Sometimes message relevancy comes down to an evaluation of a more basic set of criteria. It could be as simple as making sure information is accurate and appropriate for your audience. Is the product you’re featuring available in the target market? Is your target persona the most relevant in that region? And what about industry regulations?
Sivanandan pointed out: “Considerations such as product availability or differences in model types or configurations must be accounted for. Providing generic information globally when in fact your offering varies regionally puts the onus on the customer to figure things out. Your marketing resources should reflect these differences, and your customer-facing teams must be equipped accordingly.”
Two other basic marketing fundamentals are also critical: audience and competition. While it can be risky to generalize about which audiences are most influential in targeted markets, there are some notable tendencies.
“We see big differences in the ‘care abouts’ by region. For example, in certain regions, we find that capital investment decisions are mostly driven by procurement. It is a price-dominated discussion,” noted Vijith Basheer, global marketing leader for valves, actuators and positioners for Flowserve. “In other regions, we see heavier influence from in-house and consulting engineers. As marketers, we must be able to support our sales channels effectively and be aware of how the customer decision journeys vary by audience influence.”
Thomas Heide Jorgenson, head of marketing communication at Danfoss, pays careful attention to audience nuances. “The go-to-market setup can vary significantly from geo to geo. In some markets, we sell directly to end customers, whereas in others our go-to-market might be through OEMs or third-party representatives. As such, we’re careful to tailor and optimize messages based on these differences.”
Regional adaptations can be even more complex, but many companies are willing to put in the efforts to ensure maximum relevance. Mike Bell, vice president and chief creative officer at TriComB2B, shares his experience with a client who broke down messaging approaches not just by role and title, but by several other factors.
“In the Americas, our client’s technology was ideal for facilities larger than one million square feet. In the EU, their target facility was only 10 to 20 percent that size. Furthermore, factors such as pace of work, workforce stress and working conditions varied by geography, causing us to make even more granular messaging adaptations based on regional factors.”
External factors must also be accounted for to ensure maximum relevance. A one-size-fits-all approach to technical designations, certifications and approvals can mean a straight line to irrelevance with savvy buyers. One area that technical and industrial B2B companies must deal with is the regulatory environment. Complying with energy efficiency, environmental accessibility and other standards on a region-to-region, country-to-country basis is very complex and can affect which products are relevant.
Jorgenson says these types of factors are prevalent at Danfoss. “In our business, local and national regulatory requirements can be quite varied. We are diligent about ensuring communications are adapted and delivered accordingly to ensure relevancy.”
Arroyave pointed out: “For one product we developed, ergonomic features that helped customers comply with disability requirements were very important. In other countries, these attributes were non-factors. In another case, our ability to help customers achieve environmental compliance in the U.S. was paramount, whereas in other countries this consideration was still a moving target. We have to be very careful to adapt materials accordingly and be ready to make changes as new standards emerge.”