Sep 6, 2023

Mastering Localised Marketing in the B2B Tech Sector

By Matt Dodgson

Co-Founder - Recruiter & Marketer


In today’s global marketplace, the concept of localised marketing has become increasingly important for B2B tech companies. But what exactly is localised marketing? And how can it help companies succeed in a highly competitive industry? 

In this podcast, I explore the benefits of localised marketing, discuss when companies should consider implementing it, and a whole lot more with Lisa Vecchio, Global Vice President, Integrated Marketing at Aircall. 

Today’s Guest

Who they are: Lisa Vecchio is Global Vice President, Integrated Marketing at Aircall

A bit of background: Lisa’s career has taken her from Jersey, New York, to Australia, and now onto the UK, where she’s lived for the past eight years. During that time, Lisa has worked for a wide range of businesses, from early-stage B2B tech startups to large global corporations like Hootsuite and Expedia.

Where you can find Lisa:

Connect with Lisa on LinkedIn here

Prefer Video? Watch a full video of the podcast here…

What is localised marketing?

Localised marketing is a strategic approach where businesses tailor their marketing efforts to cater to the specific preferences, needs, and cultures of a particular geographic location or community. The primary objective of localised marketing is to engage with a targeted audience by offering content and promotions that resonate with their local experiences, customs, and sentiments.

This strategy can be particularly effective for B2B tech businesses aiming to establish a strong presence in multiple, diverse markets. And by acknowledging and integrating local nuances, tech brands can build more authentic connections with their audience, foster brand loyalty, and often achieve higher conversion rates compared to generic, broad-spectrum campaigns.

The benefits of localised marketing

Localised marketing offers several benefits for B2B tech companies. Here are some of the key advantages:

Local impact: Adapting to market maturity

Every market is going to have a different level of maturity, and Lisa emphasises the necessity of tailoring marketing strategies accordingly. Understanding that each market possesses distinct requirements and stages of development is key. By adjusting strategies, businesses can strike a balance between efficiency and scalability while respecting market differences.

  • Recognising the diverse levels of market maturity is crucial
  • Marketing strategies should be flexible to accommodate market-specific demands
  • Achieving equilibrium between operational efficiency and adapting to market uniqueness

Local relevancy: Cultural awareness and brand authenticity

Lisa underscores the role of cultural awareness in maintaining brand authenticity across markets. Language, visuals, and tone of voice are more than just communication tools—they are reflections of a brand’s identity. And to succeed, businesses must embrace local nuances while ensuring their brand essence remains intact.

  • Cultural nuances extend beyond language to encompass visuals and tone of voice
  • Authenticity in brand representation requires aligning with local cultural sensitivities
  • Ignorance of cultural relevance can jeopardise a brand’s reputation and impact

Gaining local insights: Staying connected to markets

Staying attuned to local trends and developments is a fundamental pillar of effective localisation. And Lisa highlights the significance of building strong customer relationships on the ground. Because through such relationships, tech businesses can gain valuable insights and respond promptly to changes in the competitive landscape.

  • Establishing relationships with local customers fosters a deeper understanding of market dynamics
  • Keeping an ear to the ground helps businesses capture emerging trends and shifts in preferences
  • Responding agilely to changes in the competitive landscape enhances a brand’s adaptability

When does a company need to think about localised marketing?

Localised marketing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Companies must carefully consider whether it is the right approach for their business. Here are a few scenarios that indicate when a company should start thinking about implementing localised marketing:

1. Expanding into new markets

When entering a new market, localised marketing can help companies establish a strong foothold and build brand awareness. It allows companies to connect with potential customers in a way that resonates with their unique needs and cultural context.

2. Serving diverse customer segments

If a company serves a diverse customer base with different languages, cultural backgrounds, and preferences, localised marketing becomes essential. By tailoring marketing messages to each segment, companies can ensure they effectively communicate their value proposition and drive customer engagement.

3. Adapting to regional variations

Some products or services may have different demand patterns or use cases in various regions. In these cases, localised marketing can help companies adapt their offerings and marketing strategies to better serve customers in each region. This flexibility allows companies to tap into market opportunities and gain a competitive advantage.

Lisa adds:

‘So first ask yourself, are there certain markets or regions that would benefit from having a localised strategy? As an example, I’d also think about the following:

  • Do you already have a sales team there? 
  • Are you doing a lot of event-based marketing in the region?
  • Does the time-zone make it difficult for your current team to support local teams? 
  • Is the local language a challenge to support at a central level?’

Thinking about those points and considering the questions will give you an indication of whether it’s the right time to think about localised marketing.

How UK based B2B tech startup Givergy approached localisation

When Lisa returned to the UK after living in Australia, she took a role as Director of Marketing with Givergy, a fundraising platform. 

And with a global remit, a small UK team, limited budgets, and finite resources, Lisa followed these strategies and tactics to strike the delicate balance between global strategy and local execution.

Scaling up: The journey from one to seven

Lisa’s team embarked on their journey with a solitary marketer. Over time, the team’s scope expanded to encompass critical marketing functions, such as design, content marketing, paid media, events, demand generation, and social media. This expansion was not only a necessity but also a strategic move to cater to the evolving demands of their growing audience.

