How Do You Solve a Problem like EMEA Demand Generation?

How Do You Solve a Problem like EMEA Demand Generation?

Delivering effective demand generation for the EMEA market is far from easy. With 24 languages spoken across the EU alone, translation services are useful, but they can only take you so far. You also need to consider cultural nuances and permitted variations to data and marketing regulations such as GDPR. And for B2B Marketing to be truly effective, you need to prioritize contacts that are in-market for your offering.

Unless your team has the skills and capabilities to meet these requirements, you risk a lackluster EMEA performance. Yet this territory represents a significant part of any global brand’s footprint. So, what does it take to get it right? With an effective blend of traditional skills and innovative Marketing Technologies, you can steal a march on the competition. Here are three factors that can boost success.

Build (Or Outsource To) a Talented Multilingual Team

Native language skills are a vital component of EMEA Marketing. Translation services might be adequate for email communications and online content. But if you can’t nurture prospects via a dedicated, educated telemarketing team that understands your offering and how it solves buyers’ challenges, you’re at a disadvantage.

Whether your focus is on inbound or outbound demand generation, being able to build a rapport with prospects remains central to B2B Marketing success. And if you want to enrich or augment your data with compliant contacts and information, the ability to understand local regulatory variations and conduct natural, unscripted conversations is a must.

With a territory as diverse as EMEA, all multilingual activity – from telemarketing to copy translation – benefits from a centralized approach. Having one department or partner to coordinate everything can help overcome some of the complexity. For instance, it’s a good idea to keep product and service propositions simple, with cross-market appeal. Focusing on similarities across multiple markets avoids the over-complication that can arise when you drill too far into regional differences.

Use Intent Data to Prioritize Marketing Activities

With competent native speakers on hand, it’s possible to build dynamic EMEA account lists and nurture them strategically. Coupling this with intent data enables you to focus multilingual demand generation efforts on the right people at the right time.

Intent data doesn’t just reveal insights to help personalize Marketing messages. It also enables you to score accounts’ readiness to purchase by comparing online research activity to a baseline established over the 52 weeks prior.

  • A score slightly above the baseline indicates that an account is in the research phase of the buyer journey. It may convert sometime in the future, but there’s little point investing much time or effort in the short term.
  • An account gradually increasing from the baseline may not be ready to convert yet. However, contacts are likely to respond well to high-level messaging that addresses business problems.
  • A noticeable surge above the baseline indicates that an account is coming closer to making a purchase decision. It’s worth investing significant resources in presenting your product as a solution to their needs.

For the best results, you need to continuously monitor changes in account behavior. With intent data, you can dynamically assess intent signals, then adapt EMEA demand generation efforts accordingly.

Identify Accounts That Aren’t on Your Radar

Do you have a handle on your total active market for EMEA? The chances are that you don’t. Even if you’ve created a detailed list of target accounts, potential prospects can still fall through the cracks. This is another area where identifying prospects in terms of purchase intent can be beneficial, enabling you to extend your list with lookalike companies.

For instance, you may have a target account with a mid-range intent score that is steadily rising. If you know how many people work there, current solutions they have in place, their financial situation etc. you can search for additional companies with similar profiles.

You might not always find a 1:1 match between rising-intent accounts and lookalikes. They might operate in an entirely different category or be based in a different country. However, if they’re in a similar stage of growth or development, they’re likely to be facing similar challenges that your product or solution might address. This is an effective way to reveal potentially lucrative prospects that wouldn’t otherwise be on your radar.

The Key to EMEA Demand Generation

EMEA is the Achilles heel for many global B2B brands. But combining the interpersonal and interpretive skills of native speakers with the latest approaches to intent data can unlock a rich seam of in-market buyers. Speak their language, address their problems and watch conversions soar.

Read more: Tech Talk: Bringing Order to the Chaos of Inbound Marketing Requests

How to Tell When Buyers Are Buying: 3 Ways to Decipher Intent

How to Tell When Buyers Are Buying: 3 Ways to Decipher Intent

Purchase intent is a hot topic in B2B marketing. So naturally, everyone’s got something to say about it. The trouble is, it’s now at risk of becoming ‘just another buzzword’, when it has a lot to offer B2B brands that want to keep ahead in the digital age.

Aberdeen LogoSo, let’s cut through the hype. What is intent data, and how can it be harnessed by marketers?

