automatisch zahlreiche weitere Firmen, die dieser Gruppe ähneln. Extreme Power für Ihre Neukundenakquise.

Schneiden Sie Ihre Vertriebs- und Marketingaktivitäten sowie Ihr Produkt noch gezielter auf die Kunden zu, die Ihnen den meisten Profit und das größte Wachstum ermöglichen! Mithilfe einer wirklich aussagekräftigen Kundensegmentierung auf einer soliden Datenbasis.


Kundensegmentierung einfach mit Implisense Pro

Erweitern Sie jetzt ganz einfach den Datenbestand zu Ihren Bestandskunden und generieren Sie weitere Leads, die in Ihre profitabelsten Kundensegmente passen.