Two Flavors of Marketing Content Localization

The need to create and use more relevant marketing messages and materials is prompting marketers to focus on ‘localizing’ their content. In an earlier post, I described a recent survey by the CMO Council which shows that 86% of marketers intend to look for better ways to localize content.

Customizing messages and materials for specific audiences has traditionally forced marketers to make an unattractive trade-off between losing control of brand messaging and brand presentation or incurring excessive costs. Fortunately, now they have access to technology tools that can render this trade-off unnecessary. In fact, a comprehensive Marketing Execution Platform (MEP) will support two distinctive and complementary approaches to content localization. I refer to these two approaches as self-directed localization and menu-driven localization.

Self-Directed Localization

Self-directed localization provides the greatest degree of flexibility to local teams. When this approach is used, corporate headquarters provides local teams access to brand-compliant assets (logos, images, etc.) and allow the local marketers to develop localized materials using those assets. Corporate marketers can also provide high-level templates to guide the development of materials.

Self-directed localization is appropriate when:

  • Local entities (national/regional offices, etc.) have significant marketing resources and expertise.
  • Corporate marketers cannot predetermine the customization options that will be effective.

The key technology enabler of self-directed localization is the Digital Asset Management capabilities of a Marketing Execution Platform. DAM solutions enable corporate marketers to provide easy and controlled access to approved assets. And, if a company requires approval of localized materials, a DAM solution can streamline the approval process.

Menu-Driven Localization

Menu-driven localization provides less, but still significant, flexibility for content localization. When this approach is used, corporate marketers provide local teams (and other authorized users) access to templates of materials such as marketing collateral documents, promotional items, and point-of-sale materials. These templates identify which components of the item can be modified, and, most importantly, they provide a menu of customization options. With this approach, local marketers and other users can localize and/or customize marketing materials, but only in certain predetermined ways.

Menu-driven localization is appropriate when:

  • Local users (salespeople, sales channel partners, etc.) do not have extensive marketing resources or expertise.
  • Corporate marketers can predetermine what customization options will likely be effective.

The primary technology tool for supporting menu-driven localization is the Marketing Asset Management/web-to-print capabilities of a Marketing Execution Platform.
Many companies (especially large enterprises) need both approaches to realize the full potential of content localization, and a Marketing Execution Platform will provide all of the required technological capabilities.

This post was also published on the Adam Software blog.

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Author:Jan Dejosse

CMO - ADAM Software

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