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Digital Marketing Strategy: The Importance of Language

IDG Connect 0811 300x141 Digital Marketing Strategy: The Importance of Language

There’s no doubt that we’re living in an increasingly multilingual society. It actually takes 20 languages to communicate with 80% of the world’s online population. However, according to a report from Common Sense Advisory (CSA), content in English has dominated the web “while companies have catered to Anglophone markets and the enormous spending they generate”. Despite this, English isn’t in fact the only prime language of ecommerce.

When it comes to business, people like being marketed to in their native language and, more often than not, that’s not English. We’ve commissioned a year-long study into the behaviour of the millennial generation (aged 18-36) looking at how their behaviour is forcing businesses to adapt their digital marketing approaches. A key focus for us within this has been the impact language has on marketing techniques. We surveyed 1,800 millennials and found that 32% of the millennial generation in English-speaking markets actually prefer a language other than English. What’s more, 46% are more likely to make a purchase if information is presented in their preferred language. These findings are supported by the CSA’s report which highlighted that 75% of online shoppers are more likely to buy products from websites in their language and 74% are more likely to purchase from the same brand again, if the after-sales care is in their mother tongue.

More so than any generation previously, it’s the millennials who are causing the biggest headache for marketers. They’re far more demanding than their predecessors and expect content to be delivered to them across their preferred device, channel and more importantly, in their preferred language. Figures like those above demonstrate just how language needs to be an integral part of any global digital marketing and customer experience strategy. If you don’t have this factored in then you risk alienating a significant proportion of your target audience, reducing the likelihood of driving brand advocacy and sales.

But how can marketers easily deliver high-quality multilingual content to their customers? It often seems particularly difficult to accomplish this in such a fast-moving, multinational market where millennials interact online and through social media. Digital marketers need to implement solutions that will enable them to translate potentially high volumes of high quality content into multiple languages, and deliver this at speed.

A great example of a business committed to offering its customers this service is B2B travel providerGTA, part of the Kuoni Group. GTA is growing fast, with already thousands of customers in 185 countries worldwide and processes over 21,000 bookings per day in more than 25 languages online. The company has recognised the importance of localising its content – tens of thousands of hotel and ground travel descriptions – to its global customer base, particularly as it continues to grow exponentially. It aims to deliver a seamless and personalised customer experience by addressing cultural differences.

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How to prepare your CRM system for a world of smart devices

CITEworld

GE’s newly introduced free-standing Profile Series gas and electric range is so tuned in to consumers’ needs, you almost start to think of it as a friend, not an appliance. If you have a smartphone, it will check to make sure you turned it off before you left for a busy day, or start preheating on your way home from work — just like a good friend with the keys to your house. It actually performs a multitude of other tasks but as someone who has rushed home during lunch on more than one occasion to make sure the house hadn’t mistakenly burned down, I must say that that “check the stove” feature is a home run.

So yes, I do want it as a friend. And you, as a company whose CRM system and approach is ever-evolving with the times, should be getting ready for the day when I do call it friend. Or at least I start relying on it for far more than an ease-my-mind safety check.

IoT must include CRM

Consumer products, in this environment, will be far more than just inanimate objects. They will be part salesperson and part customer service rep. They’ll even do a bit of cross-selling and upselling for you if the situation is right.

“Today, if you have problem with a product, you go to a support website, call or video chat with a live agent, or walk into a store,” Chuck Ganapathi, founder of a company called Tactile, tells CITEworld. Advances in software, hardware, and even biology, though, will kill off this model of customer service. Eventually, he predicts, “every product — no matter the cost or size — will have an embedded agent in it. Not a human, but a piece of intelligent software that is running on nanoscale electronics or bioelectronics.”

In fact, this scenario is already here, Ganapathi says.

“Companies are already building pills that tell your doctor whether you are taking your medication as prescribed. We already have washing machines that email you when it’s oversudsing because you added too much detergent. As we learn how to shrink electronics to fit under your skin and make circuits out of bacteria, every product can become as sensor-filled, personalized and interactive as your iPhone.”

Couple those advancements with such evolving software techniques as machine learning and natural language processing, and you get embedded agents that can mimic the intelligence of a human agent, Ganapathi concludes.

These CRM-infused devices will also be revenue generators, predicts Aaron Fulkerson, the CEO of MindTouch. These devices will know their “human” very well — including his or her limitations and possible interests, Fulkerson tells CITEworld.

