Customer Segmentation Approaches: Packaging Industry
Information on ways that B2B packaging companies segment their customers and differentiate product offerings is not available. It is likely that the information on approaches is considered a competitive advantage, and thus, no companies within the packaging industry have clearly laid out their ways to segment the customers. We have, however, provided some useful insights below.
Customer Segmentation in B2B Markets
- A common approach in business-to-business markets is to apply a market segmentation based on company size.
- The consumption levels of business-to-business customers are so widely different that this often makes sense due to large companies usually thinking and acting differently to small ones.
- When it comes to customer segmentation, in B2B organizations, marketers focus on job title, industry verticals, whether the business is public or private, how large the company is, and what its buying patterns are.
- Horizontal segmentation, which requires looking at job titles regardless of industry, enables organizations to focus more on the needs of the people working in specific roles.
B2B Customer Segmentation Challenges
Some of the challenges are:
- B2B markets have a more complex decision-making unit.
- The view that B2B buyers are more rational than consumer buyers is perhaps controversial, but true.
- Just as the decision-making unit is often complex in business-to-business markets, so are B2B products.
- B2B target audiences are smaller than consumer target audiences.
- B2B markets drive innovation less than consumer markets.
- B2B markets have fewer behavioral and needs-based segments.
- The B2B buyers are more rational than consumer buyers is perhaps controversial, but we believe it's true.
- The Need-Want-Desire-Demand framework of economics plays a significant role here.
- B2B products are more complex.
The research team started looking for information by first checking articles, blogs, journals, among others, from the websites that specialize in publishing information on B2B marketing because customer segmentation is a part of it. We were hoping to find information specific to packaging companies from these portals. We checked portals like B2B International, Search Customer Experience, Technology Advice, Digital Commerce 360, among others, for the information. While we came across many approaches for B2B customer segmentation, none were specific to the packaging industry, and all were in general. During the research, we found an article, which includes insights from research conducted by Imperial College London that looked at the effectiveness of two psychographics-based approaches for B2B Customer segmentation. However, this was more about how effective the psychographics-based approaches would be compared to the firmographics approach. Hence, the information was not found through this strategy.
We then moved on to check for case studies on b2b packaging companies. The focus here was to find case studies on B2B packaging companies' customer segmentation, then collate 3–4 such case studies and present the best available approaches combined all the studies found. We checked for case studies on companies like B2B Industrial Packaging, Amcor, Crown Holdings, International Paper, Owens-Illinois, among others, in sources like Business Grow, Magento, B2B Marketing, among others. But not a single case study was cited that could be used to present the information directly or could be used to determine the data based on any possible logic or assumption available in the case study or otherwise. Hence, this strategy could not be used further.
As a last option, we tried to find interviews from the management of some of the earlier identified B2B packaging companies. The idea here was to find their interviews that cover information on how their company segments their B2B customers. This was considered because, at times, management interviews cover information, which otherwise may not be available in reports or other publications. Checking on interviews from Ron Delia- Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at AMCOR, Michael Casamento Executive Vice President, Finance, and Chief Finance Officer at AMCOR, Timothy J. Donahue President and Chief Executive Officer at Crown Holdings, Gerard H. Gifford Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Crown Holdings, Mark S. Sutton- Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, International Paper, among many others, in sources like Forbes, CNN, Biz Journals, Institutional Investor, and many such sources. We were unable to find any interviews covering information on how these companies segment their B2B customers and how they further do the product offering.