As fans worldwide cheer their favorite teams in the 2014 World Cup, global brands large and small are eagerly seizing the opportunity to market to a captivated audience with multichannel campaigns designed to engage and strengthen their market share.
Whether fans call the game soccer, football or futbol, with 32 teams from 31 host countries, the World Cup attracts an audience speaking many languages, presenting significant challenges for global marketers. To reach such a multicultural and multilingual audience, campaigns must be optimized from creation through to execution to generate global demand and revenue.
Although the idea of going global may seem daunting, it’s worth the effort. Localizing your company’s marketing, product and sales content for global markets can have a huge positive impact on demand generation, company growth, brand recognition and revenue. One study shows that Fortune 500 companies that translated communications to engage customers were nearly twice as likely to experience revenue increases.
Getting to the Goal Line: Challenges You’ll Face
Reaching Audiences in Their Own Language: When it comes to marketing globally, localization is the ultimate personalization tactic—and the number one challenge, because for most marketers, translation is a tedious afterthought. Many teams waste valuable time and money translating campaigns for other markets without putting any strategic thought into what‘s appropriate—and relevant—for each region, language and culture.
Executing Multiple Regional Campaigns Concurrently: Managing a multichannel campaign in one language is difficult enough, but managing multiple campaigns for several different regions and languages to reach audiences at the same time requires significant planning and the right tools. If not managed properly, tensions among corporate and regional teams create silos, which produces inconsistent messaging across channel touchpoints.
Creating Efficiencies on a Global Scale: The ability to adapt to ever-increasing demand is crucial. If your team isn’t working efficiently to launch in one market, how will you launch in 10? Inefficient globalization processes leads to go-to-market delays, skyrocketing spend and missed revenue opportunities.
Leveraging “Goal-line” Technology
To efficiently execute marketing campaigns on a global scale, it’s time to start thinking about marketing globalization as a business process that can be optimized. Like the new goal-line technology adopted in this year’s World Cup games, today’s lineup of marketing tech tools are designed to support marketing teams as they work to reach their goal—world domination, of course!
To address the challenges outlined above, marketers can take steps to better leverage their existing marketing tech to localize content, manage concurrent targeted multi-channel campaigns to global audiences, and create efficiencies in their processes to scale campaigns globally, not only saving marketing departments significant time and money, but creating more global demand and revenue for their organizations.
Whether you use a marketing automation, content management system, and/or web content management platform, consider implementing these five tips to plan strategically and optimize for your own World Cup win.
1. Develop a Globally-Minded Audience-Centric Approach: Once you’ve identified your target markets, and the audiences within them, create programs to accomplish your goals (acquisition, upsell, product launch, etc.) within those markets and audiences. Engage your regional and in-country teams to determine the best campaigns to support those goals in a given region, which languages you’ll need to localize materials in, and how messaging may need to be adjusted to be more effective with each culture. If you’re not considering the linguistic differences early on in your planning, but rather treating localization as an afterthought, by definition, you’re not taking an audience-centric approach.
2. Set a Single Launch Date: Determine which teams (functional and regional) will be responsible for each communication channel or element within the campaign and set a common target launch date as a goal your global team will work toward. By executing global multi-channel campaigns concurrently (instead of the common sequential, “rolling thunder” approach), you’ll strengthen your organization’s international brand presence, and pull growth forward. Why wait months before you can reap the benefits of running a campaign in other markets?
3. Bridge Geographical and Functional Silos: Within any given company, you’ve got lots of team players all trying to play their own position – performance marketing, product marketing, field marketing, web marketing, corporate marketing, and more. Be sure everyone is collaborating to stay in sync and on track with your global campaigns. Each region is probably also working with different language service providers best suited for their languages and content types, so be sure they’re viewed as part of the single team, too, and using the same planning, collaboration and management tool as everyone else.
4. Automate the Execution of Localization Initiatives: Managing localization is no longer the slow, manual process it’s been for decades. Marketers can now significantly speed up and streamline the localization process for all content types like web, email and landing pages, by directly connecting your marketing technology tools (CMS, marketing automation, etc.) with a marketing globalization platform available today. This significantly increases not only speed-to-market of your content, but also the productivity of your team. Speed and performance are always critical to any winning team.
5. Keep Score of Campaign Readiness and Metrics: Be sure you are holistically tracking every element within each of your campaigns to identify bottlenecks in the localization process that could sideline your campaign launch date. Hold your entire campaign team accountable for reaching your goal. By tracking localization spend, project completion timelines, and quality, you can continually optimize your team’s ability to get better and better scores with each campaign game.
Executing global delivery of marketing campaigns, programs and messaging does come with its fair share of challenges, but today, with the new tools and approaches available, it also offers the potential for huge gains in company growth and customer engagement that no global marketer can afford to ignore. As the World Cup games come to a close, take a cue from the final round of winning teams and watch how their players work together. Your global marketing team is the same, working toward the same goal, each player having his or her own position to play—but all collaborating to win the game.
Once you’ve got your global marketing game plan, put together your best localization team and technology, and win more markets than you ever thought possible!
This article first appeared in Chief Marketer.