Segmentation in the B2B markets: Closing the gap between theoretical segmentation models and the actual segmentation practice
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- Master of Science 
There exists a gap between the implementation of advanced theoretical segmentation models and the actual practice of segmentation in the B2B markets. Practitioners have called forth the need for easy applicable guidelines for segmentation. Hence, the overall purpose of this thesis is to develop straightforward guidelines for segmentation in B2B markets. Moreover, the thesis contributes to a declining research area. The research objective is: Develop guidelines for market segmentation in the B2B markets. To achieve the research objective, six research questions are developed to use as a foundation to provide insight into the actual segmentation practice. Practitioners' segmentation practices have been investigated through 19 in-depth interviews with B2B companies in Norway which apply segmentation to different extents. The data is organized and interpreted through descriptive analysis, thematic analysis, and case study. A major finding of the thesis is that marketing managers report significant effects from segmentation on the company's performance. Simultaneously, it is evident that they lack management of the segmentation practice. Two prominent trends among the companies in the sample are the difficulties associated with data collection in the B2B markets and resource constraints. Further, the majority of the managers expressed the need for applicable guidelines and requested to get insight into the thesis results. The guidelines are developed based on the insight gathered from the data collection and prior literature on B2B segmentation. It follows an eight-stage chronological process to achieve a structured and well-defined segmentation process.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Strategic Marketing Management - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2021