Commentary

"What is a customer journey map?" would seem to be a fairly self-explanatory question. It's a diagram/infographic/flowchart that depicts the steps customers go through to engage with a company. The map can show the path to buying goods or services or gather information. Simple, right? Not so fast.
I bet Facebook is a really stressful place to work these days. Last week, Facebook announced the latest step it's taking to combat "fake news." This time Facebook is focusing on transparency in advertising. But what is Google doing to solve this issue before the next election?
- Posted Oct 31, 2017
Agreeing to name content globalization properly is often a recurring issues and surprising challenge when setting the appropriate stage and sustaining it over time. A lack of convergence in this area often comes from the diversity of definitions that exist, as well as individual opinions on how to put the concept of globalization into practice.
- Posted Oct 30, 2017
With its latest iPhone announcement, Apple sent some digital marketers into a tizzy. The new Safari 11 web browser includes an "Intelligent Tracking Prevention" feature, which imposes a 24-hour limit on data tracking. EContent talked to Chris Loretto, EVP of digital marketing agency Adtaxi, to separate the hype from reality.
Posted Sep 28, 2017
It is sometimes useful to reiterate facts that are taken for granted—or expectations that are may seem obvious—in order to remind some people about the basic imperatives of content globalization. After decades of global expansion, it is surprising to hear about misconceptions or assumptions that may lead global products or services to an unexpected hall of shame. Before talking about the finish line it is necessary to define the start line and the distance to run.
- Posted Sep 27, 2017
Whenever digital globalization is initiated or accelerated the testing stage is a critical milestone to certify that global content delights target audiences and thrives in any target market. This may sound like any other testing effort regardless of scope and nature. Yet, it must be considered holistically. Leading it as a mainstream activity and prioritizing sanity checks are two typical pitfalls that put globalization testing off track and off budget. A couple of guidelines should be kept in mind to avoid ending up with unnecessary iterations and to generate cost effective takeaways.
- Posted Aug 23, 2017
Every issue of EContent brings you insight from the industry's most influential thinkers and strategists. Now we're bringing that to you in infographic form. In this installment we look at the best labels for native advertising, and the content formats marketers turn to most for their campaigns.
Posted Aug 22, 2017
During recent discussions with global product and content leaders, and language service suppliers, I noticed that a recurring topic still made relationships between these suppliers and their clients less productive than expected. They can't seem to agree on the answers to a couple of questions. What are language services and how do these services contribute to global business in general and digital experiences in particular?
- Posted Jul 26, 2017
Diversity is a key value in digital globalization. Regardless of industry--or globalization maturity stage--diversity cannot live and thrive without holistic inclusion (a major enabler of content globalization). When it comes to the mind of global leaders and performers, holistic inclusion fuels a number of aspects of global content operations ranging from processes to standards and from planning to execution. As a matter of fact, inclusion underlies success all along the way--provided it is embraced from the outset of global expansion and growth.
- Posted Jun 28, 2017
Content marketing has grown wildly popular. In fact, 88% of B2B marketers employ some kind of content strategy. In some ways, this is beneficial; it means we have more data to use in producing more content, and a network of support through publication and syndication. However, it also means a drastic increase in competition.
- Posted Jun 08, 2017
One of the best gauges you have for the success of your blog is the number of people interacting with your content (i.e., leaving comments and discussing your content on social media). It proves that your users aren't just visiting or browsing, but are actually interested in what you're saying. So what if nobody is responding to your blog? What can you do?
- Posted May 31, 2017
An announcement made the headlines just a few days ago that could help recalibrate and accelerate globalization in a sustainable way. China announced it was going to invest $124 billion in order to strengthen the new Silk Road (also know as One Belt, One Road) aiming to boost global development, trade, and cooperation.
- Posted May 26, 2017
You may have developed a quality piece of content, but if it doesn't reach the right people, it will never have the influence you want. The mark of a great blogger or content manager is knowing where to publish a piece of content for maximum exposure.
- Posted May 03, 2017
At first glance, content globalization may be seen as a cost rather than in investment. This short-term and misleading view should be challenged and used as inspiration to execute goals on time and on budget. One way to turn digital globalization from a cost center into a profit driver in the mind of stakeholders—and in everyday content operations—is to deliver highly engaging and demand generating content.
