A brand’s global presence means more than brick and mortar or international product availability. True presence—reaching an audience, in whatever region or on whatever platform that audience may be, in the most engaging way possible—takes a little more planning.
Numerous studies tell us that consumers prefer content in their own language, but these personalized, loyalty-winning experiences, adapted to each audience’s native language while aligned with a holistic brand voice, aren’t easy to execute in new regions.
We wondered if anything specific holds companies back, and found answers in a recent study conducted with Econsultancy. A survey of global content marketers (two-thirds of whom operate in at least six different markets) revealed key deficiencies in planning and marketing technology hindering short-term scalability.
Here are the top five:
Download the infographic here.
Access a free copy of the report here for more on content leaders’ challenges and 12-month growth strategies.
Top 5 Challenges in Increasing Local Market Websites
Taking on new territory?
When a company decides to enter a new market, one of the first things for marketing and product teams to consider is how to make their presence known. For many companies, building a new, custom website designed specifically for that market’s customers makes for the best customer experience.
For others, market expansion hasn’t even come to mind yet. A 2017 Econsultancy survey found that 66% of international content leaders plan to extend the number of markets in which they have local web presence in the next 12 months. They also plan to support this expansion by increasing content budgets across all categories of spending. By contrast, exactly half the number of mainstream companies are planning for expansion and considerably fewer expect to increase budgets by 2018. 35% have no plans to expand at all.
Mainstream companies’ hesitation to grow their web presence isn’t necessarily for lack of trying. Managing different websites in different markets is no small feat. But even before stepping outside their digital comfort zone, companies have a few things to plan for to make the venture a success.
A much higher proportion of leaders will be taking over the web in the next 12 months. To support the effort, according to the survey, they’ll be spending more on central technology infrastructure, digital analysts, internal and external content production, third-party translation, and local market technology.
5 barriers fencing in web presence
The study also asked leading and mainstream companies to describe their main challenges in increasing the number of local market websites they operate globally. The different perspectives are a clue as to why mainstream companies are slower than leaders to increase their global footprint:
Mainstream respondents’ principal challenges are the pressure of translating content at scale and uncertainty that international expansion is viable. Leaders, on the other hand, have a good sense of likely ROI—their biggest roadblocks are technology constraints and industry compliance.
How to break the bottlenecks
These challenges shouldn’t hold us back from seeing the returns internationalization can provide. So what’s an aspiring market explorer to do?
– For leading companies, technology that facilitates scalability will be key. Major brands are making investment in standardized technology infrastructure their top priority. To handle the compliance side of things, they’re also investing in third-party services.
– For the mainstream, lack of confidence in content value is a major problem, which they plan to overcome by investing in data analysts. They’ll also need tighter control over language when content is first produced to facilitate faster and easier translation.
What else are companies doing to reach new customers?
Learn more about leaders’ emerging standards in technology in our blog post, Is Your Technology Stack Ready for Market Expansion?, or download the full Econsultancy report here for more insight into content marketers’ current priorities, best practices, and plans for the future.