In July of this year, the CMO Council released a new report called The Age of the Adaptive Marketer. This report looked at how marketers felt about their localization efforts. The survey found that most marketers are struggling to localize their content.

The Findings

The majority of the 150 marketers surveyed, at 63 percent, said they are “getting better,” “need improvement,” or are doing “not well at all” at adapting their content for different markets, audiences, partners, and geographies. Only one-third of respondents said they were “very advanced” or “doing well.”

The survey also asked respondents what tools they use to track the output of their content. The favorite was project and workflow management platforms with 53 percent. This was followed by collaboration tools with 49 percent, campaign and content analytics dashboards with 46 percent, and digital asset management tools with 41 percent.

Far less popular were resource scheduling tools (with 23 percent) and online approval and proofing systems (with 20 percent).

Reasons for the Struggle

One potential cause of problems with localized content could relate to how much companies spend on their local branded content. Three-quarters said they spend 10 percent or less of their budget on localization and almost half said they spend less than 5 percent.

Many companies also pointed out a failure and dissatisfaction with supply chains and creative delivery around localized content. The CMO Council asked respondents to rate the speed, responsiveness, and capabilities of their in-house team or agency. As many as 69 percent said they are “not good at all,” “need improvement,” or are “getting better.”

Just 20 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with their process of bringing content to physical and digital channels within the weeks following the launch of a campaign.

The CMO Council used the results in the survey to name five main challenges. These were:

  1. reducing turnaround times,
  2. ensuring quality and adherence to brand guidelines,
  3. improving workflow management,
  4. meeting content deadlines,
  5. and measuring the impact of content on the target audience.

How Marketers Can Use This Information

The results of the survey suggest that many organizations are creating generic content and then trying to adapt it to local markets once it is complete. However, customers are looking for content that will help them in a specific situation — they want personalized information. Content reworked to include place names and other geographic references doesn’t cut it.

Your brand has the opportunity to grab interest of users already seeking content similar to what you are creating. You simply need to add cultural elements and show your audience that you have knowledge of their location. Previous research has found that these tactics can greatly improve the results of local content.

Furthermore, you need to make better use of the tools available to you. There is a vast range of tools available to support creation, collaboration, and delivery tasks. Improving efficiency allows your content to make a greater impact.

Plus, without tools, it is difficult to measure the effects of your strategy to any degree of accuracy. It is therefore impossible to know what tactics you should continue implementing and which to change. Looking at vanity metrics, like reach, will give you no real indication of success.

There is one even more serious issue: brands underestimate the importance of local content. This is shown by the lack of spending on localization, despite local content being critical for everyone from SMBs to large corporations.

Google already gives local content preference, due to the high volume of searches with local terms and the fact that consumers often want actionable information. Plus, local content is frequently the best way to create content that will reach your target audience when you are competing with so many other pieces for users’ attention.

You can find the report here.



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