- Posted Apr 26, 2017
Keeping on top of changing user behaviour is an important challenge for businesses to face, as customers expect a fluid transition between the desktop, mobile and in-store experiences. This means that to reach this audience effectively, your marketing needs to be delivered with consistency across multiple channels.
Posted Mar 31, 2017
Digital globalization may sound like a fairly obvious process to content leaders and owners who may therefore define it in a too narrow fashion, i.e. pushing content out to the world. Like for other business processes they should mind the gap between quick assumptions and fast execution. Digital globalization entails the deployment of content across multiple markets and a multitude of steps. So it must be managed holistically and precisely to be truly efficient.
- Posted Mar 29, 2017
Every issue of EContent brings you insight from the industry's most influential thinkers and strategists. Now we're bringing that to you in infographic form. In this installment we look at digital marketing, pushed content, and the technology that helps get the job done.
Posted Mar 03, 2017
Consistency and relevance are your best allies when grabbing the attention of global customers and keep feeding them. You should also bear in mind some dependencies and factors that are tied to digital globalization as a whole. Here are some points that are even more crucial to consider when deploying and valuing bite-sized content internationally, wherever it must be understood, consumed, remembered and shared.
- Posted Feb 24, 2017
Beyond philosophical and social dimensions, diversity fuels many tactical and strategic decisions about globalizing and localizing content effectively, whether it is internally or externally. It is part of the global success chain. Here are a few examples of areas where it is at home.
- Posted Jan 27, 2017
While delivering content across multiple channels has been a requirement for years, we must now appreciate that customers move across channels and cannot be missed in any of them at any time. Therefore there is no surprise that omnichannel goals are embedded in digital globalization plans, and have become another facet of processes and practices to create global content, and deliver on local experiences.
- Posted Nov 23, 2016
Why should you care about narratives? The term comes up constantly in politics and increasingly in marketing. It is, however, important to note the difference between narrative and story. A narrative is to a story what an episode is to a situation-comedy. A good narrative supports lots of stories.
Your adaptations are natural and often automatic, largely because you know your audience, speak their language, and share a common context. Contrast this with what your company has to do to present its case and sell its wares in markets around the world. It adjusts the offer, the product, the language, the website, mobile apps, SEO, marketing collateral, its way of selling, how it delivers the product, and who supports it.
Blockchain is a distributed ledger system that uses a network consensus to record and execute transactions. It's best known as the platform for the web currency bitcoin, which is currently revolutionizing the financial services industry. However, blockchain has recently drawn wider attention as an increasing number of business leaders recognize that the underlying technology of this transformational architecture can be applied to almost any industry.
Contextual commerce describes the situation in which a customer completes a purchase within his or her current online environment, rather than having to go to an external website, search for the item, place it in the shopping cart, and fill out payment information. Other terms that have been used to describe this type of transaction include "conversational commerce" and in the publishing and media world, "shoppable" content.
Globalizing content, and localizing it at scale, play crucial roles in the continued expansion of ecommerce across a number of markets and are therefore considered reliable business performance indicators. Here is a brief overview of a few globalization best practices powering international ecommerce.
- Posted Oct 25, 2016
Marketers, intranet managers, publishers, and the IT professionals that support them not only need to understand the specific product technologies that support core domain functions, they also need a working knowledge of the technologies they interact, integrate, and overlap with.
- Posted Oct 07, 2016
If you want your localization project to run smoothly, you have to plan ahead. Here are some tips for making sure your project is efficient and transparent.
- Posted Sep 22, 2016
In most ways content management is very mature, but in one important way it is not: there is too much focus on new projects, new toys, and new buzzwords, and not enough on maintaining and managing content, technology, and process lifecycles – in other words, on operations.
- Posted Sep 09, 2016
Think of it as the secret ingredient that enables automated marketing programs to serve people-centric content. Social media, email acquisition and content publishing tools give brands the greenlight to publish directly to their audiences. Yet a publishing approach requires a journalist's mindset. And that starts with a story based on what the reader cares about, not your brand's message.
