The wider you cast the net, the more fish you’ll catch. The saying holds true for marketing too. Broaden your demand gen strategies to engage new markets and you’ll uncover untapped opportunities to grow your pipeline and increase conversion rates. But when it’s time to cast the net overseas to reach audiences abroad, things can start to get a little tricky.
Generating demand in regional markets requires creating personalized experiences, so you’ll need to identify and localize the most important digital touch points for target audiences. But many marketers either aren’t sure how to start localizing content, or they struggle with the localization process once they need to scale more content from multiple systems into more languages. Sound familiar? Following are the top five global marketing challenges I hear most often from prospects and customers:
- Marketers are unsure which regions to prioritize and how many languages to translate content into;
- Budget and resource constraints limit the number of campaigns and collateral that need to be localized, forcing triage and delays of which markets receive what content and when;
- Difficulty coordinating local, regional and global campaigns while also maintaining brand and message consistency;
- Tried translating superficial levels of content, but it isn’t driving demand (e.g., just translating one email and the first layer of a web page, and the rest is in English); and
- Localization process is too time-consuming and impossible to scale for the amount of content and campaigns necessary to reach all target regions.
When it comes to global marketing, translation trade-offs are common for any size organization: You want to launch a product in EMEA and APAC, but only have the budget and resources to translate marketing materials into one or two languages. If you consider that 42% of consumers would never buy online in a language that was not there own, and it takes 12 languages to reach 80% of the global online audience, the effort to translate for target audiences is worth it.
The good news is more and more organizations are using marketing automation to create and deliver more personalized campaigns to more audiences. Whether you use Marketo, Oracle Eloqua, ExactTarget, HubSpot or another platform, you’ll be able to leverage your marketing automation solution to start going global more quickly and easily. Here are some guidelines:
- Make sure all your regions have access to your marketing automation platform. When it’s time for localization, using a translation automation platform plugged into your marketing automation platform will speed time-to-market.
- Draft “vanilla” source content in your marketing automation platform that is informative and engaging, but that doesn’t include cultural references, idioms, metaphors, etc. that are not easily translatable. Thinking about global audiences from the start, not as an afterthought, will accelerate the localization process.
- Test new markets by sending a few targeted local language campaigns. This is easily and quickly achieved by localizing campaign content right inside your marketing automation software. And don’t forget A/B testing, which can help raise conversion rates by 48% or more, according to MarketingSherpa.
- Localize a few key landing pages for your target audiences, then review campaign response rates and Web traffic analytics to determine which markets demonstrated the most interest in your products and messaging.
By tracking results and identifying which target markets are top performers, you’ll know which languages to prioritize and can continue to deliver increasing amounts of localized content into the markets that are ready for your message and product. Global demand gen isn’t an all or nothing strategy—you don’t have to localize all your content into 12 languages at once. But consistently creating and delivering personalized, localized touch points for a few key markets and scaling as you grow will deliver the results you’re going for—after all, there’s plenty of fish in the sea.
Scott Yancey is the CEO and Co-founder of Cloudwords, a Global Content Hub that enables companies to better execute business worldwide. Recognizing a need to speed and simplify the process of content localization, Scott co-founded Cloudwords to help companies accelerate content globalization at scale, aiming to reduce the cost, complexity and turnaround time required for the localization of content for global markets. Prior to Cloudwords, he was a core developer and key architect on the Salesforce platform and applications. www.cloudwords.com