Selligent leader's tips on growing a martech company in Europe
International expansion is exciting, bringing with it opportunities to gain new customers, corner the competition and make a difference in a different part of the world. However, there is one caveat – there's no one size fits all solution. Taking root and finding success in a landscape as competitive, diverse and opportunity-rich as Europe takes an approach as unique as the region itself.
Back with another can’t-miss episode of AZK Meets, our Founder and Managing Director Azadeh Williams speaks with Ramses Bossuyt, Global VP, Client Success at Selligent Marketing Cloud, a CM Group brand revered for delivering an intelligent omnichannel marketing cloud platform, discussing the ins and outs of successfully expanding into the European market.
From understanding the nuances of each of Europe’s 44 unique countries to fostering a mature partner landscape and the importance of amplifying customer success stories, nothing is left uncovered.
Taking global expansion local
Want to succeed in a country as multicultural as Europe? Then get to know it's different parts, Bossuyt says. “It’s really important to understand the diversity of the continent. Norway isn’t Spain. France is not Poland. The culture is different in each of these regions and so is the maturity, in terms of digital marketing. Understanding that and being able to incorporate that into your vision and your mission as a company is really crucial. It’s a huge milestone that will set you up for success,” he insists.
Of course, it also takes recruiting the right people with the right skill set and cultural fit within your company to succeed. But something many companies don’t realise is the importance of building a mature partner landscape, especially regarding implementation and technology partners. “Building good relationships with them and partnering together on key accounts really accelerates both organisations’ growth, allowing them to sustain business here in Europe,” Bossuyt shares.
Building trust is key
When it comes to brand awareness in new regions, honesty, transparency and authenticity came to light as the strongest takeaways. Actioning this in a new and emerging market, Bossuyt reveals, requires taking a localised and human approach.
“We invest heavily not only in customer success but also in deliverability,” he explains. “It’s important to have people present in all of the local regions, speaking the customers’ language and also having a deep understanding of the digital maturity of each of the regions. Being local, approachable and speaking the same language is a big differentiator that can humanise the interactions brands have with their customers.”
Selligent has been around for quite a long time. In fact, it’s been part of the European landscape for more than 30 years. This longevity has earned it respect as a trusted, established brand with years and years of customer success stories to lean on.
However, Bossuyt shares, they can’t rely on reputation alone. “We have to make sure we keep a customer-centric approach not only within the success team but also within the wider organisation,” he explains.
“So when we are engineering and developing products, we incorporate customer feedback while taking into account market and industry trends as well. Having that mindset of being local helps us to ensure that whatever we take on is in the best interest of our customers. The feedback they offer is precious.”
Overcome challenges by leveraging customer success
A common challenge when it comes to growing in new and emerging markets is getting the local sales and marketing teams aligned. When they’re in alignment, everything works like a well-oiled machine. It’s key to hitting the ground running.
“That alignment is crucial to succeed and almost always a guaranteed path to failure,” Bossuyt confirms. “For me, it’s always important to ask the sales leaders what their understanding of customer success is. For example, the value and role of customer service and vice versa.
“Selligent has a good understanding of sales, marketing and customer success and knows how they can play together in a well-oiled machine – not only in terms of go-to-market strategies but also in regard to internal collaboration.”
Selligent has piles of use cases and success stories of brands that have been really successful, using its technology to increase revenue, prove ROI and solve critical business problems – all of which can be leveraged in the sales cycle to showcase the effectiveness of the product and how it can serve their prospects’ needs.
“We’re focused on building a customer advocacy network,” Bossuyt shares. “We want to leverage testimonials and success stories, whereby the trust in our brands will speak for itself. Our customers have truly become ambassadors of our product because they see the value it adds to their business.”
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.
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