CMO balancing act

The CMO balancing act: In a recent Gartner study, “Strategic Priorities of CEOs,” 73% of CEOs reported that they would rely on existing customers to achieve growth rather than pursue new markets.

The turbulent year of 2020 seems to have created a polarity between marketers around the world: adopt low-risk, low-return strategies or be bold, inventing and changing strategies to win new customers in new markets.

Gartner’s findings suggest the need to balance more conservative strategies with emerging opportunities for new growth. But how do you decide which marketing strategies to prioritize in an unstable economy and tight budgets?

Personalization. Communicate with new and existing customers in their language.
In today’s world of limited opportunity and capital, localization crosses the canyon, providing a better-than-expected return on investment and building capacity to reach new markets.

Managing directors know that localization is important. More than 50 percent of all queries on Google are made in a language other than English, and 40 percent of Internet users will never buy from sites not written in their native language.

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In addition, the fight against diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) continues to be vital to businesses around the world. In fact, “95% of CEOs believe brands should take the lead in finding solutions to social and cultural issues,” said Jay Wilson, vice president of research at Gartner.

Translating your content into Spanish, which connects with an estimated 41.2 million people in the U.S., could accelerate market growth and help bridge the digital divide. By comparison, this market segment represents the equivalent of the GDP of all of Germany.

It will also help the CMO play a leading role in positioning DEI for its organization.

Work smarter. Implement more efficient ways of working using market-leading technology.
The shift to first-person data, combined with the effects of the global pandemic, has caused a seismic shift toward digital, as evidenced by the launch of new DTC (Direct-To-Consumer) sites, the use of blockchain technology and many other trends such as virtual experiences.

As a result, businesses continue to invest in MarTech (worth more than $121 billion globally in 2019) to strengthen the way they meet consumer and customer needs. It has fundamentally changed the way marketing works, is tracked and measured.

The $57 billion localization industry is quickly following suit.

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Partnering with language service providers with technology at the core of their offerings is an attractive proposition for large enterprises. They benefit from vendor innovation and disruptive technologies that evolve with the needs and expectations of their key customers.

The most innovative market leaders have created powerful translation software based on artificial intelligence, machine learning, powerful data analytics and intelligent algorithms, including translation memory functionality. This allows for faster turnaround times and greater productivity, lower translation costs over time (through continuous improvement), and greater transparency and cost visibility.

Consolidation. Conduct an audit of your translation process, staff, and technology to compare services.

If you have a fragmented or disjointed base of translation service providers, conducting a localization audit would be a smart move. Upgrading your language service provider can provide significant benefits to your organization, and without the need for increased costs.

The localization industry consists of 50 or so key players and thousands of tiny industry or small translation companies that cannot hope to meet the needs of businesses.

That’s why more and more corporate clients are choosing a single vendor that fits their holistic and long-term goals. As a result, they can significantly reduce time to market and attract more customers in new markets, wresting market share from competitors.

For example, in May 2020, Straker provided captioning for IBM’s major annual conference, THINK2020, which was held virtually thanks to COVID-19. This required captioning for 6,000 minutes of video, the equivalent of 920,000 words, in just 10 days.

By November 2020, Straker had been designated as a strategic translation service provider for IBM, responsible for providing translation capabilities in 55 languages for IBM worldwide. Straker was chosen for several reasons, including market-leading artificial intelligence technology, intelligent algorithms, automation capabilities, a data-driven approach, and the agile and innovative nature of the business.

Corporate customers are only now becoming aware that they need more consistency, integration, and flexibility from their chosen language service provider(s). In addition to the fact that relying on multiple translation vendors leads to inconsistent results and increased costs, it can also negatively impact time-to-market due to endless delays.

While improving localization may mean having to change vendors, an audit will identify improvements and savings to free up more budget dollars, euros and renminbi.

Choosing the right localization partner is just as important as choosing any other supplier. In the current environment, such a balanced approach gives more innovative and forward-thinking CMOs a chance to enter new markets with new products and cross the canyon before their competitors.

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