Going global? Think Local.
As an organisation expands and targets new territories to build revenue opportunities overseas, the marketing team is tasked with quickly developing and rolling-out campaigns to support these business objectives. This can be a challenge for any B2B marketer, with a complex range of new projects, priorities and localisation issues to consider.
With the move into new countries, marketing campaign management needs to be made as easy, flexible and efficient as possible. There will be a growing mass of content from multiple sources and multiple territories and, if that were not enough, an increasingly urgent need to provide effective reporting to a range of stakeholders.
Marketers need tools to be able to manage strategy and assessment, customer segmentation, critical path management, investment modelling, real-time reporting, marketing budget control, review/approval points and assumptions review. Doing all that in a new country can be a daunting prospect.
So what are the key things for B2B marketers to consider? Well, localisation is key, but it's also important to utilise the right technology tools to make the marketing management process as efficient and economical as possible.
One of the first steps is to claim a local web presence and register all relevant domain names, as well as localising the company's website. Ideally, you should translate and localise the whole website for each new country, or a less expensive option is to create a translated microsite with links back to the main site.
The localisation plan would obviously include optimisation for mobile devices with consideration in each case as to whether a mobile app would give a significant Return on Investment.
It's then important to optimise sites for search, with a comprehensive SEO strategy to make sure that your target audience can find the site.
A pivotal part of this SEO campaign will be relevant, useful and shareable content. This will be in the form of videos, blog posts, cases studies, infographics etc. and must be tailored for the local target market.
It's a good idea to bring in local expertise to ensure this content is distributed to the right people through the right channels. So hiring a local communications agency will be essential. They can help to identify local influencers, from journalists to bloggers, and engage with them effectively. They will also help you to explain cultural differences relating to your new market, as well as removing challenges around language barriers.
But what about the tools available to manage the process? There are a range of options in the market today, but current technologies are inconsistent with the way marketers work. They promote collaboration for collaboration's sake, in that they have communications channels but these are not embedded within the campaign goals and management processes.
Perhaps more importantly, they are not designed specifically for marketing and force teams to work counter-intuitively, through logical-step processes that do not reflect the way marketers work.
B2B marketers need a platform for 'purposeful collaboration', which means marketers can align business objectives with campaign goals more closely and deliver these through focused, visible and effective team work. They need a tool to liberate and empower every team member, whether in the corporate fold or outside in the agencies, to get marketing work done.
Purposeful collaboration is the most efficient and effective way by which members of marketing teams can group resources to create, manage and deliver campaigns that add measureable value to the business.
These tools are currently being developed and will launch soon. Thinking locally and using 'purposeful collaboration' tools are the key to establishing and managing effective international campaigns, and should be the watch words for every B2B marketer.