Segmentation and Market Strategy: Qualitative Insights from B2B Technology Executives

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Conference Track

Marketing Management/ Strategy/ Branding

Publication Date



The purpose of this paper was to critically examine the use and success of target marketing practices from the perspective of marketing managers in established B2B technology companies. Fourteen marketing executives with major segmentation responsibilities from five leading Silicon Valley companies participated in this research project via in-depth, small group interviews.

Particular attention was paid toward choosing target markets by examining established theoretical frameworks and strategic typologies developed by the leading B2B segmentation scholars.

Segmentation dimensions include customer-driven and organizational integration resulting in a 2 X 2 matrix of four segmentation archetypes. While strategic segmentation is the ideal -- a company rates highly on both dimensions -- other structures were found: sales-based, structural, and bolt- on, too. Multiple business segmentation bases are desirable to provide a complete view of potential target markets – this was clearly evident in the sample. The main segmentation priorities were building infrastructure with a planning emphasis on the “now”. To a lesser extent, segmentation strategies considered the “how”. None of the participants took a future-oriented perspective. The inter-relationship between B2B segmentation and marketing channels was also considered in this study as we explored go-to-market priorities.

Overall, the value of business segmentation must be judged on its ability to improve marketing strategy and performance.” Hence, a major objective of market segmentation analysis is to find new and under-served markets. In addition to evaluating their perceptions of segmentation sophistication in their organizations, B2B marketing executives offered numerous real world insights and a “wish list” of how they can improve in this critical area. The work concludes with a research agenda relevant to business target marketing.

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Digital Commons@Georgia Southern License

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