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January 12, 2019

Anna Ruth Williams



Last month, I had the opportunity to visit clients and partners in Israel. The country is the second largest global technology hub, behind the U.S. For context, Israel is the size of New Jersey.

For the cybersecurity, FinTech and health IT companies in Israel, doing business in America is imperative for success. The same can be said for European markets like Sweden, which is the second fastest-growing venture capital market; and Asian markets like Singapore, which ranks 6th in Bloomberg’s Innovation Index. Software and hardware brands in these countries must gain traction in the world’s largest economy in order to 1) reach sizable revenue goals, 2) form partnerships with top innovators, and 3) attract potential acquirers.

So, before hiring your first U.S.-based sales rep or attending your first American IT trade show, here are four initial marketing steps for effectively selling to American B2B buyers:

Research your U.S. buyer persona(s)

Understanding the vernacular, behaviors, and cultural preferences of American buyers is the first step in charting success in the U.S. market. Beyond language, mannerisms and time zone differences, here are some key distinctions between U.S. B2B tech buyers and their counterparts across the globe:

  • It’s estimated that 75% of European buyers prefer to meet face-to-face. By contrast, nearly 70% of a U.S. buyer’s journey is done digitally.

  • Asian buyers’ most preferred way of receiving marketing communication is at expos/conferences, due to their cultural emphasis on relationship-building. In the States, nothing could be further from the truth. Only 3% of North American buyers choose person-to-person as the medium for B2B purchases.

As a result of these preferences, the American B2B landscape is cluttered with product marketing. Connecting with highly skeptical U.S. personas will require a multi-touch point strategy and patience, as our sales cycles can be longer, which leads me to the next step.

 In January, Evan and I went to Tel Aviv to visit cybersecurity clients Coronet and Ironscales. We’ve helped these growth-stage brands penetrate the U.S. market over the past few years.

Create an Outbound Marketing Framework

At Alloy, we've heard from multiple clients that traditional sales outreach - like direct mail and cold calls - are working well in EMEA, but falling flat in the U.S. Therefore, use your American persona research to develop a digital buyers journey/inbound marketing framework that draws buyers in - using the digital channels they use most.

Click here to get a content calendar checklist.

Conduct a U.S. media audit

I highly recommend hiring an American technology PR agency to conduct a custom media audit for your brand. This strategic document will expose:

  • The share of voice that your competitors currently have, and consequently, how hard/easy it will be for your brand to topple them in domestic press.

  • New competitors that were unknown internationally but have a noticeable presence in the U.S.

  • What industry influencers care about in the States. And equally important, what they don’t care about.

  • What key terms and descriptors American media uses when talking about your sector and similar products. This will be very helpful as you develop your American messaging, which leads me to the 4th step...

Craft American Messaging

Once you have researched your American personas and the U.S. marketplace, and have framed a content calendar, it’s time to develop messaging that will resonate with your domestic audience and serve as the foundation for all owned and earned communications.

Likely, you’ll simply need to adapt or tweak your existing messaging and apply it to the aforementioned multi-channel approach. On rare occasions, you’ll have to develop entirely different value propositions for your solutions. To help you develop “sticky” U.S. messaging, we recommend that you:

  • Hire a U.S. communications firm, or use a digital intelligence tool like SEMRush, to determine domestic search trends to shape your messaging and eventual web copy.

  • Use Google Analytics and/or your CRM to thoroughly understand digital buyer behavior for U.S.-based prospects vs. other markets. How do their web paths differ? That will help shape messaging, dictate content marketing needs, and even help you decide whether or not you need separate sites by geographies. Of course, if you don't already have an American English site, you'll need one.

As a top 30 U.S. tech PR agency, Alloy has helped clients based in Australia, Canada, Germany, India, etc. launch integrated communications campaigns in the U.S. If your brand is ready to make news and drive leads among an American audience, contact us today.