“Obviously we have a lot of knowledge of our customers ourselves. The approach helped us turn that knowledge into a rich, meaningful and commercially valuable segmentation."
— Commercial director
Like many other B2B businesses, our client believed that the purchasing behaviour of their target market is largely influenced by their size, speciality and so on. However, examples of customers behaving in unexpected ways and changing channel preference led our client to consider a different viewpoint. Are our customers’ needs and attitudes not a far more powerful predictor of behaviour? To further develop customer loyalty we needed to bring a laser-sharp focus on the evolving customer needs in this diverse stakeholder landscape.
We started with a quantitive assessment of the customers' past behaviour and enriched this with insights in needs and want in an interactive discussion with key account managers. Then we took a deep dive into the customers' lives to unlock nuanced insights into the behaviours, drivers and needs. We visited customers on site to see how construction workers apply our client’s products in daily practice. We sat down next to purchase managers and looked over their shoulder while they placed orders for their colleagues in the field. We had a coffee with the spouse of a self-employed plumber to understand how she supports her husband with ordering.
Based on the analysis of the customer, the market and the competition we drafted a handful personas representing customer segments with comparable objectives, needs and challenges. The deep-dive into the lives of customers further refined the persona’s and provided us with the contextual information, images and stories to make them come to life.
But even more important than equipping our client with a new segmentation is the fact that we also provided the sales team with the tools to act on the knowledge – an activation plan. Since in the end it's not only the segmentation that matters, it's the way it is put into practice.