How to Define the Target Audience for Your B2B Business

Lena M.
5 min read
01.12.2023 14:20:00

If you want to address your customers in a targeted manner - be it with personalized newsletters or other individualized content - you first need to know them.

This is where a target audience analysis comes into play. It helps you to get to know your customers better and adapt your marketing directly to their needs and wishes. 

Characteristics of Customer Analysis in B2B Marketing

The B2B sector differs from B2C segmentation when it comes to target group analysis. The complexity of products and services, the long period from interest to purchase and the diversity of decision-makers make the precise description of a persona a challenge.

Long Decision Paths

While a purchase decision in B2C is often made quickly and spontaneously, the decision-making paths in B2B are longer and more extensive.

Potential buyers often spend months weighing up their options, comparing products and prices and wanting to be as well informed as possible beforehand.

Not losing sight of a potential B2B customer over a longer period of time requires perseverance, skill and a well thought-out customer relationship management (CRM) strategy.

Multiple Decision-Makers

In addition, the buyer journey of a business customer differs from that of an end customer because several decision-makers are involved in the purchasing process.

As a rule, these decision-makers pursue different interests; the purchasing department aims to save costs, the specialist department wants the most suitable product from its point of view and the management wants to see everything combined as far as possible.

This is where conflicts of interest come together, resulting in longer decision-making processes.

Few Customers

In contrast to the B2C market, the B2B market is by no means anonymous.

Customers and competitors are usually known to the company or can be identified without much effort. The number of clients is therefore limited and often even geographically concentrated.

The Consequences of a Lack of Target Audience Definition in B2B

The target audience (or buyer persona) is the central point of any marketing strategy. If it's missing, you'll be groping around in the dark and wasting your hard-earned budget. This can have the following consequences.

Scatter Loss Instead of a Targeted Approach

An imprecise or missing target group definition in B2B leads to wastage. Potential buyers are not addressed in a targeted manner, but rather in a generalized manner via undifferentiated marketing.

As a result, financial resources are wasted unnecessarily, and valuable leads are lost.

Lack of Information About the Target Group

Your marketing strategy is largely based on the principle of addressing your customers in such a way that their interests are served. Ideally, customer behavior is also known through various analyzes and you can tailor your marketing strategy precisely to this.

However, if the behavior and interests of your target audience are unknown, you will spend a lot of time and resources telling people something even though they are not part of your target group.

Communication that is not tailored to the target audience can also lead to an unprofessional impression.

This is because you are also addressing people with whom you have already been in contact but who no longer want to hear from you.
The worst consequence: the actual target audience is never reached.

Available Data is Not Used Correctly

Customer data such as industry, company size, legal form, and similar should be available in your CRM database. It is a prerequisite that the correct contact person is contacted.

So why not supplement this data with behavioral data to create a comprehensive customer profile?

If you add other aspects to the data records, such as

  • the position of the contact person,
  • the date of the last order,
  • other interests of the customer
  • and other parameters,

you have a good basic framework.

Determine Personas for B2B

The buyer journey varies depending on the industry and product, so an adapted marketing strategy is crucial. This not only saves money but also gives you a competitive advantage.

Effective segmentation is achieved through the use of buyer personas, which are prototypes that represent certain target group characteristics and simplify their identification.

A B2B target group analysis makes it possible to build on existing data and create a representative customer profile instead of starting from scratch.

Identification of Companies and Decision-Makers

Detailed customer information is essential for the correct identification of target groups in B2B. Important segmentation criteria include organizational characteristics such as industry, company size, location, and development phase.

For example, the needs of a start-up differ significantly from those of an established company.

Decision-makers also play a central role in B2B, whereby there is often a discrepancy between the person who makes the purchase decision and the person who instructs or carries out the purchase.

As in B2C, buying behavior is also important in B2B, such as purchase frequency and seasonal purchase cycles. This allows you to better adapt your sales pitches to your target group.

Update your database regularly and use available marketing and tracking tools as well as survey results to deepen your target audience analysis.

Recognize Needs and Challenges

In order to successfully create buyer personas for the respective target groups, you need to know the customers' goals.

Analyze the company's intentions and the quickest and easiest way to achieve them. If you then offer solutions for precisely these challenges, you are already a decisive step ahead of your competition.

Become an enabler and help your B2B target group reach their goal faster and more efficiently.

The same applies to potential stumbling blocks and challenges. The better you know the pain points of your potential customers, the more specifically you can help your target group.

Your target audience wants a reliable partner who understands the challenges, tackles them, and helps to clear obstacles out of the way.

Advantages of a Precise Target Group Analysis in B2B

A clearly described persona not only helps you to set a clear focus, it also ensures that your marketing resources are used optimally.

You can address your target group directly and save your valuable time and resources only for customers who might really be interested in your product.

You can also better understand the buyer journey if you clearly know your persona. This helps you to start exactly where leads are most likely to drop off and persuade them to buy with a well-thought-out strategy.

Tailor-Made Content Through Individualization

Once the personas for the various target groups have been set up, you can adapt your sales strategy and offer your customers customized content.

The targeting of advertisements and their design can be tailored more closely to the target audience. This not only saves you costs, but also increases your conversion rate.

Predicting behavior and frequencies

A well thought-out target group definition makes your customers "predictable". With the help of the buyer persona, you can not only predict behavior but also purchase frequency.

This means that marketing and sales measures can be targeted precisely and without wastage.

Take Advantage of Your Strength

If you know your customers, you can turn your company's strengths into concrete arguments. Use these to develop a clear differentiation strategy that makes it clear how your company stands out from the competition and what added value your product offers.

And you will see: Customers will prefer to buy from you than from the competition. You just need to give them a good reason why!


A precise target audience analysis is fundamental to customer relationship management. Why? Because the number of customers in B2B is smaller, the target groups are smaller.

This makes it all the more important to identify and understand these target groups and address them in as individualized a manner as possible. It is therefore also crucial for successful B2B marketing to address the decision-maker.

This is made possible by a B2B target audience analysis based on a well-fed database and empirical values, which include demographic, socio-economic, and behavioral characteristics.

The finer the segmentation, the more specifically you can address potential customers and persuade them to make a purchase decision.