Marketers obsess – for good reasons, mostly – on focussing their B2B technology campaigns on the target buyer persona. Indeed, in a previous blog we explored the big question of ‘Who is my target buyer?’.
However, that could all come to naught. When solid data-driven decisions are made about the correct job titles to target in the buying team and the key topics and content formats likely to win engagement, an important factor is often forgotten.
That’s why we explored the issue of cultural and geographical differences in Kingpin’s recent report, ‘How organisations purchase technology – mapping the journey with real-life insights’. This is particularly significant for B2B technology marketing campaigns targeting large enterprises, typically multinational organisations with outposts (and target buyers) spread across the globe.
Think global and local
Some of these geographical differences can be seen in Europe alone. In our report we examined Kingpin data on the enterprise IT buying audience in companies with more than 1,000 employees across Europe. Most of these companies are based in central, northern and southern Europe – that’s an area encompassing more than seven languages and local cultures.
That simple fact alone emphasises how content for any technology marketing campaign needs to be easily localised or repurposed across local markets as part of any wider regional or international campaign.
One of the key things our report highlights is that cultural and geographical differences really do matter among buyers and can even inform preferences on which content topics and formats they are more likely to engage with.
Buyer tech priorities are not homogenous
Don’t assume that the same topics will resonate equally among target buyers with the same roles or job titles in different countries. Consider Kingpin data on buyer engagement with IT security marketing campaigns across Europe, for example. This shows that one topic doesn’t dominate across all countries and that, in fact, there are some significant variations in IT security priorities around Europe.
The data shows that in the UK the most engagement from target buyers is around IT threats, vulnerabilities and ransomware. Yet in Austria, Germany and Italy the most-engaged topic by far is malware. In Spain, it’s zero-day threats, and in the US it’s threat detection.
Understanding these variations in regional IT priorities is particularly important for account-based marketing campaigns, which are likely to focus on large multinational organisations.
It’s not just about the topic either, but also who you target.
Key influencers vary in different countries
Kingpin data on the sources of opportunity creation, drawn from technology marketing campaigns across Europe, highlight some interesting differences. Channel partners are the top source of opportunity in France, Germany and the UK, reinforcing the importance of an enterprise’s channel partners in informing and validating buying decisions in these countries. However, in the Nordics, organic web and outbound sales are key ways to engage with target buyers, while organic web is significantly higher than all other sources of opportunity in the Benelux region.
The takeaway from this is that the enterprise technology buying audience for any marketing campaign is often spread across many countries, cultures and languages with multiple internal and external stakeholders involved in the process. Know your regional markets and know the different ways they prefer to engage.
Ultimately, our report emphasises how the enterprise has a much more complex buying process, with many touchpoints and a longer sales cycle, compared to the simpler linear process seen with SME-driven sales.
Knowing the target buyer – across geographical markets – is essential if you’re going to go from a hit and hope strategy to a finely tuned generator of leads and revenue. The more data you are able to get insights from, the better targeted your campaign will be.
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For more insights into the B2B buying process, download the full Kingpin report here: How organisations purchase technology – mapping the journey with real-life insights