Best practices for B2B marketing localisation

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Five tips on how to increase your chances of international marketing success with marketing localisation

The Internationalisation of Business: Best Practices for B2B Marketing Localisation

Thanks to the endless capabilities of the World Wide Web, companies nowadays can compete on markets they would have never had the chance to infiltrate more than a decade ago.

Do You Localise as You Globalise?

Globalization has created enormous market opportunities for B2B companies, but has also resulted in increased global competition. Organisation seeking international market success need to ensure that their multi-language websites are properly localised.

As a company specialising in B2B marketing, we realise that entering new markets is never easy. In this article we will give you five tips on how to increase your chances of international marketing success with marketing localisation.

#1 Don't Get Lost in Translation

There are some languages Google translate doesn't speak and website localisation is one of them. Localisation goes beyond translation - whether you are creating content collateral or putting together ad campaigns, your efforts should go beyond simple translation. You ought to intepret the culture and local nuances of the market you are targeting to ensure your success. Like David Ogilvy once said:

"If you're trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think."

Besides, where users live does not necessarily determine their native language. Countries like Luxembourg, Switzerland and Belgium are officially multi-lingual, while others like Singapore have large international expat communities. Effective localised websites should allow for the language to be specified independently to suit the user’s preferred language.

#2 Gain Local Market Intelligence

The odds are that the opportunities for marketing your business overseas may significantly differ, requiring an entirely different go-to-market strategy.

In order to ensure your marketing efforts are effective you need to gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding about the international market you are planning to infiltrate. Don't make blind assumptions about needs, end goals and pain points - talk to the right people to validate your market approach.

#3 Revise Your Marketing Approach

Don't just assume that the marketing channels you are currently using to promote your business will be as effective on foreign markets. In some countries, investing in outbound might prove to be more effective, while in others - effective mobile marketing could sky rocket your marketing efforts.

Same goes for social media marketing - although there are some social media channels that are considered more effective for B2B (e.g. LinkedIn trumps Facebook), that might not be the case for your international market. For example, Xing is a better social network to utilise if you are planning to market your business to the DACH region.

#4 Make Friends, Seek Partners

Entering a foreign market is like relocating to a foreign country - you are putting yourself for a lot of risk. Before you invest energy and resources into launching your international marketing efforts, make some friends. Build relationships with potential customers and partners beforehand.

#5 Set Realistic Expectations

Don't rely solely on marketing to build a successful international B2B business. One of the key components for success is to have sober and realistic expectations. Entering a new market is an investment with strings attached - one of them being patience. If you are expecting your marketing efforts to deliver the same results internationally as they do at home, you are up for one big disappointment.

As the global economy rebounds, opportunities beyond traditional markets will continue to expand. Your local audiences will have new pain points and specific needs that must be addressed. More and more B2B organisations are beginning to invest in marketing localisation - developing new content, finding new and more engaging visuals, translating collateral, or launching altogether different campaigns. Higher priority initiatives such as social media and content marketing will require localisation to reach new global audiences and will push B2B companies to take the next step in order to ensure their international market success.