Marketing technology products to different cultures presents many challenges, whether involving languages, mindsets, social propensities or budgets. But it also presents plenty of opportunity, which is why IT review and sales-contact company TechTarget this month introduced its SearchDataCenter en Espaņol service to reach IT professionals in Latin America.
The Spanish-language website provides advice, best practices and technical information on such core IT topics as business applications and intelligence; data center hardware and storage; networking and security; as well as such IT trends as cloud computing, mobility and Big Data.
“If you look at enterprise IT professionals, they all have the same needs worldwide to help them make complex product decisions,” said Bill Crowley, senior VP-international at TechTarget. “They need content that is detailed about technology and how to make decisions between specific products.
“But in Latin America there is next to none of this kind of content in Spanish,” he said. “They do have very general Spanish IT content, but that's not serving the IT decision-maker very well.”
TechTarget offers its content free to users and sells ad space around it. The company also offers sales-contact and prospect lists to technology marketers, built from standard databases as well as analyses of how users respond to its content and client ads.
The SearchDataCenter en Espaņol service debuted with more than 500 original Spanish-language articles, numerous Spanish-language e-books and a resource library of Spanish-language white papers and webcasts.
Even before offering Spanish-language content, TechTarget had 200,000 members in the region relying on its English-language materials. Crowley said those members are largely from big companies; publishing in Spanish will grow TechTarget's membership and contact lists down-market, he said.
“Tech is a U.S. industry,” Crowley said. “Most of the IT content is in English. But as you get deeper into the market, you need to publish in the local language.”
TechTarget is heavily committed to international markets. The company just closed on its acquisition of LeMagIT, a publisher of IT news and analysis in France. Over the last three years, the company has established offices in the Singapore, Sydney and the U.K., and acquired a strategic partner in China.
Tech savvy b2b buyers, wherever they're located, already are heavily invested in online resources of buyer information. A recent study by International Data Group, “B2B Tech Buyers,” found 92% rely on technology websites and 60% use tech vendor websites in making purchasing decisions. (The report was based on an online survey of more than 2,200 respondents, conducted in July and August.)
Moreover, it's becoming cheaper to market effectively overseas. According to Worldata's Fall 2012 List Price Index, permission-based international email list rentals continue to fall in price; they're currently at an average of $388 per thousand names, 3.24% lower than in the same period a year earlier.
Findings like these are having an impact on the international expansion of channels as well as companies. Last week, Twitter opened an office in Brazil. With no local or language-specific presence presence there, Twitter already has 40 million users in Brazil, and looks to gain many more. Facebook opened an office in Brazil 18 months ago, and now has 65 million users there. Both sites are in Brazilian Portuguese.
International marketing opportunities are looking increasingly attractive to U.S. marketers, and in particular in terms of reaching IT decision-makers, Crowley said.
“Our international business is our fastest-growing sector,” he said. “Our customers want to drive multi-country programs on tech subjects.”