- Posted Sep 07, 2016
This is what happens when you actually understand your audience. It's not about bombarding your customers with ads, no matter where they go, based on old behavior. It's about understanding their interests, and offering them new products or services that you think will be useful to them.
- Posted Aug 31, 2016
Executing content globalization is about dealing with a variety of details. Performance and success depend on how successful such details are addressed. Content creators sometimes consider terminology to be a low-level task or detail. They should never do so. One wrongly used term can damage the effectiveness of content for some time. While it is quite easy for anyone to spot a terminology mistake as far as spelling or meaning, it actually goes deeper and further than an obvious glitch and spoils critical touch points in the digital experience.
- Posted Aug 22, 2016
Native advertising has become a chosen favorite over traditional advertising due to the ability to reach consumers through branded storytelling. Syracuse University's Online Masters of Science in Communication has created a detailed infographic that explores the essence of native advertising by addressing key elements such as growth, market landscape, and the impact on publications as well as readers.
Posted Aug 18, 2016
Capturing what matters and measuring what counts: This is a global leadership imperative. And it is the best--if not the only--way to showcase that managing digital globalization and delivering international experiences effectively pay off. It is all about effectiveness and starts with the early steps in the global content value chain. A number of criteria and indicators should be on the radar screen of anyone willing to define, analyze, and leverage effectiveness holistically. Productivity may not always be at the top of the list in terms of localization benefits although it definitely drives time and cost savings, while enabling to better allocate resources and optimize timeframes. It may come up as a secondary factor or be diluted in other prominent indicators such as content accuracy or consistency.
- Posted Jul 25, 2016
When it comes to digital and social media, companies have made tremendous strides. You'd be hard pressed to find a company that doesn't have a corporate website, or even a Twitter handle. Yet CEOs still have a long way to go in becoming truly "social." Given today's consumer-driven, always-on digital landscape, social media usage among CEOs is critical to maintain and govern a brand's reputation, build and deepen relationships with customers and employees, and drive innovation that can lead to rapid business growth.
- Posted Jul 20, 2016
The death of the Content Management System (CMS) market has been predicted many times over the years because of constant market consolidation. But for every CMS vendor acquired, new vendors emerged. This is still happening. But in addition, CMSs are growing in capability, and both CMSs and Content Management Components (CMCs) are being integrated into all kinds of platforms and applications. Is the CMS market finally headed to death by dilution? Is it "eating the world"?
- Posted Jul 12, 2016
Some people argue a video speaks louder and longer than text. While this might not always be true, videos fit nicely in top-notch digital experiences as dynamic and engaging components. Video creators know well they have to tap into several types of expertise to glue multiple layers of content together and define the winning combination of text, visuals, and sound. That challenge is actually replicated as many times as the number of international markets and audiences you want to target. Diversity plays out in such content which is no exception to globalization best practices.
- Posted Jun 17, 2016
With new business tools and technology popping up on an almost daily basis, many are asking whether it can truly help brands to deliver the perfect shopping experience and if technology for technology's sake delivers any real value to the consumer. While some tools and features may be a little over-the-top, here are five things you should definitely consider to assist your customers and ensure you don't get left behind.
- Posted Jun 09, 2016
A few weeks ago I talked to social media experts and leaders who brought up concerns about how to make the most of content from digital listening channels in general, and social media in particular around the world. Capturing user-generated content effectively is a must in the digital globalization age. Understanding and leveraging it is equally business critical to get the whole value, and often proves to be more challenging than initially expected. To a large extent this content reflects the diversity of people who create it based on their personality and their attitude.
- Posted May 20, 2016
Concerns about forced standardization and diluted creativity are frequent pitfalls on the way to executing a global content strategy. On the one hand local or regional stakeholders may be skeptical or reluctant to digest and deploy content that their customers may not consider as actionable within their market. This viewpoint may lead to slow or no acceptance. They may even see digital globalization efforts as the output of a big factory that rolls content out in a number of geographies while focusing the role of content owners on sign-off tasks. On the other hand, global leaders want to ensure a good level of coherence and consistency so the right messages are conveyed to target markets in a way that preserves the value of brands, products or services.
