Want to Expand Globally? Gauge Your Audience Before You Engage

The potential to generate demand and grow revenue in global markets is staggering—in fact, research shows 40-50 percent of revenue for large companies comes from outside the U.S. Whether your objective is to expand into new markets, or grow your existing ones, you need to conduct market research and review segmentation data to determine where your global demand is coming from—or where demand is most likely to occur—then consider the cultural characteristics of your new target audience and adjust your marketing messages to engage and sell to them.

binoculars

Image courtesy of besthinking.com.

 

Marketing to audiences globally will require different tactics and messages depending on which regions you’re targeting. What languages do they speak? What are their cultural priorities? In which format do they prefer to receive marketing messages, and on which device?

In addition to market research, companies should test new markets before they “go all in” (i.e., translate everything) in markets that have been designated as a potential source of revenue. The following tips can help you determine which international markets you should target and how to better engage local customers:

(1) Evaluate market research and feedback from sales to identify new markets with the most potential for success. Use the data you already have — if you are already experiencing traffic to your website or app from international markets, you can identify where there’s been an increase in demand. That’s a good sign and an early indicator that further investments in that market could pay off.

(2) Test a few of the markets you’ve identified by sending out some local language campaigns to target audiences – use segmentation data to determine key prospects. By setting up a few core web pages (on your mobile app, too) in the audience’s language, you can compare response rates and web traffic analytics to determine where and when to invest in further localization.

(3) Roll out increasing amounts of localized content, and continue to test and optimize it for specific markets. Cultural differences and beliefs can have a big impact on how marketing messages are perceived. Do your legwork and use professional translators that not only speak the language in the market, but also understand the subtleties of the region and culture so that your messages truly resonate in the language of your target audience – and ultimately provide the ROI you’re seeking. For example, consumers in South Africa are more likely to access information and make a purchase on a mobile device; in India, consumers are influenced by messages that resonate emotionally; and in China, consumers prioritize product safety standards.

In an increasingly competitive global economy, companies are continually seeking new strategies to outsmart and outsell the competition. By testing several new markets and implementing a variety of in-language campaigns, you’ll find new opportunities for growth in markets you may not have considered viable. And that’s a smart path to finding new revenue.

This article originally appeared in Business2Community.

Marketers, It’s Time to Proclaim Your Value

 

budget-cuts“Why don’t we just cut the marketing budget?” Wait, what?! As a marketer, that was my immediate reaction when I read John Staple’s recent blog with this headline. However, after reading Staple’s list of common misconceptions about B2B marketing, I recognized that the goal of his post is to shine a much-needed light on the role of marketing in an organization’s revenue stream, and provide strategies to help marketers overcome these misconceptions within their organization.

According to a recent survey by Marketo and the Economist Intelligence Unit, “marketers believe they will no longer be viewed as a cost center in three to five years—rather they will be seen as a source of revenue.” I readily agree, and feel strongly that in order to change corporate’s perception of how important a globally focused marketing strategy is to an organization’s revenue growth, marketers need to point to statistics that show the value of making global marketing and localization a company priority:

Getting stakeholders on board with global marketing:
• By 2025, the number of global consumers in emerging economies will reach 4.2 billion, and annual consumption in emerging global markets will increase to $30 trillion.
• The global revenue opportunity available to companies using online communications rose to $44.6 trillion in 2012, and only a third of that amount is available to companies that communicate only in their native English language.
• Fortune 500 companies that deliver content in native languages to keep up with or gain an edge over their competitors are twice as likely to see increased profits and 1.25 times more likely to generate increased earnings per share.

It’s true, marketers need to implement their own internal campaigns to change the perception of their department’s “worthiness” and get sales, operations and finance on board with their strategy for the sake of the company’s overall success. And this is even more critical when you market globally and need to get stakeholders, both at headquarters and in the various regions, aligned with your global marketing strategy. After all, if they don’t understand the value your globalization efforts produce; they won’t see the benefits of all the hard work your teams put in to content localization.

Global marketing is not easy; in fact, without a smartly optimized process, it’s downright daunting. The amount of work it takes to create and deliver campaigns in your headquarters’ language now has to be replicated for all of the languages of your target markets.

