Does your marketing speak the language of IT pros worldwide?

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Peter Ross

VP, Corporate Marketing

New PictureNew Picturecontent translation and localizationMany resource constrained B2B marketers in North America grapple with the question of what’s the best strategy for translation and localization of their inventory of (English) content for international consumption. To get a better pulse on the specific preferences of global technology buyers, we recently surveyed over 2300 IT professionals worldwide to understand their content consumption biases, online research habits and their specific language requirements with regard to all stages and types of content. While many tech marketers may regard English as the global language of business, they may want to re-consider that approach especially when it comes to engaging buyers across specific countries in APAC, particularly China and Japan.

English-only content marketers beware

The good news is that some markets in EMEA and Latin America willingly accept and use lots of English content (mainly because of a lack of suitable local language content) which means you can effectively leverage your most successful English assets to start generating opportunities in these markets starting today. While English content will allow you to quickly and effectively enter non-English speaking EMEA and the emerging Latin American region, translation will eventually be needed to maximize your impact over the long term. There are some very noticeable exceptions to this strategy, since not all markets around the world are as accommodating or receptive to an English-only content approach and prefer to only consume content in their native language.

One of the most significant observations from our global research is even though English-language content will resonate with many non-English technology buyers worldwide, this isn’t true for a large portion of APAC. Specifically, in China and Japan, where there is only demand for content  translated in native language, regardless of the type or format of the material. Before you start translation of all of your content into Simplified Chinese or Japanese be sure to prioritize based on specific content types and buying stage. For example, Japanese technology buyers tend to consume a large variety of content in the early stages (white papers, case studies and product overviews), while Chinese IT buyers find case studies most effective when comparing vendors in the later buying stages. If your goal is to become a more dominant and credible brand in either of these two APAC markets, it’s imperative that you build a localization and translation strategy into your plan because simply recycling your English content in these markets is not an option. We recently produced a white paper on translation and localization that helps marketers make smarter decisions for developing and targeting content by region and country that can be a very effective starting point for you here.

Do’s and Don’ts of marketing to IT pros in APAC

APAC marketingThe full results of the research report “Content essentials for technology buying teams worldwide” provide an enormous amount of valuable detail, but here are some of the key takeaways for tech marketers focused on APAC and other emerging markets in this region:

  • Japanese buyers find face-to-face events very effective in the early stage of their buying cycle (100% respondents selected)
  • Chinese buyers find case studies  effective when comparing vendors (84% respondents selected)
  • Search engines and vendor websites are most effective information sources across all stages of the buying cycle in APAC
  • Cross-APAC respondents regard product literature and peer insights as the most effective content in all stages of their buying cycle
  • Majority of cross-APAC respondents view general social networks as the least effective information sources

This valuable insight from IT pros across APAC supports the premise of a recent Marketo blog which makes a clear case  that you have to do what’s right for your buyers in each market to determine what type of localized (or non-localized) content resonates best with your customer base. Unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all approach in a digital world without borders or time zones that continues to get flatter by the day. 

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APAC, APAC marketing, asia-pacific, china, content development, content strategy, global technology marketing, japan, localization, media consumption, media consumption research, technology marketing, translation

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