Crossing the Digital Divide: An Integrated Roadmap for Your Customer’s Journey

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This article is based on comments made in a December 2016 Lionbridge-sponsored webinar, Growing Your Global Brand: How to Develop and Deliver Your Digital Strategy.

It’s an exciting time, said Jeff Cram, Chief Strategy Officer at Connective DX, to help deliver your organization’s digital strategy.

Opportunities abound to mold technology, design, and cultural awareness into a successful strategy. Too often, though, Cram noted, that digital strategy isn’t meaningfully connected to a business’ overall customer experience strategy.

You’re making a big investment in your digital strategy—platforms and technologies, people, content—and all those elements are vital. But be certain, he said, that everything is aligned with the desired overall customer experience.

Journey maps and personas: a blueprint for success

Cram explained that Connective DX recognized that it’s necessary to take an outside-in approach to effectively define and frame a digital strategy, and then own it and make it actionable.

“Get outside your business and understand how customers are interacting with your brand,” he said.

“Frame the role of digital engagement through the perspective of the overall customer journey,” he continued, underscoring that the reason this digital strategy exists is to deliver an “integrated world-class experience to your customers,” thereby advancing the overall growth of your business.

Businesses have been talking for a while about journey maps and personas. “The difference is that now they’re a blueprint for the entire business and how we’re growing. And it’s really exciting to think about digital as an integrated part of your DNA.”

Appropriately tailored content

Time to hit the road on that customer journey. Content is your vehicle, and, Cram stressed, successful navigation requires an understanding of the unique preferences of different markets, different cultures. It requires global optimization of your content.

Clint Poole, Lionbridge’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, acknowledged that optimizing content for each of your markets can be a daunting task. But failing to recognize the nuances of those markets, he said, not only leads to “HQ-centric” content that misses the mark but can result in alienation of your in-market resources.

Getting it right, Poole said, “starts with developing a framework for decision-making and execution. You need to determine roles and who funds it all.”

It then requires fostering open dialog and removing communication silos.

“This allows for customer experience and content to be tailored by market,” Poole affirmed. “It allows for visibility across the process so you can maintain cost control. It also helps you maintain efficiencies. The end result is consistency in your content with the ability to make it as locally relevant as necessary.”

Gather input from within your markets from the outset, Poole urged.

No one-size-fits-all

How you adapt your content for in-market publishing depends on the nature of that content. Translation works well for technical content, Poole said. More personal content most often requires transcreation. Then there will be messaging that is so culturally unique that you can’t possibly convey the meaning by either simply translating or transcreating it. It must be created in market.

“If you work backwards from the customer, if you consider cultural preferences, you can then map the intended use of your content to the effectiveness of an adaptation type,” Poole said, “and you’ll select the right process.”

Poole and Cram stressed that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for any aspect of your digital strategy. Fashion a framework that most effectively translates into the overall customer experience interactions you’re aiming for, Cram affirmed, and your digital strategy will bring rewards.

To learn more about designing an effective digital strategy, view Cram and Poole’s webinar, Growing Your Global Brand: How to Develop and Deliver Your Digital Strategy.

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