As Staple points out in his blog, “Misalignment often starts with the lack of a complete strategy.” This holds true for global marketing as well. Without a marketing operations strategy that incorporates input from corporate as well as the regional teams, you’ll end up with silos and regions that take matters into their own hands (i.e., create their own localized materials), and will end up with inconsistent brand messaging, or worse.

So, look at how you can optimize your processes to streamline what you’re already doing to make it run more efficiently. You may actually find that the efficiencies will decrease your marketing spend, giving you more flexibility to do more and get increased results. Marketing technology is a critical component to today’s marketing organization, and I’ve personally witnessed the time and cost savings the right technology can have on a team’s ability to grow lead gen, fill the pipeline and positively impact revenue growth. That’s a step in the right direction.

Collaborate and Innovate in the Land of Plenty: Inside the Marketing Technology Landscape

I love Scott Brinker’s opening line in his recent blog introducing the 2015 version of his ever-growing, ever-popular Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic: “There’s a lot of marketing technology in the world, my friend.”

He couldn’t have said it better, and looking at the “Supergraphic” (fantastic description, by the way) he’s created, you can clearly see how it has doubled in size in just one year. Marketing technology is a hot space and a huge market—a report by IDC forecasts the worldwide spend on marketing software in 2015 will be $22.6 billion — and by 2018, it will grow by nearly 50% to $32.3 billion. The good news is, all of these vendors are innovating to meet the needs of marketers they didn’t even know they had! Arguably, one of the goals of marketing technology is to enable marketers to use technology to optimize the way they communicate with audiences and customers. Do more technology options make it easier or harder?

Marketing Technology Landscape 2015

Marketing Technology Landscape 2015

Making it all Work Together is Key
Clearly, that depends on the organization, the marketing team, and how well they are able to make all of their marketing technologies work together to work for them. Cloudwords debuted on the Marketing Technology Landscape in 2014 and appears again on Brinker’s newest version as well, and, like many of the vendors represented on this graphic, our open API and developer platform makes integration possible with very little time and resources. Moreover, we provide native integrations with a number of the leading marketing tech platforms—Marketo, Oracle, Adobe to name a few—we’re like Switzerland, we want to work in tandem with the technology marketers use so they can more easily, efficiently and effectively market globally.

Like Brinker, we have a few of our own predictions for how 2015 might look for the world of marketing technology, particularly for global marketing.

Cloudwords Top 5 Predictions for Global Marketing Trends

1. Marketers will push the boundaries on their content: They will create global content plans, extending the reach and impact of their thought leadership, and will increasingly invest in the creation of smart, memorable, easily shareable content that ignites global conversations.

2. More personalized campaigns in every language: Marketing automation and globalization tools continue to evolve to help marketers more efficiently create personalized campaigns. This means they’ll be able to run more of them, in more markets, and reap more results worldwide.

3. More and more marketers will run truly global campaigns: Gone will be the days when sales teams, customers, and prospects have to wait for a campaign to be rolled out in their language in their market. Why artificially reduce demand or sales anywhere in the globe? Marketers are now better able to manage the localization process for a single launch in every relevant market. Treat the whole world as a first-class citizen for your content, and reap the demand gen or revenue rewards accordingly.

4. A more customer-centric approach to marketing: Localization is the ultimate personalization, and will be increasingly leveraged to enhance the impact of marketing dialogues. Personalization is a leading marketing trend, and the first step in personalizing content is making sure the recipient can read it in their native tongue. And as they continue to create more personalized marketing, marketers will adopt a more customer-centric approach to focus on customer’s needs and wants specific to their region.

5. Increased ability to scale globally: Thanks to marketing technology innovators like those on Brinker’s Landscape, marketers are able create campaigns once and deploy everywhere across multiple communications channels, saving time and money and delivering consistent messaging worldwide – all to help their companies optimize growth on a global scale. Don’t succumb to the usual triage your competitors do… “I’d love to launch around the globe, but we’ll postpone Germany and France till Q3, China till Q4!” Instead, let the whole world receive your campaigns simultaneously and grab that market and idea-share before your competitors do.

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