Conferences, Uncategorized

How Cloudwords Will Help Britain Rule the World (Again) and Other News from Oracle’s Modern Marketing Experience Europe Event

While visiting London last week, a city with a history that’s some 1,500 years older than any city in the U.S., it always astounds me to see new mixed with the old: modern cafes next to Gothic cathedrals, or the London Eye across the River Thames from Big Ben. As the focus of my recent trip was to attend and present at Oracle’s Modern Marketing Experience Europe conference, which was very much focused on the modern age of marketing and digital disruption, the irony of being in such an historic locale discussing such contemporary topics was not lost on me.

Clearly, people and cities keep pace with the way the world is changing, and marketers must do the same. In this digital age, more people access information and make purchases on their smartphones than ever before, which means digital marketing is an important element in the marketer’s strategic plan. At the conference, Jeff Henley, Vice Chairman of the Board at Oracle, put it best: “The world is changing because of social and mobile, and this is a huge transformation that all companies are going to have to go through. Most CEOs don’t know how to do it, but are recognizing [modern marketing] as an area of important investment.”

Moreover, to meet the demand, marketing technologies are more abundant and accessible than ever – more than 1,000 different marketing technology solutions are available to help marketers reach their target audiences. According to a recent report from analyst Gerry Murray, IDC expects the global market for enterprise marketing software to reach $32.3 billion by 2018 — an increase of more than 50 percent.

The abundance of these technologies, and the staggering investments being made in them, signifies the importance of implementing strategies to deliver personalized messages to engage audiences and build better customer relationships. This was a major theme at Oracle’s MME conference as discussions centered around ways to support digital and the global buyer’s journey. As organizations invest in different technologies, they are selecting solutions to meet their needs, but it’s becoming increasingly challenging to get them all to work together. Hence the brilliance of the Oracle Marketing Cloud – one suite delivers all of the tools that seamlessly work together to create and deliver multichannel marketing campaigns.

And if you need to reach audiences worldwide? Guess what? Cloudwords now powers the integration capabilities of the Oracle Marketing Cloud. Last week we announced that Cloudwords’ marketing globalization platform provides integration capabilities with all Oracle Marketing Cloud technologies, including Oracle Eloqua, Oracle Reponsys, and Oracle Content Marketing (formerly Compendium), as well as Oracle Web Center Sites and Oracle Web Center Content.

This is exciting news as we’re the only platform to offer global support to marketers using Oracle technology, helping to streamline the localization of global campaigns so marketers can reach audiences with personalized messaging faster and more effectively.

In addition to the interesting and informative discussions with marketing experts and practitioners at Oracle MME14 on topics ranging from marketing automation, social marketing, content marketing, and big data, I also had the opportunity to pitch the Queen of England on Cloudwords’ platform and how our solution can help the British Empire reach global markets and regain their former global prowess. (Who knew the Queen would be attending Oracle MME14?!) Did I mention I got Knighted in the process? Yup, just a typical day in modern London.

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Cloud, Cloudwords, Conferences, Globalization Management, Localization

LocWorld Dublin 2014

the cloud blog croppedA couple of weeks ago, I was honored to be invited to join a session on the Cloud, and how it was going to change the face of the localization industry. A message stated often throughout the panel was: “The Cloud – it’s just easy.”  While true in most cases, that really isn’t the main point.

The Cloud has brought many benefits: connecting important value chains, transforming customer relationships, simplifying user experience, and accelerating internal operations. Yes, the cloud application provider can update code fast and frequently, but that’s not what the customer ultimately cares about.

For the localization industry, what customers really care about is this: how can your technology, and more importantly their experience with it, allow them to get better insight into actionable data, reduce manual tasks of their teams, and connect with each other and external constituents better, improve productivity, and ultimately improve their time to revenue and customer satisfaction.

In short, customers care about one thing – SPEED.  Speed to market, speed to revenue, and speed to solving their customers’ challenges.  Speed is the dominant attribute enterprise customers need to fully take advantage of global opportunities—even above cost and quality.  Just ask the team at Cisco – it seems Tim Young has presented on this fact in the last 8 Localization World events.  Cisco doesn’t put the plight of the service provider, translator or even project managers above their ability to serve their customers well worldwide.  So why are we as an industry still talking about these challenges? They are old, boring, and really don’t materially impact the customer buyer’s experience.

I would humbly propose that we focus on the broadest definition of the Cloud – as a technology advancement that allows us to help our customers get to market faster and drive more global growth. Here’s what it’s not:

  •  It doesn’t require Professional Services to benefit from the experience
  • It doesn’t take you weeks/months of configuration to get started
  • You don’t have to get IT involved

What does the Cloud offer?

