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CMO Council - The results are in

Author: Mark Tiedens
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Adapting creative for local delivery at scale

This spring, as HH Global launched our localized Japanese and Latin American websites while simultaneously executing campaigns for a  client targeting over 70 global markets, we got curious. Specifically, we wanted to know how other global brands felt about how they were doing when adapting, transcreating and localizing content to drive growth from new regional markets. We partnered with the CMO Council to begin to get answers to this and related questions, and the results of the research are in. The full research paper is available here. Please find below some thoughts that came to mind upon our review.

In many ways, the findings of this research report were not surprising. As a marketing execution partner to some of the world’s leading brands, HH Global watches marketers across our customers as they follow a very similar processes. Data-driven targeting has led to the delivery of key messages to individualized segments, resulting in more accurate and personalized approaches that drive business growth and better results. The more targeted the segment and the more relevant the message, the better the results. At the end of every campaign, marketers assess the results, adjust, and launch the next one. Therefore, adaptation of branded content to geographical, cultural, and local preferences is really the next step of better targeting. All of our customers, as well as this survey’s findings, underscore a need to apply that same methodology on an even higher level: delivering hyper-local content – including local formats and sizes, with images consistent with local preferences, adhering to local regulations and, of course, languages. The process of target market reach -- from idea to delivery and the assessment of results -- is core to the marketing discipline.  As marketing professionals, we should all have the people, processes, and technologies in place to execute.

Apparently, it is not that simple.

Looking at the data and aggregating the answers yields surprising results. Looking at the results in aggregate unveils tremendous room for improvement in adapting creative for local delivery at scale:

  • 70 percent of marketers do not rate their agency or in-house creative teams’ speed, responsiveness and capability as “Very Advanced” or “Doing Well” in support of global and local marketing execution requirements (question #4).
  • 75 percent of marketers do not rate their satisfaction with their visibility into costs and quality of their creative delivery process as “Very Advanced” or “Doing Well” (question #15)
  • 80 percent of marketers surveyed did not answer “Yes” when asked if they were satisfied with their company’s performance in this area (question #10).

The results demonstrate that marketers recognize the room to improve across all processes. The stakes are high -- almost fifty percent of marketers believe that localization is essential to growth in both revenue and profitability – which leads to the most surprising insight:

  •     If 80 percent of marketers are not satisfied with their performance, then why have 58 percent of the same population not undertaken a formalized assessment of their creative delivery process to drive improvements?

In my next post, I suggest potential reasons for this dichotomy and prescribe alternatives for how to begin to drive improvements.