In the first blog of this series I examined four categories – market, procedural, demand generation and cultural variations – that together shape the job of a European marketer. In this fourth blog in the series, I take a look at the demand tactics we use and, more importantly, how we use them to attract and engage prospects. In a recent European demand creation study, we collected information from marketers across the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain with the aim of identifying the highest-rated demand creation tactics. The results were fascinating. While marketers across the globe have access to many of the same tactics (e.g. email, webinars, search engine marketing, display advertising), how we combine these raw ingredients into effective integrated campaigns differs from country to country. Here are just some of the findings we uncovered.
We asked European marketers about the offers they find most effective. Across all six countries surveyed, marketers agreed the content they are sharing via social communities is the most effective at attracting prospects. As we looked further down the buyer’s journey, however, variations appeared. In France, social community content was reported as the most effective offer in the education, solution and selection phases. In Germany however, white papers were seen as the more effective tool during the education phase. In the UK, Netherlands and Italy, newsletters worked best during the education phase. In Spain, demos topped the effectiveness list during the solution phase. And in Germany, the Netherlands and Italy, price quotes and incentives were seen as highly effective across a number of buyer’s journey phases.
We also asked marketers about the delivery mechanisms they find most effective. Across all six countries surveyed, marketers agreed that partnering with professional associations that focus on a target persona is the most effective way to reach prospects. Once again though, as we looked more deeply into the buyer’s journey, variations appeared. In the UK, email was the most effective delivery mechanism in the education, solution and selection phases. In France, contact acquisition and content syndication were seen as more effective. In the Netherlands and Germany, direct mail was seen as more effective than email in the education and solution phases, respectively. And in Italy and Spain, search engine advertising was seen as more effective than direct mail across a number of buyer’s journey phases.
The takeaway is that each region has its own secret recipe for creating the perfect campaign. Marketers looking to attract prospects across a number of countries need to be mindful that while the tactics they use may stay the same, how and when they should be used to best effect may vary by country.
It’s also important to acknowledge that prospect preferences can change over time, and marketers are a key catalyst in that process. Good marketing has the power to influence the way prospects consume content, the way they interact with vendors and the choices they make. Creating the perfect combination of tactics should be thought of as a journey, not a destination. Good chefs are always tinkering with their recipes, leading them to discover new combinations that customers love and other restaurants rush to emulate. The same is true of good marketers.
If you would like to learn more about the SiriusDecisions European Demand Creation Study, check out our webinar replays to hear what European marketers said about the teams, tools and processes they rely on to support their demand creation efforts.
Isabel Montesdeoca is the Director of EMEA Research at SiriusDecisions. Isabel is an experienced European sales and marketing leader with an insatiable curiosity about how businesses can improve their b-to-b demand creation efforts. With more than 25 years of experience at companies both large and small in roles ranging from marketing and sales to product leadership, Isabel brings a unique perspective to the need for marketing, sales and product strategic alignment as an essential catalyst for business growth. Follow Isabel on Twitter @mimdeoca.