  •  Immediate utilization, instantly provisioned for your use, without IT involvement
  • Always on, always available
  • Easy access for all stakeholders important to a process
  • On demand insights and analytics
  • Cloud-to-cloud connectivity to other technologies where content is created, stored and delivered
  • Automation of processes and workflows that let customer teams complete their tasks in, at a minimum, 50% less time
  • Makes the purchaser look like a hero internally – because of the improvements to key performance indicators for the company

LocWorld is always great to connect with those people who are truly passionate about localization, translation, and all things global. The cool thing about this recent event is that it indicated the industry will truly begin to embrace the power of Cloud technology and improve the entire experience across the global content supply chain.

We have a unique opportunity as an industry not only to continue growing at exponential rates, but also to make sure we shift the focus to the interests of those who are investing in, and using, our offerings.  It is going to require a bit of a refocus, but I think this first session at LocWorld Dublin was a good start.

Globalization Management, Localization, Translation management

Ignorance is Not Bliss: Insight Into Localization Spend is Key to Global Success

A survey conducted by Cloudwords at Content Marketing World 2013 revealed that a whopping 69% of global marketers don’t have any insight into their current translation spend.

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 11.20.50 AMThat’s not surprising, considering localization of marketing content is often a highly decentralized process in many global organizations, which creates inefficiencies in both time and money spent on globalization of marketing programs. For example, a corporate team might hold the purse strings, but leave regional teams to manage vendors and translation projects. This structure, or lack thereof, leaves marketers in the dark when it comes to insight into how much they actually spend on localization (including payments to translation vendors as well as employee time spent managing the projects), how efficient their process is when it comes to delivering content to market, and whether multilingual assets, such as translation memory, are being leveraged.

How can companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on localizing marketing content each year (much more for global enterprise organizations, which can reach upwards of tens of millions of dollars), yet have no idea whether they are getting a good return on their investment?

Entering new markets successfully—and maintaining market share in existing markets—requires ongoing analysis of the marketing budget and metrics to know whether you’re spending money wisely to reach the target markets and audiences that matter most to your company, or throwing it away. Analysis of your localization process and spend should be a priority as well. You might be surprised how many global companies are translating content into the top five or 10 languages because they think that’s the best way to reach the most customers. Do they have market share in Brazil? If not, why are they translating into Portuguese?

In addition to better understanding which languages you should be investing in, you need insight into how efficient your localization process is, or isn’t. How long does it take to turn around a simple localization project, such as an email campaign? What about a more complex project, like an entire website? An inefficient localization process significantly impacts your bottom line. Using outdated tools and processes to manage localization projects costs valuable employee hours as they try to keep track of multiple projects via email or FTP sites. Bottlenecks in the process, such as delays in the review phase, reduce productivity, increase project turnaround times, and effect critical go-to-market timelines. A delay in getting content to market to reach target audiences translates into missed revenue opportunities.

To get a better idea of how to measure your localization spend and ROI, we suggest the following metrics:

Spend Metrics:

  • Spend per language
  • Spend by content type
  • Leverage of Translation Memory

Efficiency Metrics:

  • Project completion time
  • Identification of bottlenecks in the localization process

To increase productivity and maximize investments, global marketers need better visibility into their localization process. Cloudwords offers advanced analytics to help you monitor your localization spend, time-to-market efficiencies, and translation memory utilization in real time. You can monitor your translation spend by content source, department, language, vendor and more. As a result, you can better understand your translation process, see the evolution and ROI of your translation memory over time, and track the speed of globalization efforts by market.

Marketo Summit

Cloudwords, Globalization Management, Insights, internationalization, Localization, Localization Industry, Uncategorized

8 Signs You’re Ready to Adopt a Marketing Globalization Platform

Over the last decade, I have probably had well over 1,000 customer meetings or calls with some of the world’s leading brands and future global brands. Often during these meetings, the enterprise is already running global marketing campaigns to communicate with global prospects and customers, and they want to know: “Why should I start using a Marketing Globalization Platform now?”

Of course, there are many reasons to consider implementing a marketing localization solution – it all ties to your global ambition and global team structure, but here are my top eight signs that your company is ready to graduate to a Marketingmarketing_global_platform Globalization Platform.

Sign #1: Decreased Global Conversions

Dealing with one language isn’t easy, but what happens when you need to support 10 different markets and 20 different languages – the challenges are simply compounded.  Sending out those awesome campaigns in your native language, in my case English, won’t suffice.  If you knew that prospects are 6x more likely to buy if they see those campaigns in “their” native language, would you change your approach?  Well, you now know, so no more excuses!

Sign #2: Inability to Scale Globally

Your company is growing, and global is going to be a large part of that growth, but the manual effort required to deliver quality information to your clients is impossible to scale. Manually pulling reports, copying and pasting, and sending segmented global emails can only work for so long!

