Jun 12, 2014

3 useful sources for B2B Market segmentation

As part of a consulting assignment, I have been investigating US market data from public sources for a B2B product offering. I found the following 3 sources to be extremely useful.

If you have a product idea targeted towards B2B customers in the US and would like to evaluate the market potential, then you might want to check out these public data sources:

1) US Census Bureau data for Business & Industry

This source provides a good sense of different industries, number of firms within each industry and employment figures distributed across different ranges based on number of people employed by the firm.

You can start off with the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and then dive into specific industries of interest. Depending on whether you are planning to target SMEs or large corporations, you can download and check out the employment sizes distribution as part of your market sizing exercise.

2) Bureau of Labor Statistics - Industries at a glance

Based on the NAICS structure, this site gives you a clear picture of the sub-industries and a breakdown of the workforce statistics, including people employed across different job roles and their median and mean salaries. This information can help you gain some clarity on the price points you might want to set.

Let's say, your product offering is for the Education sector and your target audience is teachers/instructors. You might want to check out the "Educational services" sector and it's workforce statistics on number of teachers employed at different levels. You can also get a sense of the salaries they are being paid, which can serve as an input to your pricing strategy.

3) LinkedIn search

LinkedIn search bar is quite powerful to get a good idea on the number of companies in various sectors and the corresponding number of people employed in these sectors. Most importantly, it gives a good indication on the number of job openings in various categories in an industry.

For instance, if your B2B product is targeted towards customer service reps in travel industry, you can get the number of customer service reps related job openings and compute its contribution as a % of total job openings. This calculation can be done across different geographies and types of firms to narrow down the specific segment you might want to target.

Segmenting your market and identifying the business potential of various segments are extremely crucial steps that helps you in deciding the target segment and crafting a compelling value proposition. These secondary sources help a good deal in performing the first step of B2B market segmentation.

Are there other resources you have found useful for B2B market research? I would love to hear from you.

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