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Posted by Daniel Klein on August 31, 2011
Based on strong interest from my previous blogs on choosing the right marketing vehicles, I figured I'd continue the discussion with another angle that's often vexing for tech marketers - how do marketing vehicles vary by geography?
Cultural preferences factor significantly into how technology decision-makers consume information as they go through the purchase process. In analyzing more than 20,000 interviews across the US, Europe, and Asia Pacific, we see that vehicle selection varies by region by up to 40%. For tech marketers, this means that straightforward localization of global programs won’t work. Instead, you must understand how cultural preferences shape vehicle preferences and build programs that map to the specific vehicles appropriate for each market. Let’s look at a detailed example and then some broad guidelines.
We get a lot of questions about vehicle preferences for the C-suite, so I’ll pick CFOs as our example. Across the US, Europe, and Asia Pacific, the CFO is a critical player at the beginning and end of the purchase process for investments in collaboration and virtualization technology. When we take a look at vehicle preference for CFOs across these regions, we find that CFOs in the US prefer a balanced mix approach (vendor site, search, in-person sales discussion, and online business print such as Forbes and The Wall Street Journal). CFOs in Europe prefer web vehicles (online business print, online tech print, and online tech info sites) and CFOs in Asia Pacific favor events and sales over web vehicles. In all regions, the CFO is involved and tech-savvy. However, a marketer needs a unique regional mix to reach and influence the CFO.
At a broader level, let’s look at a few guidelines on vehicle choice for technology decision-makers (TDMs) in these regions. Across awareness, consideration, and purchase, TDMs in Asia Pacific favor technology print journals and events. Whereas in Europe, TDMs tend to be more digitally oriented, using specific social media, search, and vendor websites. And finally in the US, TDMs use a balanced approach of digital and in person relationships with vendor sales. While it would be nice to build one program and apply it across these regions, it simply doesn’t work.
So as you begin building your next multi-geography campaign, remember vehicle selection varies up to 40% between geographies – it will serve you well.
About the data: These data points come from the Forrester Tech Marketing Navigator database and decision tool that helps tech marketers reach and influence their buyers. Forrester’s Tech Marketing Navigator measures how tech buyers and influencers consume marketing across awareness, consideration, and purchase. The data is collected through more than 20,000 interviews per year, covering 20-plus technology categories, across 11 geographies, and annually influences more than $4 billion in marketing program spend.