|dc.description.abstract||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