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Macworld to end print edition

New York Post

Peter Longo, just tapped to be the CEO of a newly formed US Media at International Data Group, is making some sweeping changes that appear to be turning the company’s longtime model on its head.

After 30 years, Macworld is ending its print publication with the November issue. It laid off the bulk of its editorial staffers Wednesday. It will survive only as a digital and expo business in the US, although print editions will still be produced overseas.

The changes are part of a bigger restructuring being put in place by Longo, who is based in New York. His Manhattan base is a big change for the company that has always centered its US publications around Boston and San Francisco.

There were also apparently cutbacks at PC World, TechHive and Greenbot — other digital publications published by IDG, which still counts Boston as its worldwide HQ.

Longo had been the CEO of IDG TechNetwork as well as chief digital officer of the overall IDG. Under his umbrella will be publications including CIO, CSO, Computerworld, Greenbot, InfoWorld, ITWorld, Macworld, Network World, PC World and TechHive.

Macworld was one of the last print titles in the stable. PC World had gone all-digital a year ago. Currently, only CIO is still publishing a print edition in the US.

While editorial was hit Sept. 10, it appears sweeping changes will affect the ad sales force as well in a big consolidation.

“We will transition the IDG Enterprise media sales organization from a brand-based to a geography-based structure to make it simpler for our clients to do business with us,” the company said in a statement.

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Marketing That’s (Just) Missing The Mark With Millennials

MediaPost

We know young consumers are picky, and not always easy to please when it comes to marketing. Sometimes a campaign can be so close to getting it right, but the slightest detail stands out to turn them off. From hashtag misuse to gender stereotyping missteps, marketing to young consumers sometimes feels like a land mine of mistakes—especially when targeting a generation who has no problem telling you when you’ve got it wrong. As we say so often, understanding the way that Millennials see themselves is a vital part to messaging to them in the right way. Here are two recent campaigns that are just missing the mark with Millennials, and why.

Gap’s “Dress Normal”

When we asked Millennials 13-24-years-old what they think of Gap’s new “Dress Normal” ads, 67% gave it a thumbs down. Online, the reactions have ranged from confusion to tongue-in-cheek analysis of what exactly it means, and of course inevitable references to normcore (which probably wouldn’t have been good inspiration). Gap Global Chief Marketing Officer Seth Farbman told BuzzFeed, “We wanted it absolutely to be a provocation—what does ‘Dress Normal’ mean to each individual? I think that certainly when it’s paired with photography and paired with some of the headlines, people will understand that it’s about dressing the way you want to.” Unfortunately, the tagline, “Dress Normal,” paired with actors dressed fairly blandly does not call up feelings of individuality, and the tagline instead feels like a directive to choose clothing that doesn’t stand out.

Why It Missed the Mark: As Refinery 29 pointed out, today’s teens are not looking for conformity. Sure they want to “fit in” in some ways, but while looking unique, and they have so many resources—from ModCloth to ASOS and beyond—online that allow them to find clothing that lets them stand out in the right way. This season, we’ve seen tweens arming themselves with spiked backpacks, and 20-something women donning glittery temporary tattoos. Normal is not a motivator. The idea of dressing “like yourself” would be far more likely to resonate, and unfortunately, though that might be Gap’s ultimate message here, it’s lost under the hints at conventionality.

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You Might Not “Like” This, But You Should

MediaPost

Boy, it’s been a hard year for the Facebook “like” — because, well, no one likes it anymore.

First came the news that a simple “like” was useless –  to advertisers anyway –because it has long ago stopped meaning that consumers who “like” advertiser pages will actually see the content that is then stuffed into their News Feed

And then, this week, came this news: Facebook is now disallowing most incentivized “liking,” of the “’Like’-our-page-if-you-want-to-enter-the-sweepstakes” variety. From a post on a Facebook developer blog: “You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page.”

Now, this is a sad day. If you can’t trick people into liking your Facebook page, why even get up in the morning?

Or is it such a sad day?

I think not. It’s actually a much-needed reset of what used to be advertisers’ baseline Facebook currency, a measurement of their worth. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an advertiser boast about its number of “likes,”  at least publicly, for three reasons:

1.     A lot of these “likes” were just the sort of ill-begotten, meaningless clicks that came out of this silly incentivizing meme.

2.     Given the death of organic reach, it’s become less and less clear what those “likes” actually mean, anyway.

3.     Lastly, marketers who don’t do social media for a living stopped pointing to their “likes” because their social specialists told them to. “Shut up about the number of ‘likes’ we have, already! You’re embarrassing yourself!”