Sign #3: High Cost Errors

Due to the increased need for manual effort in scaling the traditional way, you’re constantly worried about the possibility of human error. An understandable mistake could result in a high volume of emails being sent to the wrong people – now multiply that one email campaign by the number of new markets you are targeting and you’ve just lost significant goodwill in that market.  As my mom told me, you only get one chance to make a first impression!

Sign #4: Global Brand Management

You’re concerned about how the Chinese, German or French market will perceive your awesome new product or service, but you lack the controls to make sure you are saying the same thing to each market, and to keep your global brand strong.  It is time to begin to think about creating multilingual glossaries and style guides – two very simple and cost effective approaches to ensuring your teams are communicating the proper message globally.

Sign #5: Increased Competition

Your competitors are using a marketing globalization platform, and are therefore getting to your global prospects before you do. Being late to the party in France, Russia or Thailand is not fun and certainly not profitable.

Sign #6: A Need for Visibility and Control

You are tired of those massive Excel spreadsheets, long email strings and FTP sites (where you’ve forgotten your username/password!) and are demanding more from your internal teams and external translation vendors.  How are you going to compete globally in the 21st century if your team is using last century’s tools!  Time to upgrade!

Sign #7: Global “Marketing at Random”

Global “Marketing at Random” isn’t really a strategy, but you already know that! You’re investing a lot of money on global marketing programs, but you can’t tell what’s working and what’s not. You need a way to map your efforts to pipeline, so that you can maximize your global marketing’s impact.

Sign #8: Not Enough Budget for Global

This ties in with #7, but if your marketing budget is too small, it may be time for automation. It not only helps you do more with your current resources, but if you want to justify a bigger investment in your marketing, you need to be able to demonstrate the impact your marketing already has.

Want to learn more? Download our eBook – Cloudwords Perspectives

Cloudwords, Globalization Management, Insights, internationalization, Localization, Localization Industry

Have You “Cracked the Code” to Going Global?

We are all keenly aware that the global economy is interconnected and dependent on the strengths and weaknesses of the countries that trade with one another. More so, trade and related activities are greatly impacted by government policies. Obviously, during the 2008-2009 financial crisis that affected this country and also shook most of the world, globalization weakened due to significant declines in trade and foreign investments. Beginning in 2010, once global economies began to improve, globalization increased as international trade and investment flows picked up, and since then we’ve seen global organizations continue to expand and benefit from opportunities abroad.crackingcode

However, according to a recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek, “Why Globalization Is Going Into Reverse,” the globalization upswing has stalled. Based on a study conducted at IESE Business School in Barcelona, the article states that while globalization was picking up momentum following the global financial downturn, the “depth of globalization” slowed down again at the end of 2012. The main culprit? Poor economic and trade policies put into place following the financial crisis.

Even so, we know the potential for increased global revenues still exists, particularly within emerging markets, such as in Brazil and Africa. According to the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), the number of global consumers today is about 2.4 billion people, and MGI projects this figure will nearly double by 2025 to 4.2 billion consumers (out of a global population of 7.9 billion), at which point MGI estimates annual consumption in emerging global markets will increase to $30 trillion, up from $12 trillion in 2010. Clearly, reaching these global markets is critical to drive growth.

In the Bloomberg Businessweek article, the IESE study’s authors argue that globalization would continue to rise “if multinational corporations learned to ‘crack the code for competing in emerging economies’ where growth is strongest.” In other words, companies could increase revenue and further strengthen a growing global economy if they could successfully reach potential consumers in emerging markets. Bingo.

So what is the secret “code” to unlocking global revenue potential? Localization is surely a key element: organizations that develop and implement global business strategies to expedite the delivery of product information, sales materials, customer experiences, marketing content, etc., in a market’s local language, using culturally relevant references and images, are more likely to engage consumers and convert them into customers.

Our customers know the value of localizing materials to reach multilingual audiences, and, prior to using the Cloudwords application, were all too familiar with the challenges traditional approaches to the localization process entailed. Marketing on a global scale requires collaboration among growing numbers of stakeholders, communication among globally-dispersed internal teams and departments as well as outside translation vendors, and seamless management of sky-rocketing amounts of content that is created, stored and delivered in a variety of business applications (Web CMS, marketing automation, etc.) in a plethora of languages. (For more information on this topic, check out this recent blog post on “4 Essentials for Taking Your Content Global.”)

We recognize both the challenges to localization and the benefits of localization, and since Cloudwords’ very inception, we’ve worked to develop a very user-friendly application that takes away the complexities of going global and enables customers to optimize the translation and localization process more easily. By automating the globalization process with the right technology tools, our customers reach global markets up to 60% faster.

Regardless of whether globalization trends are reversing, smart companies recognize potential opportunities for revenue growth still exist in global markets—both emerging and otherwise—and know how to crack the code. Do you?

