New research from digital marketing research firm Econsultancy, in partnership with translation and digital comms company Lionbridge Technologies, explores ways in which high-performing organizations govern their international content to improve global brand positioning and drive revenue—contrasting leaders’ methods with those of the mainstream to gain a better understanding of successful approaches to global content management and the challenges these approaches encounter.
The new study, International Content: Monetizing Global Content Assets and Measuring Success, based on a survey of more than 270 executive-level marketers across a variety of international businesses, examines the role of international content in driving global expansion, while improving customer experience (CX) and increasing revenue.
The report found that as globalization accelerates, industry leaders tend to centralize control of their global content. Seventy-two percent of leaders describe their governance of global content as either “very tightly controlled at a global level, with no local autonomy,” or “tightly controlled, with some local autonomy.”
Many organizations still struggle with establishing a global governance framework
While leaders are unsurprisingly better in this regard, roughly a fifth of both performance groups report it being the main barrier to their organization’s expansion efforts.
How would you describe your organization’s ability to compare its content impact in different regions and markets?
Additional findings include:
- Nearly two-thirds of leaders (65 percent) believe that internationalization of content is “critical for creating a global brand,” compared to only 35 percent of mainstream respondents. There is broad consensus among leaders that carefully planned international content is integral to digital transformation and overall CX.
- Sixty-three percent of leaders have a technology platform in place to facilitate global expansion, compared to only 12 percent of the mainstream.
- More than half (54 percent) of leaders believe their budgeting for international websites is “very much based on a quantifiable understanding of the likely revenue uplift.” They are similarly likely to report that they have portioned off budget for content internationalization (60 percent).
- Leaders are more than four times as likely as the mainstream to have clear ownership of content within their businesses.
- Among leaders, control of content within the business itself lies with product teams twice as often as it does with the product teams of the mainstream (36 percent versus 15 percent), and with analysts at about the same rate (46 percent for leaders versus 23 percent for the mainstream).
How would you describe your organization’s governance of global content?
“As the digital world becomes more personalized and connected and organizations increasingly conduct business across global markets, providing relevant, engaging content to a diverse set of customers can be a challenge,” said Clint Poole, SVP and CMO at Lionbridge, in a news release. “This research reveals that global marketing leaders are those that not only localize digital content, but also leverage data to measure the impact of content and provide customers with meaningful experiences.”
Localization can be a challenge
This is especially for many larger, international organizations that typically have more rigidly defined content strategies, versus companies in the more ad-hoc mainstream. However, leaders are trying to change this—the report found that twice as many leaders are planning to extend the number of markets in which they have a web presence as their mainstream peers.
Does your organization have a framework for managing global content?
Among the top challenges organizations face when seeking to grow the number of local markets in which they operate are technology, industry compliance and limited understanding of ROI within the organization. Leaders are more than twice as likely as their mainstream peers to report industry compliance as the chief obstacle to localized expansion, while mainstream respondents report a lack of business case and limited understanding of ROI at twice the rate of high-performers.