Monetizing Local Content to Increase Global Content Premiumization

Jul 16, 2018

Article ImageThe topic of digital content monetization comes up during conferences and forums on a regular basis. It can be great to listen to leaders and practitioners who want to highlight this facet of content value, which may be hidden, underestimated, or misunderstood, in international content strategies. Most importantly, it is crucial to incorporate monetization drivers and enablers in most localization and globalization blueprints—especially when you consider evolving experience expectations across markets in the digital age. Here are a few points that can help nail down local content monetization as well as embed it in global content premiumization as much as possible.

  • Monetization turns content effectiveness into a profit driver. Effectiveness in speed and relevance of local content and products has a cost, and localization is therefore primarily considered as a cost. While such a gut feeling is natural, the main challenge lies in how to use that cost wisely rather than merely in how to handle, contain, or reduce it like one block. First of all, it needs to be broken down into components to meet local standards and exceed local aspirations better and faster than the competition. In other words, the overall localization cost must cover customer journeys in detail. Once this level of granularity is reached, localized content can be truly monetized by adding value to currently sold products, and indirectly by increasing the number of sold products and enhancing brand equity over time. In terms of customer experiences, it means making products and content faster and more intuitive to understand, learn, use, remember, and share. In terms of globalization operations and execution, it means that localization costs are absorbed, justified, and revenue-generating.
  • Monetization enables doing less with more in order to localize content as necessary. When monetization supports a better localization cost structure doing less with more becomes as important as doing more with less. When localized content is monetized it gets easier to focus localization efforts on specific target groups and/or markets where it is most effective. It implies localizing less with more impact on immersive experiences and increased sales wherever feasible. Doing so should also help solve how to optimize available resources and budgets. At any rate differentiation through uniqueness and empathy has to remain a clear guideline to enhance content premiumization first, and monetization next.
  • Monetization may give a broader choice to some local customers. Customers prefer content that is in line with their linguistic, cultural, and functional practices. In some cases and markets, the level of localization may vary according to the actual choice of customers. For example, content may be translated for customers in the Nordics whereas some of them may be fine to get in in English only. So there may be a valid choice for these audiences between fully localized content and leveraged, or syndicated global content. It is worth bringing up the discrimination option when entering new markets as well as growing in existing markets. It is a bit as if customers could choose between the summary of an article (basic) and its full version (premium) online. Nevertheless, this way of monetizing local content should be seriously back by research and data since uncompromised localization remains the most effective way to go by default to premiumize content and deliver on local experiences around the world.
  • Monetization helps demonstrate the need for professional and comprehensive localization. Some stakeholders in globalizing organizations may see product and content localization as too slow and expensive in addition to being a layer of complexity. More often than not this is due to a lack of knowledge and understanding of what localization truly entails and requires. When localization efforts are put in perspective with the objective of monetizing content, or part of it, the same people are in a much better position to analyze localization costs and fund a professional approach ensuring a flawless execution of translation, engineering, or testing tasks
  • Monetization is safer and faster when central management is combined with local execution. Like in other areas of globalization value chains the debate around the level of centralization needed to monetize content locally is going on. And here again, there is no silver bullet as it depends on industries, organizational dependencies, and business objectives. One thing is for sure though. Some level of central management does help, not only to instill control and collaboration, but mostly to support and empower local teams to best leverage global resources, local expertise, and technical capabilities.

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