Cloud, Cloudwords, Conferences, Globalization Management, Localization, Localization Industry, Marketing, Technology, Translation management

Boston – the capital of global content strategy (at least for a week!)

When we founded Cloudwords, we trail blazed a new approach to globalizing enterprise content, and for this reason we look to participate in like-minded conferences that take global content strategy to a completely new level.

This week we are in Boston for the Gilbane Conference 2013: Content and The Digital Experience to present and moderate the session titled: How Do You Implement Global Digital Experience Management? We’ll be discussing what characteristics and systems are critical to creating and managing global digital experiences.

What I appreciate about professional gatherings like this, is that I walk away with a renewed sense that Cloudwords is truly revolutionizing the way companies think about their global content strategy and business processes.  The beauty of the “cloud” is that it enables all industries to reimagine and retool their business and revenue streams in ways that were previously unthinkable. Global content operations is one such process being reinvented with Cloudwords.

One of Cloudwords’ early investors and mentors, Marc Benioff, recently shared a Forbes article that described how the price of the smartphone was dropping dramatically all over the world, enabling hyper-growth countries to arm their citizens with technology that will allow them to communicate, collaborate and improve their overall quality of life.  Pretty amazing considering the usual drive to revenue and profits, but that wasn’t the part of the story that grabbed me.

The article reminded me that with the sheer number of individuals that inhabit the earth, and the number of languages spoken and written, once the technology was truly in place, the thirst for “content” was going to explode worldwide!  I see a world where content that is created in one language will automatically find itself in 100 different languages in a matter of seconds.  This content will then be consumed by anyone, anywhere and on any device – probably a mobile device!  That said if you are a “content creator,” “content marketer,” or just a person who has something to say, your native language will ultimately become irrelevant as you begin to communicate with the world.  We are a few years away from this reality – the guys at Google will tell you the same – but it will happen.  Just like speech-to-speech instantaneous localization will happen.

If you are someone who is responsible for mass content creation at scale, you can’t ignore these realities.  Your customers don’t speak one language – they probably speak about 20-30!  If that’s the case, you need to ensure you have a global content strategy in place to address the ever-growing amount of campaigns, product materials, landing pages, emails, or customer success stories you will need to produce.  We at Cloudwords just published an ebook dedicated to helping you map out and execute such a strategy:  Content Operations on a Global Scale: A 2014 Guide for Marketers.

Best of luck on your journey to global greatness! Make sure you are focused on all of your customers – not just the ones within 100 miles of your company’s headquarters!  Oh, and if you are a global marketing or technology professional in Boston this week, stop by the Gilbane conference.  I am confident it will be worth your time.

Cloudwords, Conferences, Globalization Management, Localization, Marketing, Technology, Translation management, Translations, Uncategorized

News Flash: The Globerati Have Arrived in San Francisco

Everyone’s talking about it. It was THE event to be at and be seen at. All around San Francisco, the city is buzzing with excitement. The globerati have arrived.

I know, you thought I was referring to Dreamforce, the cloud computing mega-event that has turned this city upside down, bringing an astounding 100,000 plus visitors to the city by the Bay. Yes, everyone is talking about’s annual vendor conference, but in fact, I’m referring to the Club Cloudwords VIP room at Marketo’s “Chill Out Zone,” the Dreamforce after party that took place Wednesday night at a very hip, upscale and historic establishment called the Old Mint.IMG_0385

Together with our partner and customer, Marketo, Cloudwords hosted marketing professionals from across the U.S. to mix and mingle for an evening of networking, relaxing… and winning prizes! If you were one of the fortunate who arrived at Club Cloudwords, our exclusive room set aside for the global marketing elite, you were inducted into the globerati, a term we’ve dubbed the savvy professionals who fully grasp and relentlessly pursue the opportunities presented by global markets and multilingual audiences. Not every marketer can count himself or herself among the globerati.

IMG_0916While we raised our glasses and made a toast alongside our marketing colleagues, we also talked business, which of course focused on global marketing best practices and strategies. Global marketing operations require strategic planning, collaboration across numerous departments, and localization of content and materials. Leveraging your marketing automation platform—such as Marketo—is a great place to start. Lucky for Marketo users, Cloudwords easily integrates with the Marketo platform, to manage the entire globalization process with just a few clicks, so marketers can effectively reach more global markets and engage multilingual audiences in less time.IMG_0981

While the party was meant to thank our customers, celebrate our combined success, and meet new friends, Cloudwords is grateful to the event’s sponsor, Marketo, for inviting us to be part of this fantastic community. If you weren’t able to join us at the party, not to worry, you can still join the globerati. Just give us a ring or start a free trial, and grow your international markets faster and easier with Cloudwords!