Strike While the Iron’s Hotma

In a B2B context, intent data spotlights solutions or services an organization is likely to purchase in the near future. When a business is in-market for a big-ticket item, there’s usually a lot of preparation and thought involved. This leads to an uplift in employees’ online research related to the product category. So, tracking and analyzing online behavioral trends within a target account over time can give a good indication of near term and future investments. A baseline ‘intent score’ is established, and as it increases in relation to specific categories, it reflects a growing propensity to purchase.

Read More: Consumer Targeting: Using Purchasing Intent to Close the Deal

Benefits of this data for marketers are manifold. It unlocks valuable insights, enabling account-based marketing activity to become more focused, effective and efficient. Efforts can be geared towards relevant accounts that are most likely to convert to a sale. It boosts the quality of leads in the pipeline and enables the warmest opportunities to be identified and prioritized. Intent-qualified prospects tend to move through the pipeline faster and convert at a higher rate than those who have visited a stand at an event or viewed a one-off piece of content.

Smart use of intent data can also generate better long-term win-rates. When you know which themes or issues companies tend to be preoccupied with at different stages of the buyer journey, you can hone content and contact strategies accordingly. Insights can be used to enrich ongoing sales and marketing, shaping investment to drive continual and tangible improvement in business outcomes.

How Do You Harness Purchase Intent?

There are three core ways to capture intent data. They all have pros and cons. And each method uses fundamentally different approaches to categorize online behavior and separate true intent signals from general noise. The secret is to find the right blend of data, then leverage insights intelligently to create an evolving view of purchase intent related to your organization’s offering. It’s an approach that demands true alignment between marketing and sales as it relates to account and lead scoring as well as wider ongoing communications.

  • Content consumption

The various stages of a typical buyer journey can be linked to definitive research behaviors. So, tracking the consumption of content in categories associated with your products and services across third party websites and online platforms can be very revealing.

Firstly, you need to establish a baseline for ongoing consumption in a given category. From here, you can follow the behavioral patterns of specific accounts. Above-average consumption of relevant, contextual content could indicate that research is being conducted as a precursor to purchase.

This scalable approach draws on various publishers, blogs, peer-to-peer networks and review sites. It generates a good depth and breadth of intent data, as well as ongoing visualization of the buyer journey.

Read More: Why You Need to Make Intent Data Fit For Your Business

  • Your own website

Another source of intent data is your own website. As with third-party content consumption, rolling up data for web visitors at the account level gives you a valuable seam of insight. Combine this with external intent data and you have the beginnings of a 360-degree view. This enables purposeful actions to be taken, ensuring messaging and campaign strategies are aligned with buyer needs.

Understanding what an account is doing on your site — and how they arrived there (through a campaign or organically) is invaluable. It establishes a knowledge base at the account level, which helps drive timeliness and relevance across all sales and marketing touchpoints.

However, using your own data in isolation has limitations. Since most online research is likely to happen on third-party sites, it will hinder your ability to make educated decisions about how to handle each account. It’s better to merge internal and external signals, then begin the process of building out a marketing/sales playbook involving marketing technology, inside and direct sales efforts.

  • Registered users

When users physically sign up or register to access a website’s full functionality or certain pieces of content, every visit or download is deemed to signal intent. The titles of pages visited, or documents downloaded, determine the category in which the user is placed. If consent has been given to the website owner, they can sell users’ contact information to third parties.

The scope of this approach is quite narrow. It only extends to one website, or a closed community of sites, per user. So there’s no visibility of the buyer journey beyond the single act of registering for access or downloading content. Nevertheless, it can enable highly targeted marketing to individuals who are actively interested in relevant topics, and are therefore more likely to engage and convert.

Read More: The Power of Recency in Reaching Your Prospects: How Consumer Intent Has Evolved

Is it worth it?

Capturing intent data is the easy part. Tuning in to intent signals, and not getting distracted by irrelevant noise, is more challenging. You also have to filter out false positives, then find ways to leverage insights effectively.

An intent-led strategy is not for the faint-hearted. Unlocking value from the data requires dedicated, expert analysis and long-term commitment. But it doesn’t necessarily involve huge tech investments. Most companies don’t need new software. They just need to make existing software work better with intent data.

When it’s handled well, intent data can underpin better marketing. Tests at Aberdeen show it’s possible to determine which companies are in-market to buy a solution or service with up to 91% accuracy, and in good time to engage with them before they progress too far on the buyer journey.

