HubSpot’s newly published 7th State of Inbound 2015 survey brought to light some of the major inbound marketing challenges facing companies around the world. From a global perspective, there’s plenty to think about with regard to the differences between perceived challenges in different regions.
The survey asked a series of questions about how regional professionals ranked several marketing challenges, including:
- Proving the ROI of their marketing activities
- Securing sufficient budget
- Managing their website
- Identifying the best technologies for their needs
- Targeting content for an international audience
- Team training
- Attracting and hiring top talent
- Securing an executive sponsor
Survey samples included companies from Australia and New Zealand (ANZ); Asia Pacific (APAC); Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA); Latin America (LATAM); and, North America (NA). By a considerable margin, each region indicated that “proving the ROI of their marketing activities” was their greatest concern. Results were more mixed when it came to other factors, including targeting content for an international audience.
Despite globalization and an increasingly homogenized world, vast differences in regions remain. Respondents from the Asia-Pacific region listed “targeting content for an international audience” as one of their primary challenges, while this challenge was less significant in other parts of the world.
Asia-Pacific Marketing Challenges
The APAC results may reflect the region’s size, significant cultural diversity and recognition of a greater need for localized messaging. Whatever reason for the anomaly, it’s a wonderful reminder of an inbound basic: that
"Inbound is about being a part of the conversation …and being part of that conversation means sharing helpful, relevant content with the world.” Inbound works because “that content acts as a magnet, or beacon to capture your prospects’ attention so your potential customers come to you.” *
Before inbound marketers ever move to close a prospect, they have already engaged them with interesting material that fits into their world. So in a sense, localization is built-in to inbound marketing.
This highlights an important concept: inbound marketers know their potential buyers well. They know what will lead them from one stage of the buyer’s journey to the next, and they are intimately acquainted with their lifestyles and cultural habits.
Things can go very wrong when they don’t, especially with international campaigns. Consider the 2002 Abercrombie and Fitch fiasco when they produced T-shirts with slogans like “Two Wong’s can make it White," or the instance when Grupo Bimbo, a Mexican company, tried to introduce Bimbo Bread to the US. Mistakes like these can be costly to the bottom line and to a company’s reputation, indicating a need for informed, sensitive, localized content.
To have an impact, content needs to answer pertinent questions, solve critical problems, remove pain points and address specific needs. In diverse areas, inbound marketing by nature enhances the localization of campaigns, providing the best possible connection with potential buyers that may one day become your biggest fans.
*Hubspot Inbound Marketing, 2014