Centralisation vs. localisation: Finding the balance

As the team grew, the challenge emerged: how to maintain a consistent brand and storytelling across diverse markets. Lisa’s solution was a careful blend of centralisation and localisation. The analogy of “big rocks, pebbles, and sand” perfectly encapsulates this strategy. While central marketing functions acted as the stable foundation (big rocks), localised campaigns added the tailored touch needed to resonate with specific audiences (pebbles and sand).

Expanding to new markets: resource allocation dilemma

With the team’s expansion, they ventured into new markets like Hong Kong, Australia, and the US West Coast. Resource allocation became a pivotal concern, prompting Lisa to ask herself: Which markets hold the most growth potential? Allocating resources strategically to capitalise on opportunities became paramount to achieving success across these regions.

The campaign-in-a-box tactic: making marketing simple

One tactic Lisa introduced was the campaign-in-a-box concept. Recognising that local teams couldn’t embark on extensive global travel, she simplified the process. By providing templates, clear instructions, and a well-defined strategy, Lisa empowered her teams to execute campaigns locally while minimising resource constraints. A standout example was the Giving Tuesday campaign, where this approach yielded locally relevant content across various markets without overwhelming the teams.

Tips for setting up an integrated marketing team to effectively plan and execute a localisation strategy

Defining roles and responsibilities: the building blocks of success

When setting up an integrated marketing team, defining roles and responsibilities at the project’s inception lays the groundwork for smooth execution. Lisa emphasises that having the right teams at the table, working in sync at the appropriate times, is key. This strategy helps prevent the common pitfall of overcomplicating projects with too many contributors. By setting clear expectations, teams can focus on their strengths and contribute effectively to the collective effort.

  • Setting Clear Expectations: Clearly outlining who is responsible for what ensures everyone knows their role in the project’s success.
  • Optimal Team Inclusion: Involving the right teams at the right moments prevents unnecessary complexity and enhances efficiency.
  • Avoiding Over-Complication: A focused approach reduces confusion and streamlines decision-making processes.

Establishing workflows and processes: the path to consistency

Creating well-defined workflows and processes is the linchpin of successful collaboration. Lisa’s insight reveals that structuring operations based on team members’ expertise simplifies complex tasks and increases productivity. This approach leads to the creation of repeatable playbooks and shared expectations, fostering a culture of consistency and predictability.

  • Repeatable Playbooks: Developing standardised processes ensures consistent outcomes and efficient project execution.
  • Simplified Operations: Clear workflows reduce ambiguity and enable teams to navigate tasks smoothly.
  • Expectation Management: Transparent processes minimise unexpected challenges and promote cohesive teamwork.

Leveraging expertise for shared goals: balancing creativity and structure

One of Lisa’s key points is leveraging subject-matter expertise for collective success. While embracing creative thinking, teams must align their efforts towards shared objectives. This balanced approach ensures that individual expertise contributes to a common goal without stifling innovation.

  • Subject Matter Expertise: Utilising individual strengths enhances problem-solving and decision-making within the team.
  • Balancing Creativity: Encouraging creative thinking while aligning it with overall objectives promotes innovative solutions.
  • Cohesive Team Efforts: Harmonising diverse voices towards shared goals fosters a sense of unity and purpose.

Further ReadingThe Benefits of Integrated Marketing Strategies

Overcoming resistance to change: embracing new ways of working

Lisa acknowledges the challenges of change resistance within organisations. However, she stresses the need to address concerns and highlight the benefits of adopting new approaches. And in times of economic uncertainty, embracing change and adapting to evolving circumstances are essential for sustained success.

  • Acknowledging Challenges: Recognising and addressing change resistance is crucial for smooth transitions.
  • Highlighting Benefits: Demonstrating the advantages of new ways of working encourages buy-in and enthusiasm.
  • Adapting to Change: Flexibility and adaptability are pivotal in navigating challenging economic conditions.

Thriving in challenging times: maximising efficiency for success

Throughout the podcast, Lisa has underscored that efficient teamwork is paramount, especially when economic challenges arise. Efficient collaboration throughout the marketing team allows organisations to accomplish more with fewer resources, boosting productivity and ensuring business success even in tough times.

  • Navigating Economic Challenges: Efficient teamwork is a valuable asset during economic downturns, enabling organisations to weather challenges effectively.
  • Maximising Productivity: Focusing on streamlined processes allows teams to achieve more with limited resources.
  • Driving Business Success: The power of efficient teamwork extends beyond challenges, positioning organisations for sustained growth.

When hiring someone to lead your integrated marketing team, here are the skills and attributes that you should look for

While specialists in areas like content or digital marketing are crucial, leading an integrated marketing function requires a generalist’s perspective. As such, Lisa suggests you look for these skills and attributes:

  1. A broad understanding of the marketing mix and sufficient knowledge of each channel without necessarily delving deep into each one 
  2. A holistic view of the entire marketing funnel 
  3. The ability to craft consistent narratives and stories for both external marketing and internal team alignment. Influence is crucial in this role, especially when needing to convince stakeholders, including the C-suite, about a different approach to demand generation. 
  4. Effective project management skills, with the ability to ensure the right processes and people are aligned on time

A few other highlights to look out for in this episode:

  1. How smaller teams can better understand cultures when they don’t have a presence in the country
  2. When a company should think about localisation