Expanding into the European market can be a boon for tech companies. According to Harvard Business Review, U.S. companies default to Europe for good reason: a well-run SaaS company at IPO derives about 30% of its global revenue from the region. Revenue opportunities like this are rare. However, to achieve these kinds of results, it’s important to ‘get it right’.
In this episode of AZK Meets, we speak with Amandine Servain, VP International Marketing, CM Group to find out how B2B companies can achieve growth and success in their European expansion journeys – and it’s not as straightforward as you might think. Discover why a small dose of humanity and big bold decisions go a long way in this competitive marketplace.
What does it take to grow a B2B company in Europe?
It’s a very interesting question because we usually see Europe as one market, but actually, it’s a multiplicity of countries with their own language, their own culture, and also their own marketing sophistication.
So you have to take a very global-to-local approach when it comes to Europe. Obviously, our brand CM Group is a global brand. But when we go to market, we have to meet the local needs. And so the way we do it, mostly in marketing, is by getting the content that we need that will match what our clients are looking for at the moment.
That also applies for the tactics that we're going to use. For example, an event that works in the U.K. might not work in France and a digital channel that works in Spain might not work in the Nordics. So we really have to have local people in our team that understand their market, so they can also drive and guide that local strategy.
What does it take to stand out from the crowd in the competitive European market?
We live in the world of image, video and entertainment. Marketers live in the creative world, and we have to take the same approach. And that's actually how you stand out. It’s the way you create and build your brand. You must have a disruptive approach to your brand strategy.
How does CM Group stand out and sell itself?
Ultimately, CM Group is a tech company. But we don’t want to talk tech. We want to talk marketing use cases and marketing challenges. The tech comes after. For example, think about a large retailer that has a retention problem. We come in to help them solve that problem, and we pitch the tech after. That’s what makes CM Group very different. We have multiple solutions that can solve many use cases. But we don’t talk tech. The tech comes after.
When it comes to B2B marketing tips and strategies, what really works?
There are two parts to this. We have the digital world, but this year, we have the ‘back to real’ strategy, back to meeting face-to-face with our clients and customers. So we are focusing on creating an event experience that will drive this conversation. For example, how can you meet clients and prospects in ways beyond a trade show that truly brings value to the face-to-face interaction? That’s the ‘real’ side.
Then, obviously, we’re a tech company and still leveraging the digital channel a lot. But we’re not just throwing something out to see what kind of fish we are going to catch. We have more of a spearfishing approach that involves understanding the customer, what they’re searching for and when. This is what we call the account-based marketing (ABM) strategy, and it’s really something that is growing in the B2B market now. And it’s made possible by the marketing technology evolution that we’re seeing right now in the market.
How can the ‘human element’ help a tech company differentiate?
Vendors face many challenges in the U.K. market. But, like anything, with the right tools, you do it by being authentic in the way you approach the market, especially when we’re talking about Europe. Be authentic. Don’t copy and paste from whatever you see in the U.S. and do it in the European market.
Try and test. Get the buy-in from your board. Then test the bold. You might fail, but at least you tested it. And if you succeed, then you can expand and work at scale, having a strategy that works in the new country. Remember, there’s nothing blocking you but yourself, a limiting belief.
Authored by Julie Cooper, Senior Content and Communications Specialist at AZK Media.
This article was also featured in LBB, one of the world's leading marketing publications.
At AZK Media, we thrive in helping technology companies break into new and emerging regions like APAC and UK/EMEA. To discover how we can help drive growth for your business, contact us. We look forward to discussing your expansion goals with you.