Businesses Need to Adopt International Content Strategies to Support Growth and Improve Customer Experience

Sep 12, 2017

Econsultancy, the digital marketing research firm, in partnership with Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. a digital communications company, released a new study titled "International Content: Monetizing Global Content Assets and Measuring Success." Based on a survey of more than 270 executive-level marketers across a variety of international businesses, the report examines the role of international content in driving global expansion, while improving customer experience (CX) and increasing revenue.

The report explores ways in which high-performing organizations govern their international content to improve global brand positioning and drive revenue. The survey contrasts leaders' methods with those of the mainstream to gain a better understanding of successful approaches to global content management and the challenges these approaches encounter.

The report found that as globalization accelerates, industry leaders tend to centralize control of their global content. Seventy-two percent of leaders describe their governance of global content as either "very tightly controlled at a global level, with no local autonomy," or "tightly controlled, with some local autonomy." Many organizations still struggle with establishing a global governance framework. While leaders are unsurprisingly better in this regard, roughly a fifth of both performance groups report it being the main barrier to their organization's expansion efforts. Additional findings include:

  •  65% of leaders believe that internationalization of content is "critical for creating a global brand," compared to only 35% of mainstream respondents. There is broad consensus among leaders that carefully planned international content is integral to digital transformation and overall CX.
  • 63% of leaders have a technology platform in place to facilitate global expansion, compared to only 12% of the mainstream.
  • 54% of leaders believe their budgeting for international websites is "very much based on a quantifiable understanding of the likely revenue uplift." They are similarly likely to report that they have portioned off budget for content internationalization (60%).
  • Leaders are more than four times as likely as the mainstream to have clear ownership of content within their businesses.
  • Among leaders, control of content within the business itself lies with product teams twice as often as it does with the product teams of the mainstream (36% versus 15%), and with analysts at about the same rate (46% for leaders versus 23% for the mainstream).

Localization can be a challenge for many larger, international organizations that typically have more rigidly defined content strategies, versus companies in the more ad-hoc mainstream. However, leaders are trying to change this. The report found that twice as many leaders are planning to extend the number of markets in which they have a web presence as their mainstream peers.

Among the top challenges organizations face when seeking to grow the number of local markets in which they operate are technology, industry compliance and limited understanding of ROI within the organization. Leaders are more than twice as likely as their mainstream peers to report industry compliance as the chief obstacle to localized expansion, while mainstream respondents report a lack of business case and limited understanding of ROI at twice the rate of high-performers.