Leveraging technologies and applying a comprehensive, connected localization strategy is critical for businesses spread across large distributed networks, those with complex channel distribution networks and for any organization that must make the customer experience span both online, mobile, social and brick and mortar engagements.
Consider the latest data on the impact of localization strategies on business, behavior and outcomes. According to the US State Department, US firms loose $50 billion in potential sales because of problems with translation and localization. ComScore states that 90 percent of online commercial searches result in an offline purchase. Data from Google indicates that 61 percent of local searches on a mobile phone result in a phone call. And according to the DMA, 80 percent of household budgets are spent within 50 miles of the home.
So it is even more confusing that in the CMO Council’s study, “Localize to Optimize”, that as nearly one out of four marketers is spending over 50 percent of budgets on local programs and promotions, a staggering 61 percent are not tracking the impact of national advertising on a local level. And as 49 percent of the respondents agree that localized marketing is critical to business growth, only 30 percent have embraced localization automation tools or platforms.
Most telling of the localization shortcomings emerge in the CMO Council’s study, “Greater Gains From Digital Campaigns”, in which 49 percent of marketers admit that, on average, localized marketing campaigns are deployed between 4 – 20 days after the deployment of the initial global campaign. A staggering 20 percent of the marketers surveyed have launch cycles in excess of 30 days.
Marketers are struggling to maintain brand image and consistency across complex networks, challenged to roll out global campaigns across multi-national or multi-lingual localized campaigns, and are at a loss as to how to measure the impact and effectiveness of these campaigns. Those who have adopted content management programs in an effort to standardize materials often find that the stringent guidelines do not allow for the level of personalization and localization needed to most effectively impact a local market. These systems have also fallen short in effectively measuring and monitoring spend, adoption, value and reach.
So how can marketers more effectively activate local customers to either engage with a local store, vendor, partner or even individual agent? What are the required channels, measures and resources that combine to create a comprehensive strategy to optimize customer activation?