Why It Pays to Hire the Right Experts When You’re Going Global
Favorite Quotes and Shared Insights
TIP: Based on 20 years experience, what works best is when you are a trusted advisor and that comes from really listening, learning and understanding what a business needs and where they want to go.
“My vision is to always work with the CEO, because sitting at the table I’m able to understand what their vision and mission is and then statically advise them on the best way to accomplish that.”
TIP: A good marketer needs to understand all touch point strategies and how communications are being used in representing the brand experience.
“Now marketing goes much further in the process of sales engagement. And that is because there are so many touch points that occur through technology and there are so many channels to use your voice.”
TIP: Digital is changing the world and it’s a global economy so you need to be prepared to have all the conversations, all at the same time, without losing representation of who you are and what you deliver.
“Meet the customer where they expect you to meet them, and this along their journey”
TIP: On the topic of localization, the unsung heroes are translators, project managers and internal localization team members that empower organizations to go global.
“Going global really requires working with people that are creative, strategic, have access to talent, get to know what processes work, align with your technology in the most efficient ways .”
“It is the talent and resources that makes the language services industry so amazing.”
TIP: Most common pitfall for businesses is they don’t think about being global from the beginning.
“Having to go back and retrofit your products, services, content, communications and strategy is a lot harder than if you had thought it about in the beginning. You can’t assume you are not going to be global.”
“You’ve got to rely on experience to go global.”
TIP: Think and plan your global market strategy with the same precision of how you orchestrate a great campaign.
“Everything that you do in your source language applies as well in a foreign market.”
TIP: Use in-country resources to test your products and services or the competition will eat your lunch!
“The risks are too high. For what you shortcut in your investment to get it right by preparing and planning in advance or relying on the expertise to do it, whatever you shortcut there will shortcut your returns exponentially.”
“Taking shortcuts is the wrong way to get into the c-suite. It is the wrong way to get the attention of the CEO. Don’t make that mistake.”
TIP: We are in a nano-second world! Speed and agility are critical in marketing success.
TIP: Science, data and technology run the world! Marketers need to be aware and know how to use it to seize the opportunities that are global.
“The dialogue is the same for the past 20 years, you need to meet the customer at their door. But they way in which we are doing that and the way in which we ensure our services and solutions match their journey and the way we tell our story and where we tell it is changing all the time.”
The Worldly Marketer Podcast is the show that brings you valuable insider perspectives on what it takes to grow your business in today’s global marketplace.
Empowered customer and employee voices are in control of your brand’s future. This empowered voice is no longer an interesting phenomenon exposed through nascent channels that allow for reactive PR pros to utilize carefully constructed “just-in-case” responses based on dusty old crisis communication plans.
Customers and employees have an incredibly high-level of power to influence marketability and brand value today through their shared experiences.
Are your prepared to react? There are multiple examples this year of how global brands get easily swept up through social engagement in reaction to reported experiences and affiliations.
One tweet, one blog, one video, one ad, one review and the next thing you know the company stock is tanking, advertisers are fleeing, millions of people are boycotting the company, and news chyrons are highlighting the customer experience as breaking news. What used to be analogs in communication and public relations textbooks, are now daily case studies in crisis management. Brands are not in control.
Ready. Aim. Fire.
Today, major organizations must think like the military – ready to respond within a second’s notice. Brands must actively listen and monitor all communication channels, and provide global surveillance around-the-clock. They must also be fully prepared to act in real-time to a variety of scenarios across multiple mediums, whether it be from a customer complaint or association to another “brand” in crisis.
The voice of the customer is at its highest value today due to the nature of how information is shared through media channels.
A customer’s experience has incredible power and in an instance can dramatically impact a company’s value, negatively and positively. Brands need to be prepared with every scoped out “what if” scenario and shared with all those that will go on active duty when “it” hits!
Whether capitalizing on a positive experience like Kohl’s branding of the Chewbacca Mask Lady, or reacting to the global negative perception of Silicon Valley employment practices resulting from Uber’s former employee detailed experience of discrimination that was shared on a blog, companies today are forced into action through other’s experiences. Customers and employees know they have unique powers today that require global brands to stand up and take immediate action. And they are using this power to their advantage.
The customer experience voice has unyielding power and is putting ill-prepared companies on their heels and at risk.
Failure to react has great consequences. Time is not on the side of the brand. Marketers must be fully prepared and crisis management action plans need to be reviewed and updated on a regular basis to ensure there is a timely response to all types of customer experiences. There are no excuses and no forgiveness will be given by those in power – customers and employees.
There are consequences to failed responses. Beyond the enormous financial exposure to revenue and profits, it also can impact a company culture, ability to recruit top talent and long-term market sustainability in a very competitive marketplace. It is all at risk with every shared experience.
No organization today can take for granted the power of the customer voice.
The ability to take advantage of good publicity provides a little more flexibility to capture the upside. Leadership will turn to those in charge of communication for the failure to respond and act appropriately to anything negative, so put your plan in place today.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. – Benjamin Franklin
Time is the enemy in a crisis, no matter the scale. Today’s cycles can often be at tornado wind speeds that grow in exponential exposure within minutes. It is inherent in our constant feeds of news and information. There is nothing that can stop it, so it is imperative that an “emergency response team” be in place to act swiftly in response. This is where a crisis communications strategy has it’s greatest value.
Don’t underestimate the value to the company of a well-defined crisis communications plan.