Separating the wheat from the chaff at the front end of the marketing process ensures every marketing dollar is spent better and works harder.

Read More: Bombora Brings Hyper-Personalized ABM to Marketo Powered by Intent Data

Six Ways You Should Be Using Market Intelligence

Six Ways You Should Be Using Market Intelligence

aberdeenApply Insight, Not Hindsight, to Boost B2B Marketing Success

With buyer data at an all-time high, it’s ironic that many B2B marketers still rely on gutfeel and hindsight over knowledge and insight. We’ve found that many brands are essentially gambling on six of the most important aspects of strategy development and implementation. But it would be much better to apply market intelligence and get more scientific with marketing spend. Here’s how.

Product roadmaps: Where are you going?

The intuition and vision of product managers plays an important role in the development of roadmaps. But ideally, this should run alongside evidence-led decisions rooted in hard data and scientific analysis. You can achieve this by analyzing data that gives true insight into how your product will resonate with buyers and how much revenue it’s likely to generate.

Start off by identifying a handful of metrics that reveal actual buyer habits. This data can be tracked over time and used to strategic advantage. It provides valuable intelligence on how to prioritize different elements of the roadmap, as well as helping to shape decisions along the way.

Read More: What Type of Content is Best for Lead Generation?

Segmentation: Who are you going after?

Segmenting targets in terms of organization size or location will only take you so far. It’s more effective to combine this with additional factors that strongly indicate demand and propensity to purchase. In the technology space, this ranges from installed technology and IT budget to online searches that typically pre-empt purchases three to 12 months down the line. It’s also important to understand how buyers’ awareness and consideration of your brand stacks up versus competitors across segments.

To ensure this activity is focused and effective, any characteristics you focus on must be clearly defined and easily observed – like online search trends that correlate with future purchases. They should deliver large enough segments to facilitate specific targeting. And they should be easy to measure, so you can make prudent decisions about how much budget and effort to invest where.

Read More: For Brands, It’s Time To Start Paying Attention…To Attention

Positioning: How are you differentiating yourself?

Harnessing and continually monitoring data on competitor messaging and brand values is vital to ensure you can carve a unique proposition and brand territory, rather than simply becoming a ‘me too’.

You might consider tracking and analyzing some of the following competitor factors, or investing in professional competitor surveys to get a handle on:

  • Online messaging and tone of voice – how are competitors presenting themselves? Can you out-maneuver them?
  • Content marketing and news releases – what are they shouting about? How can you go one step further?
  • Live job vacancies – these can give early insights into where the company is investing in or anticipating growth.

Detailed analysis of competitor data unlocks a better understanding of the wider environment in which you operate. This can help your business stay one step ahead, making strategic and intelligent moves to differentiate in a way that resonates with buyers and maintains product-market fit.

Read More: The Trouble with Digital Advertising Agencies

Messaging: How are you connecting with your target market?

Understanding the evolving concerns, priorities and pain points of buyers is both essential and entirely possible in the digital age. Investing in online research to monitor and analyze social media activity across multiple platforms can reveal a wealth of insight surrounding what they’re actively in-market to purchase.

Tracking the topics that matter most to buyers, based on their online research, can underpin the development of messages that strike a chord. You can optimize what you’re saying based on the issues, challenges or needs they are preoccupied with at any given moment.

Messaging can also be enhanced via competitor awareness. If you know what competitors are saying to customers, you can think of ways to go one better. And an impartial appraisal of how you compare to competitors across key capabilities facilitates more sophisticated messaging.

Read More:  Amazon’s Prime Day ‘18 Witnessed 3x More Sales Than Usual

Demand Gen: How are you connecting with contacts who are in-market?

The topics that matter most to buyers – what they’re searching for, downloading or reading – should form the backbone of the content strategy. This, in turn, enhances demand generation activity. Offering in-market buyers exactly what they need, precisely when they need it is the smartest way to generate leads that are ripe for conversion.

When it comes to prioritizing segments for different types of marketing, insights surrounding buyer awareness and consideration of your brand are paramount. There’s no point investing in demand generation activity for a segment where awareness of your brand is low. Focus instead on those segments that already know you, or even better, are considering you.

Read More: Keeping up with Everyone’s Insatiable Appetite for Visual Content

Content: How do you know which topics are trending?

