Localization – most marketers aren’t happy with results

Do you localize content?  Some of our clients do.  We’re involved as we have on staff native speakers of several languages and are able to localize, not just translate. A recent study from the CMO Council surveyed marketers for information about the state of localization in their company and is summarized in this article on MarTech Today by Amy Gesenhues. 

A full 75% of CMOs invest less than 10% of their budgets for localization and, regardless of spend, a large majority are unhappy with the results. Of the total surveyed only about one third felt they were doing well or were very advanced in this area.  

The report address the broad issues of localization, it’s certainly not language alone. For international content one must address everything from number, currency and date formats to colors and visual images plus so much more.  Even strictly within US borders localization efforts are also applied to content due to large differences across the population. it is important to change your content to best meet the needs of various locales. Localization is a complicated area!  

Get the full report here  for insights on marketers views about localization efforts and see how your company compares. 

Belgium – be there soon!

provinciaal-hof-1508333_1920Two of the team are headed to Belgium.  After a grueling day of travel, which includes a quick stop in Iceland and a multi hour drive, they will arrive in Belgium.  One of our clients has customers there and wants interviews and video which we’ll turn into video testimonials, quotes, case studies and more.  The team is taking what looks like thousands of pounds of camera and lighting equipment, plus all their personal items, carefully packed into many rolling, hard sided suitcases and two backpacks.   

Their time in Belgium is completely booked, and short, as they return to the US late Friday.  While they likely will have no time for sightseeing we have been lobbying that they return with Belgian chocolates for the office!

Sometimes you find a gem!

Many of us subscribe to newsletters, probably lots and lots of newsletters.  The chances of reading through them all each time they arrive is pretty low but sometimes as you skim through you find a gem.  I recently received the July issue of the newsletter from 4imprint, a vendor we’ve used for branded materials for trade show giveaways to client holiday gifts.  This issue focused on social customer service.  Of course they did weave in ways their products could help, but with a relevant and ‘non-intrusive’ approach.  The newsletter had highlights of an article with much more detail, a ‘blue paper’ as they are called by 4imprint.  Those highlights were interesting enough that I decided to look at the original article.

One statistic in particular was surprising:  “Those customers who use live chat for service report a satisfaction rate of 92 percent. This satisfaction rate is higher than that for service via phone, web form, email and social media.”  Live chat was followed pretty closely by voice which received an 88% satisfaction level.

The full article is here and quite interesting.  There are examples of how well known companies are approaching customer service, research findings, and recommendations as to how you might improve service to your customers.   And the sources are well documented!  How often have you wanted to use a stat you’ve seen somewhere but couldn’t trace it back to an original source?  The accompanying Infographic is a great summary.  Well done 4imprint!

Referential: Influitive’s First Certified Partner!

Influitive certification logoWe just got the official word that we are Influitive‘s first Certified Partner!  Just in case you haven’t heard of them, the Influitive platform provides companies with the ability to create communities of advocates and really leverage all the goodwill that their advocates have generated.

Getting certified required the successful completion, by more than one of the Referential team, of a series of online and classroom training sessions, field training, and passing a final oral exam to demonstrate that we have the necessary skills and knowledge to represent Influitive to customers.

Influitive was created by the founder of Eloqua (since bought by Oracle for almost $1 billion) and is attracting a lot of attention in the marketplace. We’ve watched the platform evolve and mature over the last three years and definitely feel that the time is right to participate in what we think will be a game changer in our industry. One of the great things for us is that the AdvocateHub, as it’s known, is a logical extension of everything we’ve been doing over the last 20+ years in the reference/advocacy space – it just makes things so much easier!

Influitive has offices around the globe and we’re really proud to be the first Certified Partner in the world!

Check what you already have first!

We’re helping a new client get a more formalized customer advocacy program off and running.  We’re contacting customers that have given high NPS scores recently, that have been part of early adopter or beta testing programs, or that were ‘known’ to product marketing.  But there are other treasure troves of advocates out there!  Stories on our client’s web site and quotes in press releases are just two examples of advocacy in action.

In the zeal to get new advocates you need to be careful to not overlook the ones you already have!  Make sure they are welcomed into any new program.  It’s a great opportunity to reconnect and understand the activities they are now interested in.  They have been there for you in the past, make sure they are a central part of your program moving forward.

Languages, Languages

English, French, German, Spanish, and Japanese.  We just finished program documentation for one of our clients in all of those languages.  Language expertise has been a priority for our recent hires and they’re busy translating program documentation, speaking with our clients’ sales reps in local language, and working directly with their end customers.  We prioritized languages after discussions with our clients and analysis of their customer base.  Our hires are a mix of native speakers and folks who learned primarily in school, but who coupled that book learning with significant time abroad.  We have found that even native speakers don’t necessarily know the complete suite of business terms we need but that’s been fairly easy to address.  We have our next priority languages set and are actively recruiting now.  Our languages list will be longer shortly!

Events – details, details, details

We’re helping one of our clients plan a select customer appreciation event to be held at their annual user group conference.  As with many large conferences the event is in Las Vegas.  Couldn’t be easier to work with the people from the hotel, as we change details they’re very flexible and send new quotes almost immediately.   It’s a late afternoon/early evening reception with appetizers, should we have 3 or 4?  Hard to believe all the decisions that went into the final table and chair layout!  And our RSVP list keeps growing, nearly every single person invited is attending.

Even for a 90 minute event project management comes in handy.  We’ve been tracking all the issues associated with customer and internal employee invitations and RSVPs; ordering and shipment of awards that will be presented; not to mention all the decisions necessary for food, drink, and entertainment.  Everything’s in one spreadsheet stored at a shared location  This has been a real necessity as the key decision makers are scattered in multiple states.  Putting some structure around this has made it easier for all involved.  At any time we can all check the current status of issues and action items.

For even a smallish project, when key players are all remote from each other, what works best for you?