Why international B2B marketers are failing to meet local content needs
August 10, 2011 3:11 PM
If you're an IT manager in Kenya you probably want different information from one of your contemporaries in the US, right? It stands to reason that research reports and papers aimed at one market may not be appropriate for another.
People in emerging markets might not even have the broadband speed to trial information promoted in European or US material. This all makes perfect sense when you think about it, yet I found some recent research that suggests most of us are failing to meet the needs of customers and prospects in different countries. Last month's excellent report by IDG Connect shows how different types of IT content are received in different regions and shows that the majority of B2B marketers are simply not taking localisation into account.
And that is costing us money and losing us sales.
Anyone who has had anything to do with lead generation over the last few years will know that the market is getting tougher. Vendors are becoming more stringent about what they want. And audiences are increasingly demanding more tailored, relevant information. As the century wears on, it is progressively more apparent that the batch and blast approach simply doesn't work anymore and IT buyers need content that relates to their own specific market, to their own concerns.
It's a solid survey (conducted among 3,217 IT professionals) which shows that, although 72% of respondents found vendor white papers extremely useful, the majority outside of North America struggle to find the localised content they prefer to read. The statistics speak for themselves (but just in case they don't, see IDG's infographic below): in Asia, 74% of IT professionals say they would prefer localised content, but 79% say they "struggle" to find it. In the Middle East 64% prefer to read localised content, yet 67% "struggle" to find it. Across every continent the figures are similar, with 75% from Africa, 81% from South America, 69% from Australia and New Zealand and 55% from Europe all "struggling" to find their preferred local content.
The only place where there is a difference is - rather predictably - North America, where demand for localised content is still fairly high, but only 33% "struggle" to find regional reports. Of course, the majority of white paper content is produced in North America, so you would expect a US audience to easily locate the information it wants to read. Perhaps this goes to show that US marketers (especially) are missing a trick; this year 58% of revenue generated by America's largest companies comes from outside the continent. It is no longer enough to just target domestic buyers.
The message to B2B marketers is loud and clear: content preferences vary by region, and you must localise your content to really engage disparate global audiences. Give me a chance to look further into this report and I'll give more detail in another post next week (or download it and take a look yourself).