How to Sustain Agile Marketing When Going Global

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When expanding your global presence, it’s safe to say some aspects of your business will be disrupted in the process. Lars Silberbauer, Senior Global Director of Social Media and Video at LEGO, likened it to “building a castle on moving ice plates.” While the secret to agile marketing remains a mystery, a recent study conducted with Econsultancy uncovered common behaviors of organizations that are particularly well-equipped to expand their international brand footprint.

It starts with ownership

The chart below shows the content ownership approach of two types of organizations: those who have a good grasp on measuring content success (referred to here as leaders), and those who monitor content but not quite at the level of others in their space (mainstream brands).


Source: International Content: Monetizing Global Content Assets and Measuring Success, 2017

You’ll notice the leaders are much more likely to clarify who within the organization is responsible for content internationalization—four times more likely, to be exact. With a team in place specifically responsible for adapting your products and services to local languages and cultures, you avoid siloed decision making, one of the most common challenges in producing global content.

Don’t forget the tech

What’s your technology stack like? Fit for purpose or decentralized across different functions? Our research shows the former proves more valuable. Almost two-thirds of leaders strongly agreed to having a “modular, extensible, and standardized tech platform that facilitates expansion into other markets” as compared to only 12 percent of their mainstream counterparts.

Dr. Nitish Singh, Professor at the Boeing Institute of International Business and Program Lead for Brand2Global’s Certification in Global Digital Marketing and Localization, stressed the importance of a standardized, global digital infrastructure that promotes consistency while also supporting changes in different locales—saving both time and money.

Epson is one company currently in the process of consolidating its digital tech platforms to something more manageable. Ian Cameron, General Manager, Global Brand & Communications Dept., speaks from experience when he concurs: “Different content management systems worldwide negatively impact the customer experience and made us less globally efficient.”

Localize, localize, localize

As a global company—even as an aspiring one—you are constantly challenged to ensure your content is produced in sufficient volumes across markets to satisfy a range of stakeholders. At the same time, you need to provide content that resonates in local markets. Various studies prove time and time again that potential customers prefer localized content that caters to their linguistic needs and cultural expectations.

Bar Chart

Source: International Content: Monetizing Global Content Assets and Measuring Success, 2017

Leaders recognize this, as 62 percent agree content performs better when adapted to local markets. According to Kaplan’s Henry Burr, it’s especially important to translate blogs and social media, considering those channels are all about building connections with your audience on a granular level. From Burr’s perspective, the cookie-cutter approach doesn’t bode well for building a rapport with the audience.

Lionbridge CMO & SVP, Clint Poole, avows the growing need for deeper connections with your audience. As the digitization of such interactions evolves and becomes more engaging, it’s imperative for organizations to adapt and not only connect with, but resonate with local markets.

Until we marketers discover the holy grail of agile marketing, clear ownership, a fit-for-purpose technology stack, and localization teams can point you in the sure-fire direction of expansion into local markets.

For more on how leading companies monetize global content, download the full report here.

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