Peggy Chen, CMO, SDL
Marketers know that a consistent brand image is crucial when it comes to customer retention. But what’s the best way to build on your global brand equity while providing your customers with a local experience? There’s no single answer, of course – a company can use a wide variety of tools to ensure its brand is consistent and its content is personal.
The challenge is to create a personal and local online experience while maintaining a consistent brand identity. When creating a personalized brand experience, companies must bridge the gap between local personal content and global brand impact.
Location, Location, Location
To target different cultures, language is table stakes. A study by the Common Sense Advisory found that more than 75 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a product using information presented in their own language. This means providing content in a local language is really the most basic requirement when reaching new global markets.
Sounds simple, but beyond just assigning different languages to different regions, international campaigns also need to take into account local language preferences within a location. For example, the US Census reports that 38.4 million U.S. residents speak Spanish at home, representing a massive potential market that can be better reached with Spanish content. The most intricately designed, well thought-out campaign that perfectly adheres to the culture of a particular region also needs to represent your customers’ preferred language to capture the market.
When Local Meets Global
Seasonality, local holidays and regional variation also present tremendous opportunities. Take, for example, an advertising campaign tied to spring cleaning. While consumers in the northern hemisphere are focused on this seasonal tradition, those in the southern hemisphere are preparing for winter and looking for products that align with the opposite seasonal shift.
Local holidays and celebrations provide perfect occasions to provide campaigns that align with local culture. End-of-school celebrations, national holidays and local events connect with customers in ways that generic global campaigns may not.
A company that addresses a global audience must be able to juggle multiple campaigns not only in differing languages, but also for relevant seasons, holidays and traditions.
How can brands begin to create content for such personalized experiences around the world? Choosing the right web content for each customer’s unique preferences and background is no small feat.
Effective web content programs can be broken down into a two components: optimization and management. Content needs to be optimized to provide an individual customer experience based on location, targeting and customer data. Content, likewise, needs to be available across devices (mobile, tablet, PC) and channels to meet customer expectations. Ultimately, cross-channel digital content that reaches customers wherever and whenever – in the right language – is the sign of a successfully managed digital presence.
In today’s digital world, your company’s website is the key to sharing your brand with your audiences around the world. The content you produce is essentially worthless if it is not localized, personalized and relevant to each visitor – keeping in mind their region and culture. The bottom line is this: content cannot be created in a vacuum. Your global brand begins when you think local – so what are you waiting for?
About the Author: Peggy Chen: As Vice President, Marketing at SDL, Peggy is responsible for driving global go-to-market strategy for SDL’s Global Content Technology portfolio of solutions.