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Information Overload: Symposium Focuses on Global Mobile and the Customer Experience
Posted by Rebecca Ray on June 29, 2016  in the following blogs: Best Practices, Business Globalization
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Digital marketers, localization managers, and corporate planners want guidelines and data to help them decide which materials to translate and how much to translate. Even large, experienced companies like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft struggle to determine which content matters and how much of it requires localization to ensure local market success without breaking their budgets.

We invited 15 companies to a symposium last month in San Francisco to discuss how their organizations are addressing this global information overload challenge. The conference was hosted by Wells Fargo Bank. Here are the top four findings shared by panelists and participants:

  1. View mobile as an attribute of the user rather than as a hardware platform. Participants stressed that it is more important to be device-agnostic, instead of mobile-first, because companies can't always predict where their customers will start and finish their interactions. They dissected two divergent aspects of mobile. First, product and service designers should focus on the mobility of the person (or the sensor or the animal) instead of the mobile device itself. After all, people expect access to data wherever they happen to be, regardless of the device they are holding, in front of, or wearing. Second, by assigning a higher priority to an individual's movement among various devices, designers make it easier for their companies to remain platform-agnostic with applications, bots, and agents - and the content that supports them.
  2. Prepare now for a screen-less world. Speech is the most natural way to interact for must of us. Symposium contributors warned their colleagues not to expect screens to be around forever, especially with the innovation in wearables and the IoT/IoE (Internet of Things/Internet of Everything). Several companies at the conference had already committed resources to researching speech and how their customers could better take advantage of their products with that capability enabled.
  3. It's all about search, stupid. Panelists contended that it doesn't matter how big "big data" is if companies and their customers can't find what they want when they need it. Whether it's employees searching through thousands of digital marketing assets or job titles, or customers hunting for a specific piece of streaming content or knowledge base entry, participants emphasized that organizations must get multilingual search right - and soon.
  4. Multilingual content is still the next frontier for many business functions. Throughout the Symposium, as well as during CSA Research's on-site visits with customers in Northern California, almost everyone we spoke with kept returning to the same theme: Don't make the mistake of pushing to localize everything. Instead, take the time to develop a pragmatic global content strategy that takes into account the increased channel-hopping, UI-hopping, device-hopping, or whatever you want to call it, by all customers, regardless of language or culture.
In today's increasingly mobility-centric and social-media-fueled environment, the success of your company's global customer experience depends to a great extent on the global content experience it offers. If your organization finds itself drowning in the volume of material required to support all potential markets and countries, it's time to develop a pragmatic global content strategy.

Our research identifies seven steps for creating such a model. Marketing personas, customer journey maps, and content tiering are the building blocks. Rather than translating all or most of your content and hoping for the best, we recommend that you adopt a practical approach to global content that enables you to prioritize the multilingual information that customers need most before you begin that next localization project.


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Keywords: Enterprise process globalization, Global content management, Global mobile, Global social media, Multilingual search, Online customer experience

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