Expanding market reach globally is synonymous with growth and opportunity in B2B, but it can take a significant amount of time, effort, and resources. There is a need to familiarise yourself with the various nuances of each country and market.
From different languages and purchasing practices to learning about the local competitive market with varying time zones, customer preferences and pain points; an efficient localization strategy that is equally effective has never been more essential.
Challenges when landing & expanding in new markets
- Hiring staff: Recruiting the right staff in a foreign market is a big commitment of time and money up front, before any income is even generated, and with little guarantee of success. There can also be significant differences in labour laws that your HR & Legal teams may be unfamiliar with that will need to be addressed.
- Messaging: Localising content is much more than just translation. Messaging needs to capture local language nuances, image appropriateness and cultural preferences. Long turnaround times for adapting content to new markets, while ensuring no major gaffes, requires significant resources and effort. Keeping the brand voice and quality of translation consistently high is another hurdle.
- Data & Compliance: Collecting accurate and quality customer and competitive data for your business from outside the target market, and then complying with all the different local data regulations and cybersecurity laws can be lengthy, cumbersome, and expensive.
- Expectations: Sales, growth rate, market share, cost reduction are all quantifiable measurements of performance over time. However, they rarely happen quickly. Add all the additional upfront costs, local market and competitive unknowns, and what gets measured might be different at first, but you can still see results.
How to successfully localise B2B marketing outreach
At B2B level, your engagement rates, conversion rates, and customer satisfaction are a result of locally targeting your B2B customer whether they are in Florence, Italy or Florida.
According to CSA Research, enterprise businesses that implement localization are 2.5 times more likely to see YOY growth and 1.8 times more likely to report an increase in revenue. Business users are three times more likely to buy if addressed in their language. Customer service costs drop when instructions were displayed in the user’s native language. And website visitors linger twice as long as they do at English-only URLs.
And in a public survey conducted by Forrester, employees who use a different language than that used at headquarters rated localization as much more important for customer centricity, market access, and competitive advantage, by an average of 21 percentage points. Among B2B buyers in the survey, 75% said it was important or very important to have sales materials in their language, and 67% wanted a localized website. In the face of these survey results, B2B organizations need to start looking at localization less as a cost, and more as an investment.
Here are four steps you can take to localise your outreach efforts:
- Engage locally: By partnering with a company with an established presence in your target market, you can hire a local sales team without the headache of setting up a physical office. They will know your target audience, communicate in the local language, and provide valuable insights on cultural differences in business, such as understanding regional subtleties in job titles and reporting lines – overall improving your lead generation efforts. Also, using local numbers and email addresses, if possible, can help build trust.
- Prioritize content: Carefully planning your messaging and visual assets in advance is key to making the impact you need in new markets. Finding a localisation partner in the target market with in-depth knowledge and professional linguists could provide the best option. For cost efficiency, developing assets from the beginning that support consistency across languages should become an overall business standard at globalizing enterprises.
- Guarantee quality assurance: Data sourcing is paramount as thorough local and cultural research ensures your localization strategy is a success. When building a localised prospect database with personal data it is vital that you are compliant with local data protection laws e.g., GDPR. It is also valuable to to get direction and feedback from native speakers on your outreach and messaging strategy to achieve high quality leads with the right people. Choosing the right localisation partner that will help you scale faster, may not only be efficient, but will also allow you to expand with quality and accuracy.
- Set new Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Whatever your localisation strategy, expanding into new markets requires added resources, and quantifiable business results will take time and may differ from your core market. Therefore, it´s important to take this into consideration when deciding on what metrics to evaluate. Setting KPIs that are related to brand visibility, awareness and engagement are fundamental.
BNZSA Case Study
BNZSA recently provided localised lead generation services in EMEA to a U.S. based client that wanted to launch a successful Initial Public Offering (IPO).
The client needed to boost its sales pipeline outside its own home market to meet pre-IPO revenue requirements. The EMEA market was chosen to launch a lead generation campaign to meet this goal.
BNZSA, as a partner, was able to localise coverage with a sales and business development support team in 26 native languages to deliver marketing qualified leads (MQLs) with the goal that a percentage of those leads would be sales ready.
Building on its localisation expertise with other large enterprise blue chip IT clients, and ensuring they had the right data, messaging, infrastructure, and services to build local relationships for their pre-IPO client the campaign initially launched in the UK, France and DACH region.
- 1790 MQLs were delivered in less than two years
- €880K in closed revenue was generated by BNZSA BDRs
- BNZSA’s client launched a successful IPO
- The project expanded to the US with BNZSA’s SDR Sales-as-a-Service offering
- $1.5M in closed revenue delivered by BNZSA SDRs
- Global sales pipeline of $9.5M
Following these successful results, and post-IPO, this U.S. client continues to invest in BNZSA as a long-term preferred supplier and partner for its localised go to market strategy and for pipeline acceleration.