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Organizational Tips for Leading the Marketing Transformation

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 300x99 Organizational Tips for Leading the Marketing Transformation

By Kathleen Schaub 

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the marketing transformation? You aren’t alone.  An IDC analysis of tech marketing staff changes since 2009 reveals that CMOs have had to squeeze traditional staff functions to accommodate five new roles: analytics/business intelligence, marketing technology, social marketing, sales enablement, and campaign management. In 2013, these new five roles collectively made up 14% of the total marketing staff. 

IDC invited organizational change expert, Dr. Rick Mirable, to advise our clients on insights for leading more successful organizational change initiatives. Here are some of the tips that Dr. Mirable, who has more than 20 years of diverse business consulting and academic experience, offered:
  • What we believe about change determines how we will respond to change. People hold beliefs about the capability of both company culture and individual people’s ability to change. Good change initiatives raise awareness of these biases.
  • Successful change initiatives require that leaders be included. It’s not only individuals deep in the organization that need transformation, but leaders must also be role models for the change they want to see.
  • People resist change for many reasons. Change can threaten our sense of security (What will happen to me?) and our sense of competence (Can I learn new skills?). People may worry they will fail. They may not understand why change is needed. Companies may inadvertently reward people who resist change by penalizing people who try new things and fail.
  • Some resistance to change comes from unspoken resentment. Companies must allow for expression of the relevant “inner conversations” that people have with themselves about the change — views that are not explicit to others. Resentment is like dirty laundry — if you don’t get rid of it eventually it starts to smell!
  • Some change initiatives fail simply because the organization isn’t ready.Assess your readiness and then bring those areas found lacking up to speed before embarking.
  • The communication portions of most change efforts are weak and not consistent over the long haul. The communication must be open and bidirectional. Messages and goals need to be regularly repeated and reinforced.
  • Company culture is essential to sustaining success over time. One cultural attribute proven to accelerate change is the empowerment of individuals to make decisions that further the change goals. It is a best practice to ask people what they want to do (and ask for management permission to do it) rather than telling them what to do. This practice encourages innovation and accountability and drives change deeper in the organization.
  • Don’t confuse “movement” with progress. When you get off the freeway during a traffic jam, you may be able to move faster; however, that movement doesn’t guarantee that you are actually moving toward your destination or will get to it any more quickly. IDC notes that marketing teams that measure activity rather than outcomes are making this error.
  • Create circumstances for people to motivate themselves. Motivation can include extrinsic rewards such as money. Proven to be even more effective are intrinsic rewards — challenge, learning, responsibility, contribution, and career path advancement. Intrinsic rewards tap into the power of people’s passions. Companies are advised to structure people’s work so as to allow passion to surface.
  • Reduce resistance by creating a “burning platform.” Clarify the risks and benefits of the change and involve the collective wisdom of the group. Give people a role in the change. Involve a person’s “head” and “heart” as well as the “feet” of required actions.

For more blogs and research from IDC, click here

From Google to Amazon: EU goes to war against power of US digital giants

The Guardian

Within the salons of the Elysée Palace, along the corridors of the European parliament and under the glass dome of the Reichstag, Old Europe is preparing for a new war. This is not a battle over religion or politics, over land or natural resources. The raw material that Paris, Brussels and Berlin are mobilising to defend is the digital environment of Europe’s inhabitants; their enemies are the Silicon Valley corporations that seek to dominate it.

Coal, gas and oil powered the industrial revolution, but in the digital era, data is replacing fossil fuels as the most valuable resource on Earth, and the ability to collect and interrogate it has created organisations with a power that can at times seem beyond the control of nation states. Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google represent, in the words of Germany’s economy minister Sigmar Gabriel, “brutal information capitalism”, and Europe must act now to protect itself.

“Either we defend our freedom and change our policies, or we become digitally hypnotised subjects of a digital rulership,” Gabriel warned in apassionate call to action published by the Frankfurter Allgemeine. “It is the future of democracy in the digital age, and nothing less, that is at stake here, and with it, the freedom, emancipation, participation and self-determination of 500 million people in Europe.”

In France, economy minister Arnaud Montebourg believes Europe risks becoming a “digital colony of the global internet giants”, and ministers have called for Google to contribute to the cost of upgrading the country’s broadband infrastructure. Gabriel says Germany’s cartel office is currently examining whether Google should be regulated as a utility, like a telecoms supplier – the group has 91.2% market share of search in Germany.

