Driving Marketing Localization Success: 4 Takeaways From Brand2GlobalMuch like driving on a busy six-lane highway, executing complex global marketing campaigns can be overwhelming. When trying to meet real-time customer needs, you may feel like you’re barely keeping up with the flow of traffic, let alone anticipating any bumps in the road.
This can be true for all marketing efforts, but throw in many languages spanning multiple locales, and you’ve got a whole new level of challenges. From marketing localization to global social media, how do you avoid any traffic jams or worse yet, any head-on collisions?
To steer you in the right direction, we met with global marketing leaders from all over the world in London last week at Brand2Global to talk about marketing localization challenges and best practices. From case studies to emerging technologies to digital marketing trends—Brand2Global didn’t disappoint.
Today, we’d like to share four takeaways on that last topic to guide you on today’s globally crowded information highway.
Takeaway 1: The global website is alive and well, but it has changed
With the growing capabilities of global social media, event attendees discussed whether the corporate website known for talking at its customers is dead. The conclusion is yes and no. The localized website is still alive and well—remaining a critical tool for communicating your company’s brand in international markets.
However, taking lessons from social media, the website has adapted—incorporating elements like social media feeds, testimonials and videos to be more interactive.
Much like a billboard along the highway, social media helps guide traffic to your website. It doesn’t replace it, but complements it.
At the event, Clarion discussed their marketing localization strategy. They’ve translated their website into 22 languages and plan to expand on their current global social media efforts. “There is an absolute need to talk to customers in their language,” said Sèbastien Brame, communications director for Clarion Europe. “Before, it was acceptable for a brand to just be visible, but now it needs to be human.”
Customers want a relationship with a brand, and both localized websites and global social media help them do this. When first going global, start with an interactive localized website and then incorporate other tactics like global social media to truly listen and engage with multinational customers. One doesn’t replace the other; instead, they work together.
Takeaway 2: The time for global video marketing is now
Video’s unique ability to tell stories and interact with customers is pretty powerful. According to YouTube, over six billion hours of video are watched each month—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth.
What does this mean for your marketing localization efforts? People around the globe enjoy watching videos—and with today’s increasingly crowded media world, videos have the ability to capture attention. Think of plain copy vs. flashing billboards—which one would more likely catch your eye as you drive by?
Brand2Global presenters reported that email click-through increases by 96 percent when video is used in email marketing.
There’s no question that the time for video is now, but many Brand2Global attendees expressed a need for a faster localization process. Historically, video localization is a lengthy process, but with the demand for video only increasing, this raises the important question: How can we keep up on a global level?
Addressing this issue, the Centre for Next Generation for Localization talked about their latest research in facial recognition and multimodal speech translation with expressive speech output, which could drastically improve the localization process. There’s a lot of exciting work being done in this area, so stayed tuned!
Takeaway 3: User-generated content is crucial to global listening
Throughout Brand2Global, we heard a lot about the power of user-generated content. From social media to review websites, your audiences are talking about your brand, but are you listening? Incorporating listening tactics should be a crucial component to your marketing localization efforts—doing so can help you anticipate any traffic jams or hazards ahead.
An example of a company doing it right is KLM. They offer 24/7 support in nine languages—answering customer questions in one hour and solving problems in less than a day. They listen to their target audience, tailoring copy to empathize and consider the stress of travel.
To take advantage of user-generated content, you’ll need to establish a strategy for translating this content. A machine translation solution might make sense to explore if you don’t have the in-country staff to monitor this volume of work.
Takeaway 4: Personalization is the new norm
Marketing localization is all about adapting copy to specific markets and cultures. However, the latest trends show that personalization is going far beyond this—catering specifically to the individual.
Attendees discussed the ability to understand who is searching on your products and from what country. So, when someone in India or someone in China searches for your products, you can personalize the advertisements they see—much like how a GPS can present you with gas station options or restaurants nearby. This keeps your company top of mind and presents the consumer with options that inform their immediate buying decisions.
It’s appealing, but this ability brings a new set of marketing localization challenges. Each of these ads will need to be adapted. To execute this effectively, it is important to work with a strategic global partner. With this increase in volume, it may also make sense to partner with a language service provider, like Sajan, that offers an intuitive translation management system to handle projects and see them through.
An inaugural event to be continued
At the end of the day, event attendees agreed that engaging with global customers online is crucial, but it requires a lot of effort to do this effectively. You shouldn’t have to travel down the global marketing road alone. We can help you navigate the entire process from translation to transcreation.
It was an exciting event, and we look forward to next year’s conference. Seeking more information on marketing localization strategies in the meantime? Check out our best practices brief with five tips on how to kick off your international social media program with machine translation.
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