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You Have Responsibility for Global Digital Content – Now What?
Posted by Rebecca Ray on November 1, 2017  in the following blogs: Business Globalization, Global Marketing
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As companies come to terms with the central role that content plays in the customer journey – from building awareness through purchase and onto customer care – their digital marketing teams and localization groups are tasked with content creation, adaptation, and rollout at the global level.

During a recent CSA Research Symposium in Madrid, several organizations based in Spain shared plans for their global digital content initiatives as well as some of the challenges they face. Here’s what they told us:

Machine translation (MT) is so five minutes ago. Attendees described how they had attempted to adapt MT to support exchanges in real time between customers using different languages. With the arrival of translating earbuds and other advances in interpreting software, they recognize that localized conversations in real time via speech enablement are now a valid goal to be achieved for their products and services.

We need guidelines to ensure that our attempts at augmented or virtual reality resonate in local markets. As digital marketing teams decide to experiment with some of these applications, they’re not sure what the next steps are. For example, what is a typical buyer profile that a firm can expect to attract? How is that one different from the type that it gains through other channels? What do customers and prospects expect from brands once they are attracted through an augmented or virtual reality experience?

Regulated markets also require strong business cases for localization. Regardless of which regulated landscape a company operates in – financial services, utilities, telecommunications, medical devices, or pharmaceuticals – support for more than one language is not a given as it expands out of its original market. Digital marketing teams must articulate a thoughtful and pragmatic global content strategy. In addition to specifying the investment required to broaden their reach, they may also need to present the effect on their business in clear monetary terms of the choice not to translate.

Continually expanding the number of supported languages may not be the right move. A few participants shared their hard-learned lessons around what it takes to calibrate the right languages for the content most essential to their prospects and customers. It takes courage – and a process – to drop a language from the repertoire. Therefore, they must base their decision to expand support on business criteria as part of an overall globalization strategy.

Organizations lean on localization teams for more than just multilingual content. With all the varying types of digital content on numerous channels in an ever-growing number of languages, localization teams recognize that a narrow focus on delivering content for local markets often won’t guarantee their success. They usually represent the only group that consistently pushes for building and maintaining a globally integrated organization. To enable all corporate functions to progress in this area demands ongoing executive sponsorship and engagement. It also requires enough investment to enable the localization team to operate as a center of expertise for globalizing business processes enterprise-wide.

Our Symposium participants in Spain confirmed that they are dealing with the same big issue as their colleagues in other parts of the world: How to enable organizations to invest in and integrate the appropriate global component into digital transformation initiatives. Stay tuned to this space over the next few months if you’re looking for insights on how other companies are successfully achieving this goal.


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Keywords: B2B and B2C global marketing, Enterprise process globalization, Global customer experience, Language and market selection, Online customer experience, Return on investment

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