Making Digital Content Truly Global

"The rest of the world" has to become "most of the world" in the mindset and practices of global executives and leaders. Digital is global in nature, not by default. Becoming truly international is what digital globalization is all about. Since content must be seen as a product, it means that global objectives must be translated into engaging experiences locally. Seamless digital experience is common ground for all-as it creates value during mobile, web, and social journeys and feeds the appetite for applications, products, or entertainment online. 

It is crucial to get to know customers well and understand how they live and behave in their preferred environments. Business performance globally is deeply rooted in effective local customer experience. Local experiences are strongly influenced by what customers do, like, prefer, and expect. Rationality matters as much as emotion. Customer experience starts well before making any content available across international markets using audience profiles (aka personas), including cultural sensitivity, linguistic needs and preferences, business and individual do's and don'ts, and legal and technical frameworks. Stereotypes are counterproductive. So addressing these dependencies up front is the best guarantee to stay focused on customer centricity.

Also digital globalization must be executed holistically, as well as time-effectively and cost-effectively, to deliver content experience internationally. This implies instilling simplicity and leveraging automation to deal with the underlying complexity of content design, development, certification, and deployment. From an organizational perspective, joint efforts are required from technical and non-technical parties. Establishing cross-functional collaboration and sound communication protocols should keep everyone on the right track. It is even more vital when teams are geographically and linguistically dispersed to ensure centrally managed assets and tools are combined with local execution.

Technology remains a business-enabler in the interest of interactions between global customers and products. Transformation and acceleration drive many global operations, and both rely on automation. With the tools and services available today, it is easier to streamline processes and workflows to enhance the consistency, maintenance, governance, and acceptance powering international customer experience.

A sensible digital globalization approach must be based on the whole globalization picture. Therefore, it must be embedded in business plans from the outset and cover the global content value chain. Rather than fragmenting globalization efforts, it makes sense to identify leadership. It helps bridge potential silos or avoids diluting value across an organization that generates synergies and savings. A lack of control due to a lack of ownership and leadership may come up quickly whenever multiple stakeholders, partners, and suppliers are involved internally and externally.

Centrally managed globalization enables you to follow a proven global growth model. Designing and developing world-ready content up front and adapting it with agility and centricity do not go without saying and call for new-and sometimes unnatural-practices. Oversimplification and assumptions are frequent pitfalls and can be avoided by elevating these tasks in light of quick wins, captured and measured value, and role models.

Digital globalization is about hearing the voice of customers, speaking their language, and exceeding their standard aspirations around the world so that they experience content in the most natural, intuitive, and actionable way. This is the price of effectiveness. Their language entails their mother tongue, cultural references, and local ecosystems. How that language will be used and respected makes or breaks their experience in any digital property.

Central management and locally driven execution contribute to making the digital globalization balance right. Synchronizing global content lifecycles with global product management helps maintain it. In short, it enables global companies to move faster from a global footprint and message to international operations and effectiveness.   

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