The idea of putting together a plan may seem fairly simple; however, they are often very complex and require time and resources to properly construct. The investment will pale in comparison to the expenses related to a viral “bad” customer experience. Utilizing a good communications team or experts at a PR agency can help in this process for planning and execution. This should be an annual exercise for upkeep.
To understand how deep and broad this plan needs to be, start by outlining all the stakeholders that need to informed in a crisis communication plan: customers, sales, HR, IT, employees, media, suppliers and partners, as well as potential regulatory, community and elected officials. Now you can see why planning pays off!
Essential Elements of Crisis Communications Planning
RESPONSE TEAM: Define the members, roles and responsibilities of the Communications Response Team (CRT).
CONTACTS: Identify all audiences that will be updated by the response team, internal and external.
LIST SOURCES: Classify all lists and sources for contacts, including: customers, media, investors, leadership, employees, partners, suppliers, regulators and others.
TIMELINE: Create a sample timeline for Communications Response Team to update in an activated response.
SCENARIOS: Build a series of responses to scenarios with constructed timelines and messages that can be used for preparedness training of Communications Response Team members and spokespeople.
MESSAGING: Create key messaging guidelines for Communications Response Teams based on audiences, scenarios and channels including holding statements to express that further responses are coming from the organization.
SYSTEMS: Establish listening posts, processes, technologies, people and alerts used for notifications to CRT with defined activities based on “level” of action required for response.
PREPARE: Set a location to host all resources that can be activated by all members of the Communications Response Team, including scripts, contact information, timelines and lists. Communicate with all necessary constituents on how and when to engage with the CRT. Set up notification systems. Train the team members based on roles and responsibilities.
REVIEW: Set up periodic reviews of the plan to update channel information, lists and messaging. Post-crisis, review the activities and effectiveness of the response to ensure continuous improvements are made from learning and experiences.
It is important to define the action and activities based on the type of customer experience and how the experience in shared with others. As an example, an irate email to customer service may not need to be part of the company’s communication alert system. It also should not be ignored as a potential source for an escalation.
Today, a customer can take an email that does not get a timely response to outside media sources like social or television triggering a crisis and need for immediate response. It is the power of the customer experience their empowered voice.
Definition of a Crisis: A situation that has reached a critical phase (Merriam-Webster)
For an organization, a crisis can be defined as any action that adversely influences the reputation, integrity or value of the brand. Knowing that customers and employees have the power to create a crisis based on their shared experience, is a warning to all marketers.
Prepare now. Failure to do is inexcusable in today’s world of constant communications. Your customers will tell you so, if you are aren’t listening!
Jamie Glass, CMO + President at Artful Thinkers, a sales and marketing consulting company.
Every organization that reaches across their borders through words to educate, explain, engage or encourage others to consume their content requires a well-defined global communications strategy.
What are the important considerations for defining an effective multilingual communications strategy?
1. Return on Content (ROC). First and foremost to every global communications strategy is how does it align to corporate business goals? Alignment to outcomes related to market reach, revenue and event profit margins should drive the top line global communication planning to effectively demonstrate meaningful ROI. We call this impact. Global communications is more than a marketing approach; it is a roadmap to achieving success in your organization.
2. Defining Your Target Audience. One content type does not fit all. Along with demographic definitions and assigned attributes, there are requirements to understand socio-graphic and behavioral traits. These can amount to hundreds and imagine defining these across multiple geographies. It requires time, market experience and research to match target to content. Culturally, there are differences in approach, positioning and key market messages that without proper definition can offend or create irreparable harm to your brand or organization.
3. Logistics and Statistics. Global communication strategy requires an understanding of how information is consumed by your target audience, where and through which medium. Mediums for delivery are not universal. We can all cite the growing number of mobile devices; however, there are places in the world where certain types of content are not effective for a mobile consumer. There may also be times where content will be primarily delivered via mobile, impacting a buying experience if the content is not easily consumed and understood. Common Sense Advisory* research indicated, “…billions of people don’t read English at all or well enough to make buying decisions, so they’re increasing information in other languages to reach many more prospects.” Data matters and the experience can impact your overall ROI simply by not following through the entire customer communication experience.
4. Language Trends. In the language services business, we encourage people every day to translate their content into every language. There may be exceptions. Certain languages may find a specific content media acceptable in the source language. This requires analysis, testing and research; however, what has highest value should always be considered when evaluating opportunities, budgets, timing and impact of language requirements. Equally important is the need to understand demand on a global scale of languages that have the greatest opportunity. What are the trends in emerging market?
5.Rate and Regularity. Understanding frequency and timing of your communications can also help dictate tactics for global reach. Language tools and automation can assist in getting translation done faster and more cost-effectively when the driver is close to real-time frequency. As an example, building machine translation programs, terminology technology and content source analysis can assist in meeting growing demands for fast translation user-generated content (UGC). Every communication type will have a demand requirement that can be matched to your supply for “global” reach. Public relations may have an immediate need; whereas, software updates may have a planned communications strategy over several months.
6. Your Brand. There are times when brand overrides all decisions related to speed and time-to-market. For example, transcreation of content may be less frequent and require a much higher devotion to ensuring there is absolute brand-alignment and adherence to your global brand standards.
Global communications strategy requires a customer-focused and data-driven methodology to maximize reach and impact with your audience, both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C). Welocalize language services help global brands evaluate, plan and execute their strategic communication initiatives to produce the best ROC results.
What has the biggest impact on your global communications strategy?
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