- Posted Apr 22, 2016
Who has time to create and manage content, ads and social media platforms? Let alone do it effectively? As an entrepreneur, you want to focus on the core aspects of your business rather than fret about marketing strategies and tools. That's why we're providing a list of some of these tools, recommended by those with experience.
- Posted Mar 25, 2016
Some myths or misconceptions still affect digital globalization and lead to risky decisions or faux pas. One of them is the assumption that it is less important to localize content when it comes to engaging with business-to-business customers and employees internationally. This boils down to stating that they neither need nor deserve the same level of content quality that other valued consumers require. Some decision makers are willing to justify it by claiming that English is the universal language of business. This proves to be an opinion rather than a fact more often than not.
- Posted Mar 18, 2016
If you're one of the many businesses who focuses exclusively on the so-called "grey pound," you're missing a trick. The boomer generation has long been associated with robust spending power and tons of disposable income, and marketers, as a result, have tended to focus on appealing to this audience alone. Read on for four reasons you need to embrace multi-generational marketing, as well as insight into how you should go about it.
- Posted Mar 16, 2016
Data is all around us whether we use it or we are part of it. More than another trend, data is the way to move with agility and make every step and achievement tangible for those who do not see or believe it. One of the most transformational and accelerating factors of digitization is precisely how data is considered, leveraged, valued, and distilled. As data mining is not new it has become more than just a back office type of activity. It is all about turning facts into more than facts, figures into more than figures, and content into more than content.
- Posted Feb 19, 2016
According to The New Mobile Mantra, a report from Millward Brown Digital, over half (55%) of mobile users access news on their smartphones every day. That's a lot, but desktop use is still holding on, with 50% of users accessing news every day. When Millward Brown asked respondents, "How often, if at all, do you read, watch, news using each of the following mediums?" smartphones and desktops continued to lead the pack with 93% and 92% respectively. Tablets came in behind TV and radio with just 71% of respondents choosing that option.
- Posted Jan 25, 2016
Digital content excellence will play out more than ever before and global expansion will remain a major growth enabler for the next 12 months--and likely beyond. In other words digital customer experience across geographies and markets will be there to stay and will keep global business leaders and players busy, sometimes busier than what they planned or expected last year. Having said that we may wonder what is ahead of us this year and how it is going to impact digital globalization practices and objectives.
- Posted Jan 20, 2016
In just under two decades we've witnessed abrupt changes in how many businesses operate. Ordering toilet paper online would have seemed absolutely absurd ten years ago. However, getting similar household items online is becoming more and more commonplace. Want to find a good restaurant? A quick Google search and some Yelp reviews will help you zero in. And businesses cannot survive without a web presence. Things have definitely changed, and this has only been accelerated by the smartphones we carry with us wherever we go.
- Posted Jan 13, 2016
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo struck a chord with readers last year. Everyone from pack rats to neat freaks turned to the book to help them get their homes in order. And bloggers jumped on the decluttering bandwagon, helping people who didn't read the book get some use out of it as well. But the more I read about cleaning out my closets and desk drawers, the more I realized Marie Kondo has wisdom for content marketers as well.
- Posted Jan 11, 2016
Content marketing is every where. It's so ubiquitous it can be easy to turn a blind eye to it. if your email inbox is anything like mine, you're constantly being bombarded with white papers, newsletters, and infographics. It's easy to start ignoring them. But once in a while, an example of really great content marketing leaps out at you--often when you least expect it. Here are my favorites from 2015.
- Posted Jan 08, 2016
Subscriptions used to be the exclusive domain of publishers, but not any more. Today, the subscription revenue model is the business strategy of choice for everything from software to snacks. There's a burgeoning business of "box" subscriptions: coffee, underwear, food, nail polish, razors, and anything else you can fit in a box and people will pay for to receive on a regular basis.
Content marketing is for failures. As this relatively new (or old, depending who you ask) discipline of digital marketing works through a few awkward-and sometimes painful-growth spurts, one pattern seems to pervade: You will almost definitely get it wrong before you get it right.
- December 2015 Issue, Posted Dec 14, 2015
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