The Marketing Strategist:

Case Study: How Fujitsu Services Uses Segmentation to Prioritise Sales Opportunities

January 6, 2010

In 2007, Fujitsu realised that it was spreading its attention too thinly across the U.K. market. It knew that there were existing and potential customers that were worth a more focused selling effort, but it wasn’t sure where to apply the resources to get the most payback. So, Fujitsu’s marketing leaders set out to segment its private sector customers and prospects (mainly large corporations) within the various industries it serves—what Fujitsu calls sector mapping. The goal of the effort was simple: Win bigger deals more often by focusing on the most important opportunities and by building longer-term relationships with a target group of 30–40 companies. Of course, carrying out the goal was anything but simple. Mapping your customers by segment requires careful planning and a near-mystical ability to develop parameters for segmentation that will result in real insight. It also requires permission and cooperation from sales. As is the case in many services companies, Fujitsu is organised to go to market by industry. Therefore, it made sense to focus the effort on revealing the best opportunities for Fujitsu within the various industries it serves. The first task was to identify companies within each industry that were attractive to Fujitsu and that at least had the potential to view Fujitsu in the same way. There were five steps in this process:
  • They developed a list of potential companies from Forbes magazine’s Global 2000 list and the FTSE (Financial Times-London Stock Exchange list of largest U.K. companies) that had capitalization greater than £1 billion.
  • They filtered that list by excluding companies that did not have an estimated IT spend of at least £100 million.
  • They vetted the list with the various business unit directors and managers and allowed them to add back in accounts that did not meet the initial criteria but that they viewed as important (e.g., based on personal knowledge of the account).
  • They created criteria for client attractiveness and Fujitsu business position in collaboration with sales, account managers, and business unit directors.
  • They collected data against each of these criteria through research, sales, account managers, and business unit managers.
Using a combination of internal criteria and external reputation criteria, Fujitsu was able to map its most attractive opportunities within the major industries it serves. As a result, marketing was able to offer valuable guidance, based on data developed jointly with sales, on the accounts that could benefit from more attention. To get the details on how Fujitsu developed its segmentation strategy, read the full ITSMA Case Study Fujitsu Services: How to Use Segmentation to Prioritise Sales Opportunities.

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