Customer centricity is the name of the game if you want to expand across diverse and evolving markets. This can be achieved only if organizations embrace digital globalization when and how it should be—and if leaders understand the value it creates and adds to their business. In other words, operational globalization facets are critical to ensure that great execution inside globalizing organizations reflects on customer experiences around the world. While there is no silver bullet, there are some steps that should be recommended to any company regardless of size, industry, location, or maturity.
Understand target markets and customers to tap into global opportunities. While there may be common ground between multiple countries or territories, each market remains different—so do customers and their requirements. It is necessary to go above awareness and beyond common sense to consider each driver of international experiences. The level of understanding determines how effectively you localize content and engage with customers, both individually and collectively. The most important questions that should be answered during this analysis phase are why, when, and how local customers use products and services.
Connect and align leaders and stakeholders to root digital globalization imperatives in the corporate DNA. Based on the outcome of customer understanding efforts, stakeholders have to outline and endorse what must be achieved. This encompasses process improvement, organizational change, or people management in various departments and functions. As global expansion is neither easy nor quick, globalizing organizations have to adapt themselves to bring international customers to the business and should not assume the opposite will happen. Moreover, alignment and synchronization should be end-to-end, as digital globalization performance relies on many people in the organization. Multi-national organizations have to face the additional challenge of ensuring that global, regional, and local teams join forces at all times. Executive sponsorship and mandates definitely help.
Lead digital globalization to keep alignment and success sustainable. There is no worse roadblock than a lack of leadership. At the very least, it creates uncertainty for a number of leaders and stakeholders. At worst, some of them do not buy in. A globalization watchtower works better than an ivory tower to maintain trust, influence, momentum, and progress over time. Visibility and effectiveness depend on the skills and impact of people leading globalization.
Internationalize content to boost digital globalization. It implies thinking ahead and making content ready for international customers. It may be quite unnatural in some cases and may require enhancements of content and product management practices. More often than not, poor internationalization is the root cause of localization issues affecting customer experiences. Content creators and owners need to be trained, if they have not been exposed to internationalization standards and best practices. They must be able to revisit their framework from a planning, resourcing, and execution perspective.
Localize content to deliver customer experiences. Localization is all about crafting and delivering simple and relevant experiences to the right people. As a most important investment for any global business, there is little room for assumptions, myths, and failure. Again, teamwork is needed between leaders who own content and leaders who are refining it for international markets. If localization is not incorporated in plans of records and in product road maps as a value-adding phase, you have to shake the foundation of your content supply and value chain. Bear in mind that localization must cover the whole product or service experience, such as features, training, assistance, and support.
Measure digital globalization to keep it actionable. In addition to capturing the overall performance, measuring effectiveness against global business indicators is no option. It is a matter of globalization execution rather than mere analytics. Nothing in globalization goes without saying, and it must be spelled out across your organization.