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Segmenting business‐to‐business markets: a micro‐macro linking methodology

Thomas L. Powers (Graduate School of Management, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA)
Jay U. Sterling (The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 14 March 2008




This paper aims to report a research methodology that is used to identify business buyer segments by relating demographic indicators to the needs of various market segments.


The research was based on a survey in the office systems industry. The respondents were asked to evaluate the importance of marketing services that are used by dealers to select, evaluate, and retain vendors.


Market segments were identified and categorized using demographic and need‐based data. Discriminant analysis was able to distinguish between demographic market segments and to identify these segments based on their market needs.

Practical implications

This paper demonstrates a methodology to identify customer needs based on demographic data, lowering the cost of identifying the product and service needs of different market segments.


Demographic and need‐based business segmentation methods are widely used, However, empirically based research that bridges the gap between these two segmentation processes has not been previously reported.



Powers, T.L. and Sterling, J.U. (2008), "Segmenting business‐to‐business markets: a micro‐macro linking methodology", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 170-177.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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