Redefining Your Global Content Strategy to Drive Customer Acquisition and Retention

Judd MarcelloBy Judd Marcello, Vice President Marketing, Smartling 

It’s an exciting time to be a content marketer. There are more ways than ever before to connect with a continuously expanding universe of customers across the globe, and, with the right content strategy in place, the growth potential is limitless.

We’re living in an age where personalization reigns supreme, and, as a result, the traditional “one-size-fits-all” approach to content marketing is no longer effective. Consumers are demanding native brand experiences, and there has never been a more critical time for marketers to re-think their global content strategy. A company’s next customer could be anywhere, so it must be fluent everywhere.

An estimated 211 million pieces of online content are created every minute. In order for content to have its intended impact, it must resonate with audiences and cultures present in each geographical location.

If you are using English-language content to target multilingual audiences within and outside of the U.S., your customer acquisition rates will likely be lower than a brand that is delivering translated content and localized experiences across every touch-point. Research has found that the majority of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their own language. Additionally, consumers are more likely to buy a product if the information is presented in their own language.

Companies that break out of their home-language comfort zone and offer native brand experiences in all markets they serve, will achieve a more dominant global position. But what exactly is a native brand experience? At the heart of every native brand experience must be your consumers – it is their experience, not your brand, that matters. And while native brand experiences can come in all shapes and sizes, there are a few core principles that connect them:

  • Command of local dialects (beyond standard translation), as well as regional preferences and tastes
  • Commitment of all stakeholders to respect cultural sensitivity in all markets at all times
  • Detailed awareness of market variables (e.g., currencies, customs, preferences, etc.)

Native brand experiences show consumers you care about them personally, and there’s no better way to organically grow your customer base.

This summer’s hit animated movie “Inside Out” provides a perfect example of the value of localized experiences. In the U.S. version of the movie, a young girl named Riley hates broccoli, but, for Japanese moviegoers, the vegetable in question is peppers – a more commonly loathed food in Japan. Additionally, while hockey is the featured sport in the U.S. movie, producers created an alternate version that caters to soccer fans in other parts of the world. These seemingly simple details make a world of difference to viewers because it feels authentic – they can relate. And authentic localized experiences drive success. To date, “Inside Out” has grossed more than $800 million in sales worldwide.

Being Fluent in Every Language

English-language content for U.S. audiences just doesn’t work well in other countries. To increase customer acquisition and retention, and drive global growth, marketers must create content that resonates in any language, all cultures and every market. And while translation has traditionally been a complex, time consuming and expensive process, today’s translation management technology removes this friction, enabling brands to focus on what truly matters: delivering native brand experiences.

About the Author: Judd Marcello is the vice president of marketing at Smartling, a New York-based translation management platform company.