Global Marketing Symposium 2017: 5 Lessons Learned from Global-First Visionaries

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Global Marketing Symposium 2017: 5 Lessons Learned from Global-First Visionaries

While Customer Experience is a business concept that’s been around for years, 90 percent of enterprise content remains untranslated. That’s a lot of content that billions of potential customers will never experience.

Bridging this gap and removing the complexities of global interaction is what Lionbridge’s first ever Global Marketing Symposium aimed to address. So, last week, numerous marketing and localization professionals came together in Boston with a united goal of making global CX a reality.

The event kicked off with Clint Poole, Chief Marketing Officer at Lionbridge, opening up the discussion of challenges and opportunities. In particular, he identified five main reasons for damaged branding and uncoordinated CX:

“Once a company has decided to go global,” said Poole, “it will need the right resources and processes working cohesively towards that goal. With those in place, localization can begin.”

Embracing the expertise of top-tier executives at international companies, the GMS covered the ins and outs of successfully executing a global strategy in today’s market. Here are five top insights from each.

  1. Reach global success through authenticity, simplicity, and social engagement

First, we heard from John McDonnell, Managing Director International at one of America’s fastest-growing brands: Tito’s Handmade Vodka. His energetic keynote presentation shared the story of Tito Beveridge—the aptly-named founder of Tito’s—and the brand’s keys to global expansion.

Shedding light on important but overlooked tools for building a global brand, McDonnell described how Tito’s built its own brand armed with an awareness of cultural values and its authentic brand story “Vodka for Dog People.”

Along the way, Tito’s found worldwide success on social media channels—and realized this couldn’t be attributed only to follower count. Engagement, on the other hand, is the metric that best shows how content resonates with an audience. The company then cultivated brand loyalty using a millennial-targeted and interactive social strategy. As a result, Tito’s is now the number one brand delivered on Drizly and supplies 101 countries across the globe.

  1. Behavioral data + great content = a knockout customer experience

Cody Crnkovich, Head of Platform Partners & Strategy at Adobe Marketing Cloud, was up next to talk about the power of customer experience in a consumer-driven climate. The disruption of today’s “Experience Business Wave,” he said, sets the stage for digital transformation – which, today, affects every part of every business.

Fortunately for marketers considering a customer experience strategy, the good ones are still rare. This means great CX remains a crucial differentiator.

Crnkovich noted that, to drive true business impact, we need to use data to better understand customers’ behavioral patterns and personalize our content accordingly. Customers expect brands to know them, respect them, and engage with them on their terms. In other words, exceptional content means telling a compelling, personal, and valuable story in the right language at the right time.

  1. Work with a CMS and agency with localization at their core

Next step: executing on a localization strategy. Seth Gottlieb, Chief Technology Officer at Lionbridge, took the stage to discuss the challenges of creating, launching and managing a multilingual website.

For most companies that have attempted website translation, the pitfalls are familiar. Gottlieb underlined the three main issues with source content: irrelevance in certain markets, localizable text locked in images, and localizable text locked in presentation templates. And then there are run-ins with translation agencies—often caused by enlisting their services too late in the process—such as inability to work in the company’s CMS. Needless to say, translation plans don’t always turn out as expected.

Gottlieb solved these issues with a useful multi-layered framework to help prevent rework, using tools such as Global Brand Voice (GBV) and a CMS that has localization designed into its core (Lionbridge has integrated a number of platforms).

  1. The majority of customers will pay more for a great CX

So you’ve localized your website and started generating sales. Time for a vacation—right? Not quite, said Tom Tseki, Vice President of Customer Care at Lionbridge, as now you need to think about post-sale care.

In his talk, Tseki revealed enlightening findings from a recent Lionbridge study—the largest global study to examine customer care challenges in contact centers—in which 530 companies participated.

Results showed that contact centers simply aren’t braced for the imminent flood of non-primary language communication. As the world gets smaller and more diverse, the gap between English-speaking companies and non-English speaking consumers (currently 8 percent of the U.S. population) grows. Nevertheless:

  • 86 percent of consumers will pay more for a great customer experience
  • 74 percent are more likely to repurchase if post-sales content is in their language
  • Thus, 89 percent of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of CX

To tap into this unmistakable opportunity and close the CX language gap, there needs to be more focus on website and content quality for existing clientele. Tseki took us through ways to get started.

  1. Think global first—then go for it

Finally, we saw some remarkable thought leadership from our panel discussion, featuring Drew Fortin, Vice President of Marketing at The Predictive Index; Jim MacLeod, Director of Creative and Digital Marketing at Extreme Networks; and Tim Angle, Director of Product Marketing at iRobot.

Led by Poole, the panelists hashed over their own challenges and shortcomings in going global. Key recommendations included addressing multiple platforms—especially mobile—and thinking multicultural even when not multilingual, in imagery, tone, and beyond.

Drawing upon their experiences as leaders, the group explored what it really means to become a global marketer: accepting that mistakes will be made and learning from them. And considering what we learned throughout the day, a global strategy is clearly worth the leap.

Words from our guests:

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2017 Global Marketing Symposium, both virtually and in person (and for making #LionGMS a trending topic on Twitter). Keep an eye out for more learning’s on the blog or see the photos on Facebook. We are already looking forward to the next event!

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