Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

In Search of Catalyzing Events

November 15, 2009

Certain events serve as wake-up calls. In the case of some, the anticipation of these events is enough to spark action or change behavior – maybe even spur technology investment. As technology marketers, we need to recognize the opportunity that these events provide. Obviously, we also need to be ready to exploit them.

Which events could be catalyzing events from a technology purchasing decision? It could be as simple as the approach of a new millennium: Y2K fears spurred major investment. New regulation is an easy one to identify: IT buyers scrambled to upgrade security and implement data archiving and discovery software after the passage of the EU Data Protection Act and subsequent country-level legislation, as was also the case following passage of HIPAA, SOX, Basel II and others. The events of 9/11 certainly spurred concerns about cyber and other types of security. More recently, following last week’s blackouts in Brazil, leaders issued new commitments to energy reform. Natural disaster, crime waves and other negative events also catalyze technology investments.

sochi2014But, I’d like to focus on a few that we can anticipate. The Olympics and the FIFA World Cup are two that come to mind. South Africa will host the World Cup in 2010, and has already spent billions on new stadiums, renovations to existing stadiums and upgrades to their communications and transportation networks. Next up for the World Cup is Brazil as the host in 2014.  Two upcoming Olympics venues are also ripe for technology and infrastructure investment: Brazil will host the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and Russia has already broken ground in preparation for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.  For 2014, an estimated $580 million will be spent on construction and modernization of telecommunications in the region.

They will have large shoes – and Olympic sized budgets – to fill following the Chinese spending spree for the 2008 Olympics. The $40+ billion infrastructure budget included line items like 1 million video cameras as part of the $6.5 billion security budget for Beijing and $300 million for other Olympic venues.  Plus the media coverage of the actual sporting events.  That’s a lot of video to capture, transmit, and store.  US viewers alone downloaded 1.7 million video streams of US relay teams win against France.

In London, which is hosting the 2012 Summer Games, the budget is now just shy of $15 billion. That’s roughly quadruple projections from four years ago. Rio’s projected cost – at $14.4 billion – was the highest budget of any of the four cities competing for the 2016 summer games.

Bottom line: Be on the lookout for events that catalyze technology investments. Olympic events typically have Olympic sized technology budgets.

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Reaching real tech buyers in emerging markets virtually. Really!

October 14, 2009

Not all technology buyers in emerging markets are accessing the internet from mobile phones or dial-up connections.  In fact, many places in countries considered “emerging markets” are rapidly resembling more mature markets, in income levels and especially in mobility, internet access, and now broadband penetration.  Shanghai, for one, is probably better connected than some cities in the middle of the US.  What does that mean for technology marketers?  It means that they can leverage their complete toolbox of marketing tools to reach those audiences — and increasingly they are doing just that.

One tool that is rapidly entering the mainstream is the use of virtual events to connect with audiences far andvirtualevents_emergingmkts wide.  In Forrester’s Business Data Services Global Technology Adoption Survey, IT decision-makers in emerging markets report greater use of virtual events to inform purchasing decisions than their mature market counterparts — 42% in emerging and 37% in mature markets.  When compared to physical events, buyers in some countries — Chile, Mexico and  Vietnam — participate more in virtual events (see figure).  And, tech marketers are paying attention.  One of EMC’s virtual launch events attracted almost 8,000 attendees from over 80 countries.  And, you don’t have to be big to have that success.  Quest Software’s 2008 Quest Connect event attracted almost 1500 attendees from 20 countries.

Stay tuned for some tips on how to plan and execute a successful global virtual event.  And, in the meantime, take a look at my recent Forrester report, “Reach Real Global B2B Tech Audiences With Virtual Events: New Tools And Best Practices For B2B Marketing Beyond Borders.” And, attend my upcoming Forrester Teleconference, “Reach Real Global Audiences With Virtual Events,” on Monday, October 19, 2009, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Eastern time (18:00-19:00 UK time).

Global versus local: how do you get the messages right?

September 16, 2009

Some people melt over images of dogs; others recoil.  But, there is apparently a wide range of reactions in between.  And, one of HSBCs airport ads expresses it well.  Not only are there different emotional reactions to images: images also evoke different meanings for people.  An HSBC ad in Heathrow Airport in London shows a simple image of a pug (those small dogs with the wrinkled up faces) with three words: alarm clock, companion, accessory.    Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture.  I only wrote down the words.  Fortunately, I did that.  As I was describing it to someone without looking at my notes, I included “nuisance” among the words — guess that’s says something about what the picture meant to me.

SaaSreasons

(Click for a full-sized version)

The point of all of this is that marketing messages and images speak differently to different audiences.  Crafting messages that resonate best with a specific target audience requires localization.  For B2B audiences, it helps to know what the business drivers are for the audience: what are the goals of the company, what are the objectives set for specific organization, what are the things that keep the boss up at night.  For example, IT decision-makers across different regions adopt software as a service (versus purchasing licenses of a product) for a variety of reasons.  Understanding those reasons helps to determine the messaging that would resonate best with those decision-makers.  The data suggest cost-efficiency and ROI messages for some regions — North America and Western Europe— and time-to-market and competitive advantages in others — Asia Pacific and Middle East, Africa and Russia.

Global marketing also requires a degree of consistency.   How do you strike that balance?  My new report — Get the B2B Messages Right: Balance Global Consistency And Local Relevancy — discusses the challenge of getting the global messages right for local audiences, and provides some recommendations for how to do it.