He believes that, as a last resort, there may be a case for “unbundling” Google, separating its search arm from mobile, or YouTube, or services such as email.

As a first step, he is in favour of regulation that allows competitors to use the Google platform fairly. The pushback against Amazon has also begun: as of last year, the online retailer can no longer stop independent sellers on its German website from offering their own goods cheaper elsewhere, including on their own websites.

European regulators have also begun to take action. In May, the European court upheld a plea by a Spaniard, Mario Costeja González, who wanted pages hidden from any Google search for his name in the EU. Judges decided the past transgressions of private individuals have a right to be “forgotten”. The threats that ruling poses to freedom of the press are now being debated, but it was a watershed moment, representing Europe’s first major regulatory strike against the search and software colossus.

On 11 June, the European commission‘s competition regulator, Joaquín Almunia, wrote to colleagues to warn that his investigation into Google’s search rankings could be reopened, after new complainants had stepped forward. On the same day, he announced a potentially wide-ranging inquiry into tax avoidance, starting with a focus on three companies: Apple and its international headquarters in Ireland, and Starbucks and its head office in the Netherlands (the third company being carmaker Fiat). On Thursday, a leak from Brussels suggested Amazon, which operates through a European HQ in Luxembourg, was also being dragged into the net.

“In the current context of tight public budgets, it is particularly important that large multinationals pay their fair share of taxes,” Almunia said. His intervention was widely interpreted as a politically motivated act. It almost certainly was.

There are those who believe that Jean-Claude Juncker, the former Luxembourg prime minister who has just been elected as the next president of the European commission – despite vocal opposition from David Cameron – is out to get Google.

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Is Google getting into the native-advertising game?

Digiday

Google may be on the verge of cracking the code to that elusive grail of native advertising: doing it at massive scale. The search giant is said to be running a small test with publishers of a widget that would include links to content and ads.

In so doing, Google could pose a considerable threat to widgets like Outbrain and Taboola that already live on hundreds of publishers’ sites under banners like “Promoted Stories” and “From the Web.”

Such content-recommendation engines have had their issues. They’ve been blasted for surfacing content that’s low quality or incongruent with the host site, and peddling misleading ads that can undermine readers’ trust. That has in turn driven the emergence of an alternate content exchanges that are ad-free and profess to only circulate premium content.

What’s more, publishers expose themselves to risks by putting such third-party plug-ins on their site, as Reuters learned last week when its Taboola widget was hacked.

But publishers continue to use them because they’re also an easy way for them to recycle their content with the goal of keeping people on their site longer. It’s easy money, too: Publishers get paid each time someone clicks on an external content or ad link in the widget.

For Google, the opportunity seems clear. Publishers need to make their websites work harder, especially as online CPMs decline and readers shift to the smaller mobile screen and increasingly come to websites through side doors, behavior that is associated with lower engagement. There’s a big land grab underway by ad tech companies that are trying to marry native advertising and scale.

But Google already has longstanding relationships with publishers through AdSense, and a content recommendation powered by Google’s extensive data and analytics would be a natural way for the search behemoth to expand its grip on publishers’ sites. (Google declined to comment for this story.)

“They have a huge amount of history,” said Rebecca Lieb, analyst at Altimeter. “They can slice and dice it a lot of ways.”

Not only that, Google is good at rooting out bad links and has its own content, on YouTube, that it could push out through a widget, speculated Steve Rubel, chief content strategist at Edelman. “Think about the retargeting options. A content-recommendation-slash-native-advertising offer would be low-hanging fruit for Google.”

A content exchange widget would fit squarely in Google’s efforts to get into other aspects of the digital business and expand its presence on publishers’ sites. It’s reportedly already developing a content management system for media companies. If Google can come up with a better way to surface content that solves the problems of existing link exchange plug-ins, it could have a win.

Still, Google’s success isn’t assured. It would have to offer publishers a better deal than they’re getting from other third parties. And, nobody wants to be too dependent on any one vendor. Many publishers already have multi-year agreements with Outbrain, for one, and might be reluctant to add another widget to their already-crowded sites.

“Publishers,” said Rubel, “don’t want all their eggs in one basket.”

‘LinkedIn falls flat on consumer engagement’

Marketing Week

The report, authored by Forrester senior analyst Kim Celestre, claims that despite its 300 million members LinkedIn has not gained traction as a tool for “social relationship objectives” that drive customer engagement such as loyalty or customer service.