The internet is awash with content. Unfortunately, much of it is either not very good or not very effective. Scientific use of data can ensure you don’t fall into this trap.

Tracking how segments engage with content, and which pieces can be aligned with prospects who go on to convert, can facilitate more objective content planning. Over time, this can spark a virtuous cycle of continual improvement, offering more clarity on the buyer journey and leveraging content that is valued by target audiences.

If you’ve been flying blind when it comes to important marketing decisions, you’re not alone. Traditionally, it was impossible for B2B marketers to know exactly who was in-market for their goods, let alone who was aware of or actively considering their brand. But those days are gone. Accessing and leveraging market intelligence is critical to success in the digital age. It’s time to start making investment decisions that are led by insight, not hindsight.

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GDPR: Developing a Proportionate Response

Aberdeen Group logoGDPR: Developing a proportionate response

The ticking of the GDPR clock is getting louder, and eye-watering fines for non-compliance have captured the attention of business leaders operating in the EU. But with data playing a critical role in the revenue-generating activity, it’s important to ensure both data protection and data use requirements are met. With a considered approach, it’s possible to create a compliant environment that doesn’t put a stranglehold on marketing.

Also Read: Marketers Must Move To The Beat Of The GDPR Drum

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation is the most significant development in data protection for EU citizens for decades. It sets out rules for the handling and processing of personal data – or personally identifiable information (PII) – whether it is stored in the EU or overseas. Any organization marketing to individuals in Europe will need to comply, both in B2B and B2C scenarios. Data related to company decision makers is considered PII, so it falls squarely under the GDPR remit. And, despite Brexit, marketing in the UK is also covered.

A major implication is the requirement for individuals to actively ‘opt-in’ to receive business communications and for their data to be processed. This poses a challenge for marketers, and in many cases has led to conflict between in-house legal and marketing teams. Legal professionals insist on full, unambiguous opt-in, while marketers fear that this will compromise growth-driving initiatives. However, there are ways to overcome this deadlock as distinct sets of data can be treated differently.

Also Read: How to Beat Procrastination with a GDPR Marketing Compliance Plan?

One size does not fit all

When it comes to the active processing of personal data of EU subjects, there will be six legal grounds post-GDPR. Of these, two apply to marketers: unambiguous consent and legitimate interest.

Unambiguous consent – or full opt-in – is the gold standard. For maximum effect, both digital engagement and live calling need to be deployed to proactively request opt-ins. For a pan-European opt-in campaign, this necessitates a multilingual approach. And for prospective customers, identifying prime targets with a high propensity to use your company is an important first step, focusing activity to deliver more tangible benefits. This approach requires significant investment to comprehensively cover existing customers and prospects.

Also Read: 82% of European Consumers Plan to View, Limit, or Delete Their Data

However, the regulation stipulates that companies can process and profile personal data under legitimate interests in place of unambiguous consent in some circumstances. A robust 3-stage assessment must be carried out and documented to ensure transparency and accountability. UK-based joint industry group the Data Protection Network has published detailed guidance on this topic. For instance, here at Aberdeen, for data that doesn’t have full opt-in, we conduct a balancing test to ascertain that:

  1. We have legitimate business interests in processing the personal data
  2. Processing is necessary in pursuit of these interests
  3. The rights of the individuals who are the subjects of the personal data we process have been taken into account and do not override our interests.

Any organization wanting to process personal data in the absence of unambiguous opt-in needs to follow the same steps. If you obtain data from a third-party provider, it is important to understand whether the subjects have given unambiguous consent or if legitimate interests have been properly observed. Should the data have been processed under the legitimate interests provision, any future processing will require a further balancing test.

Also Read: Is GDPR Really Changing Ad Tech?

Striving for a frictionless outcome

The May deadline for GDPR is fast approaching, but it’s vital that businesses don’t lose sight of why they need data in the first place. In-house legal teams may be predisposed to insist on unambiguous consent. But understanding the more complex legitimate interest provision, and applying it when appropriate, will be a major facilitator for insight-led business processes.

Introducing policies for the way different classes of data are handled is a good starting point. Business leaders, legal teams and marketers need to collaborate to ensure GDPR rules are satisfied without posing an undue threat to business growth. After all, investing in ways to safeguard data is counterintuitive if the teams requiring that data are no longer able to function.

Recommended Read: GDPR: Take a Long, Hard Look at Yourselves in 2018