Crossing borders in B2B marketing: what to pack for success
It could be that your marketing strategy doesn’t translate well from one territory to another; your competitors use completely different strategies in different marketplaces; your SEO campaign isn’t international in nature; or your messaging isn’t right for the diverse cultures, languages, and business practices that you must now embrace.
Here at Referro, we’ve built a local gateway through which our clients are currently achieving global success. But before you step into it and disappear in a puff of smoke, we’ve put together a few ideas on what to pack to help on your cross-border B2B journey.
A concise world atlas
You probably have a good idea of the sales territories you’d like to explore, but it always helps if someone’s really familiar with the terrain. Referro belongs in the atlas of BBN, the world’s B2B agency, with 66 office on the ground in 32 countries. We say it’s a concise atlas because there’s no red tape separating our operations: every member agency is entrepreneurial; agile; trained in the same B2B approaches; and focused on delivering joined up logistics and results for our clients when they step out internationally. You can find a map of our partners here.
Data, analytics, and content building are some of the most important currencies to ensure cross-border B2B marketing is a success. These marketing components work together, with data and analytics helping you to find ‘micro-markets’ for your products and services; and the right content enabling you to deliver more personalised, targeted international communications.
A marketing translator
Localization is essential so that messaging which currently resonates locally, also reverberates globally. This is more than translation: it’s about adapting your content’s full meaning to a different culture. You may also have revisit your imagery and video work to ensure visual relevance. Work can be adapted of course (we’ve achieved results that way many times); but in many cases, starting with a bespoke international campaign approach can be more cost-effective, and align more closely to your business objectives in the long run.
Machine learning is one such essential technology: it can make personalized marketing across geographies easier by analyzing customer data, and matching it to targeted offerings. Geo-marketing is another: enabling, for example, the creation of language-sensitive web pages or the ability to feature different products across different countries. International programmatic advertising can also be cost-effective for brand awareness. And, of course, localized marketing automation using platforms like HubSpot, Marketo, Oracle Eloqua, Salesforce etc all pack a punch. Leveraging these kind of marketing technologies and automation is a familiar role for Referro.
On a final note, it can be hard enough to introduce a winning brand in your native country. However, if you can build a successful and popular B2B brand at home, you can be more confident that your product and marketing strategy will be viable abroad. Referro sits at this gateway: helping to build strong businesses for clients in The Netherlands, as well as assisting those companies – and many others – to expand and succeed in new international markets.