The research found that 21 per cent of US online adults visit LinkedIn monthly, a significantly lower figure than for Facebook. Plus LinkedIn members are much less likely to engage with brands on the social network, with less than half doing so on LinkedIn compared to more than 70 per cent on Facebook.

It also has a lower engagement rate, measuring 0.054 per cent in terms of user interactions as a percentage of a brand’s fans or followers, behind Google+ on 0.069 per cent and Facebook with 0.073 per cent. The low engagement figures mean that just 13 per cent of digital marketers are using LinkedIn to drive engagement.

“When compared with Facebook and Google+, LinkedIn’s engagement rate does not stack up. This is because LinkedIn members don’t go to the social network to follow brands after they’ve purchased a product and don’t participate in the site often enough to deepen relationships with brands,” says Celestre.

Awareness Boost

However, Forrester believes marketers should not give up on LinkedIn, using it for brand awareness. When used in this way, says Celestre, LinkedIn has the potential to help “meet or exceed” social reach objectives, so long as a brand’s offering is relevant to professionals.

Brands can make sure they are relevant by using the site to solve a professional challenge, deliver a professional opportunity or help users develop their personal brands. Celestre cites examples such as Procter & Gamble’s Secret deodorant campaign, Citi’s sponsorship of a LinkedIn group called “Connect: Professional Women’s Network” and Microsoft’s custom API that analyses users profiles to provide job title recommendations as examples of how to market successfully on the social network.

LinkedIn has previously batted away criticism of its engagement rates, citing strong engagement following its move to open its publishing platform to any user in its latest quarterly results. Its marketing solutions revenues are also on the up, increasing by 36 per cent to $101.8m in the three months to the end of May and accounting for 22 per cent of its total revenue.

LinkedIn declined to provide a comment.

Communicating to a B2B audience

Tim Pritchard, head of social media at Manning Gottlieb OMD, questions comparing LinkedIn to Facebook, calling it an “unfair measurement”. This is because Facebook is used for more traditional brand metrics such as consideration and purchase while LinkedIn should be used more for metrics such as brand trust and respect, he adds.

“Communications are going out to a B2B audience which has completely different KPIs like trust, respect and share price rather than traditional brand metrics like consideration,” he adds.

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7 Global Social Media Day Events You Should Attend

Mashable

This year marks the fifth-annual celebration of Social Media Day. In just a short time, it has grown to become a truly global effort, with hundreds of events taking place all over the world.

On June 30, people will come together, either at in-person events, or by using the #SMDayhashtag to connect with others on social media.

If you live in the United States, there are multiple Social Media Day events that you should consider attending. But if you’re located outside of the U.S., there are still plenty of opportunities to celebrate Social Media Day with others.

Here is a list of international events you should attend if you’re in the area:

Melbourne, Australia

When: June 29, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. AEST
Where: Inspire9, Level 1, 41 Stewart St, Melbourne, AU 3121

Melbourne’s third-annual Social Media Day Unconference (#smdmelb) encourages digital enthusiasts to come together to network, and share stories about their personal experiences with social media.

Throughout the day, several simultaneous 30-minute sessions will take place. The majority of session topics are proposed on the spot by attendees who will jot down their ideas or questions on a piece of paper. A session can be in any format — whether it be a presentation with Q&A, panel of experts, demo or roundtable. As per unconference guidelines, all attendees are expected to be active participants in the sessions.

Panama City, Panama

When: June 30, 2014 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET
Where: City of Knowledge, Panama City, 7336, Panama

Panama City’s fifth-annual Social Media Day celebration is sure to be another hit, as past celebrations have had up to 1,200 guests.

This year’s celebration will include speakers from Waze and Google, social-media workshops, as well as meet-and-greets to mix online connections with IRL networking. The ambitious 12-hour celebration will include breaks for attendees to view the World Cup quarterfinal matches on that day. Attendees will be encouraged to use the hashtag #SMDayPA, as they make new connections.

Gold Coast, Queensland

When: June 30, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. AEST
Where: 194 Varsity Drive, Varsity Lakes, Gold Coast

The theme for this year’s Social Media Day Gold Coast (#smdaygc) event is “putting the social back into social media.” The event will include a 45-minute panel discussion with speakers such as Andrew Richardson, the former creative director at News Ltd., Evie Mitchell of Daytona Powersports and Melissa Groom, the founder of Empowered Mums. The event will conclude with an interactive social-media scavenger hunt throughout the building.

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