Priorities for Chief Marketing Officers in 2016

Marketers are constantly challenged today by the demands to grow globally. Effectively reaching a global audience requires a marketing strategy that produces and distributes value-driven content directed to a defined audience. Localization and translation must be core to an effective global marketing strategy.

Horizontal alignment across internal functional divisions is crucial for successful globalization.  In particular, it is important for localization leaders to understand the overall globalization strategies of an organization so they can work closely with marketing teams to ensure the organization meets their goals and objectives. One of the places to start is for localization and marketing teams to plan together, share knowledge, and develop best practices for ensuring all branded content is culturally adapted for international markets.

At a recent CMO Leadership Forum, marketing brand leaders from global enterprises spent a lot of time discussing the future. They also used the forum to exchange ideas around a series of questions. What are the 2016 future priorities for CMOs? Who is my global audience? Do I have the right strategy and plans in place to reach my target market? How does localization play a role in the overall strategy?

Here are five priorities CMOs highlight as being at the top of their list in 2016.

  1. Using Data for Smart Decisions: CMOs are looking for ways to use data intelligently, not be overwhelmed by it, and make smarter business decisions. One panelist at the event noted that we need use intelligent data to “shift the thinking from how do you reach the most people to how do you reach the right people.” Using smart data can help guide marketers to decide which new markets to enter and help make the right localization decisions for marketing activities that can deliver the best results.
  1. Know Your Customer Journey: If we are all going to truly personalize the brand experience, we need to thoroughly know our customer’s journey. It is important to know the journey at the prospect level, as well as, through the buying experience and during the support and retention phases.  What you understand from the journey empowers you to build upon the customer experience and ultimately make it better. Where are the key touch points? What language and culture needs to be represented at each touch point? Marketing and localization teams can work hand-in-hand to ensure all touch points on the customer journey are consistently and correctly translated and targeted to the right audience.
  1. Engagement: It should not be a buzz word for being current in marketing. Engagement applies to every facet of marketing. Use engagement for listening, to create differentiation and to ignite relevant conversations. Through every touch point, there should be a strategy of how you will engage and measure the results – for every local language market.
  1. New Marketing Techniques: Mobile, virtual reality, advanced video, app indexing, wearable technology – these techniques are changing how we consume content and also provide marketers with new methods to convey marketing messages and deliver brand experiences to a wide audience. Although video has been used for a number of years, it will continue to be used as one of the most effective mediums to reach international customers. Techniques for localizing video content have advanced significantly recently, with increased use of text-to-speech technology. These new techniques make video a cost-effective way to reach international audiences, using the clever media-sharing platforms, like YouTube, Instagram and Vimeo to reach customers.
  1. Rising Costs of Advertising.  Because of industry consolidation, there is a change from the “pay per click” era to the “pay per action” and results. Global marketers will need savvy SEM and SEO campaigns to produce results, not just clicks – for all locales. Read our Welocalize blog Brief Introduction to Digital Marketing Acronyms.

Marketers are curious by nature and love to build upon other’s successes. An open exchange of best practices, ideas, challenges and opportunities empowers us to plan for the new and possible. The key is that you must never stop learning. As we get consumed in doing, learning makes us smarter in what we do and learning from each other has great reward. We are in a digital era, with data moving at lightening speed in remarkable volumes. This creates opportunity and this needs global thinking and sharing.

What are priorities in 2016?  Let’s connect and share ideas


Jamie Glass, CMO and EVP, Global Service Lines at Welocalize

You can read the complete wrap-up “Learnings from The 2015 Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Forum” here: