Does Your Company Have a Chief Localization Officer?

By Scott Yancey

A company’s success overseas is directly related to the number of languages the company ‘speaks,’ and how well its marketing team is able to localize and deliver content to target markets and regional sales teams. In order to reach 80% of the world’s economically active online audience, a company needs to deliver content in 14 different languages. That’s a lot of languages to reach a significant percentage of the buying audience. How will you maximize your product development, marketing and staffing dollars to effectively engage and sell overseas?

That’s where the Chief Localization Office comes in. To be clear, I’m not necessarily suggesting this as an actual C-Suite role; however, the need for a new kind of ‘lightning-rod’ leader or group that is able to influence the C-suite and advise them on the importance of an enterprise wide global roll out strategy is critical in today’s economy. Companies are spending more on translation and localization than ever before, and the numbers continue to grow – the global market for outsourced language services and supporting technology is expected to grow to $49.8 billion by 2019. Global organizations need a high-level authority responsible for global execution that includes localization as a strategic, revenue-generating process that affects:

  • Product launches and updates
  • Marketing campaigns, Websites and content
  • Social audience engagement
  • Sales enablement and channel support
  • Human resources and legal resources
  • Customer support and training

In order to up-level the importance and impact content localization has on audience reach and revenue, the Chief Localization Officer will ensure it is not only on the C-Suite’s radar, but a key revenue driving performance indicator (KPI) used to measure the success of the company’s go-to-market efforts.

The Chief Localization Officer’s responsibilities might include:

  • Responding to the Company Revenue plan by clearly understanding where each product, along with all the supporting company functions, can be effectively monetized.
  • Setting objectives and prioritizing cross company budgets to meet the required number of languages and dialects needed to address both existing and target markets.
  • Managing and leveraging the company’s multilingual assets, including translation memory, style guides, and corporate glossaries, so they are leveraged across ALL divisions, functional teams and regions for brand and message consistency.
  • Researching and identifying the best translation automation technology for the company’s needs and ensure it has the ability to integrate with the existing technology the company already uses (CMS, Web CMS, marketing automation, file-sharing service, etc.).
  • Overseeing the localization process to ensure bottlenecks are avoided, go-to-market timelines are met, and workflow is automated to maximize team productivity.
  • Utilizing analytics to monitor translation spend.
  • Analyzing ROI to ensure localization efforts are meeting objectives, whether they are sales, marketing or demand gen.

Managing multilingual communications on a global scale is increasingly challenging, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for every company, but a well managed, efficient localization process is critical to the success of any global launch process, day-to-day marketing, and training or support effort. It now deserves to be recognized as a business process in need of optimization with an elevated level of oversight and strategic intent. Typically, second and third tier target markets receive localized product and content many months after the English ‘launch’, and every day you can’t launch in those markets because localization wasn’t finished, inevitably leads to lost revenue and market share.

Does your company have a Chief Localization Officer? You might consider whether your competition already does.


Scott Yancey

CEO and Founder at Cloudwords, Inc.
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As the co-founder and chief executive office of Cloudwords, Scott Yancey runs the premier cloud-based software company that has revolutionized how businesses manage their global communications and localization processes.
In today’s increasingly connected world, selling and supporting customers in their local languages often means the difference between success and failure. Yancey developed Cloudwords’s end-to-end SaaS platform to enable companies to deliver global content to market faster by slashing the cost, complexity and time associated with localization projects.
Scott Yancey was a key architect on the salesforce.com platform and applications, and his technical leadership and expertise helped grow salesforce.com from 2,000 customers to an industry titan with 77,000 customers and $1.5 billion in annual revenue. His experience on the R&D frontlines during both the earliest and most explosive growth phases of salesforce.com forged a unique set of technical skills, best practices and historical knowledge. His roles included architecting and delivering mission critical areas of the salesforce.com service and he provided technical leadership at both the team and organizational level. He has 9 patents pending from his tenure at salesforce.com.
Scott graduated cum laude from Santa Clara University in 1999 with a degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Neuroscience. Prior to joining salesforce.com in 2001 Scott performed functional MRI research for a Neuroscience lab at New York University.

Big Data Conversations: Don’t Get Caught

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By Judith Glaser

Why and How of Engaging Customers

Gallup’s State of the American Consumer report states, “Fully engaged customers are more loyal and profitable. Afully engaged customer represents a 23 percent premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth.”

How can you effectively engage with your customers who operate at warp speed? We live in a world of right now, and the demand for instant results is seeping into every corner of our lives. Instant gratification is no longer a desire—it is an expectation.

In what Qualtrics calls the “era of immediacy,” we now operate in real-time and expect everything instantly. To engage with their customers and satisfy their need for speed, businesses must re-engineer their approach. Today, it’s about giving the customer what they want, when they want it and how they want it—or they’ll go someplace else. 

Fast data is gathered quickly and shared and acted on quickly, before its shelf life expires. Fast data delivers the information needed to help address specific issues, drive results and propel innovation in the moment. Fast data helps enterprises gather real-time insights into what customer are thinking so they can address issues in the now and keep customers happy. Enterprises need to catch customers and employees when they’re thinking it. Forrester Research predicts: “In the age of the customer, the race will be won or lost based on your firm’s ability to know your customers and react faster and better.”

For example, the Viceroy Hotel Group used fast data to uncover valuable insights about potential customers that boosted the hotel’s bottom line. Using Qualtrics Site Intercept product, the VHG experienced a sudden surge in local web traffic. Managers scratched their heads. The locals weren’t planning to stay there, so what was up with all the traffic? In less than an hour, the LA-based hotel set up an online survey using Site Intercept that asked local visitors what they were looking for. It turned out they wanted a happy hour menu. A quick fix allowed the hotel to make the happy hour menu available to anyone from the LA area who visited the website. With fast data, the VHG delivered potential customers exactly what they wanted, which boosted the hotel’s bottom line.

Meet the Voice of the Customer

Enterprises struggle with having access to the right information at the right time and place in order to interact with customers, build new products, and improve service. This is why most leaders are investing resources to strengthen their customer engagement programs. This renewed commitment to customer engagement impacts how enterprises approach their Voice of Customer (VoC) initiatives. VoC is now a strategic initiative for better understanding customers and responding to their specific needs.

For example, JetBlue, another Qualtrics’ customer, noticed that their NPS score at a Philadelphia airport was very low for an early morning flight. By focusing on this insight, JetBlue could trace customer dissatisfaction to the fact that the shops and amenities in the terminal were not open when customers were looking for coffee and refreshments before their flight, making them grumpy. With this insight, JetBlue responded quickly by passing out water, juice and coffee at the gate in the morning to boost customer morale. This made a tremendous change in JetBlue’s satisfaction scores.

Customers now expect to give feedback, and to have that feedback acted on. This expectation is driving the demand for VoC. Organizations are looking to technology to address the new rules of customer engagement.

Today, anybody can gather data on nearly anything. The challenge isn’t in finding the right solution to help you gather data—it is in finding the right solution to allow you to access, and act upon those insights quickly and effectively. Otherwise, customers will go someplace else. Adapt or vanish, the old adage goes.

We can now collect insights faster than ever before, enabling us to make timelier and better business decisions, improve business results and create happier, engaged customers. This means more revenue and profits. In the era of immediacy,” actionable data enables us to give our customer what they want, when and how they want it.

Judith Glaser COLOR copy

Judith E. Glaser is CEO of Benchmark Communications, Inc., Chairman of The Creating WE Institute, an Organizational Anthropologist, consultant to Fortune 500 Companies, and author of four best selling business books, includingConversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (Bibliomotion, 2013) Visit www.creatingwe.com orwww.conversationalingelligence.com; email jeglaser@creatingwe.com or call 212-307-4386.

Are Your Recruiters Making These Three Major Mistakes?

By Anand Deshpande, WittyParrot

Are you guilty of committing these three recruiting no-nos?

Best practices for the hiring process have changed dramatically. Failure to acknowledge the evolving job market and adapt to the demands of 21st century job seekers can lead to lost opportunities…and revenue.

Here are three early recruiting mistakes, which may stand between your business and the best and the brightest job applicants.

1. Lack of a Recruitment Strategy

Social media offers an abundance of ways to connect with prospective candidates, but lack of a well-delineated recruiting plan can lead to wasted time and resources. Even when time is of the essence, it pays to stop and establish a “big picture” plan in order to determine strategic recruiting goals as well as targeted tactics for achieving them.

Implementing a recruitment plan is crucial to landing top talent – following are tips to create a recruitment strategy:

  • Understand the position, including everything from key criteria to core competencies to cultural fit. While general posts in non-specific outlets may yield some results, they will also produce a multitude of dead ends. The more specific the job description and recruiter’s understanding of the most desirable candidates, the more refined the results will be
  • Align recruitment goals with corporate goals and initiatives
  • Establish a recruitment process including high-level stages, handovers, descriptions and key deliverables for each process
  • Identify the best channels for recruitment such as employee referrals, available lists/sourcing partners, and most effective social media outlets for sourcing candidates based on actual data
  • Establish ‘Best Practice Resources’ and share with the team

2. Not Selling the Brand

Today’s job seekers, particularly the up and coming generation of millennials, aren’t just looking for any odd job; they’re looking for a shared vision. And in this rapidly moving digital age, job seekers will move on if your brand doesn’t hold their attention.

It’s critical for recruiters to catch — and maintain — a potential applicant’s interest by communicating an attractive, informative, and enticing message. Give candidates a reason to want to connect with your brand and strive to be part of it.

With mindful execution, social media becomes a recruitment and marketing tool for both active and passive candidate recruiting. Here are some tips to help sell your corporate brand to candidates:

  • Leverage existing proof points – share industry awards, videos of current employees, brand and culture messages on the site, and customer success stories describing how your organization has helped them. Have these ready to drop into an email, InMail post or present during a face-to-face meeting
  • Share personal stories that convey your corporate culture and insights about what it’s like to work for your company. These stories can be something that happened to you at work, sharing a story about a colleague who went above and beyond for you, etc. – ensuring your stories accurately reflects your culture and brand
  • Go beyond the requisition, which are often bland. Would you want to work for a company if all you saw was the requisition? Paint a picture of what it would be like working in that role – what the day looks like, what the projects are, and who you’re working with

3. Failure to Focus on the Relationship

Just because a job applicant isn’t the right fit for a particular job doesn’t mean there’s no long-term potential. The best recruiters know that relationship building is an essential part of the hiring process.

For example, failure to return phone calls or provide feedback to candidates during the application process is not only inconsiderate, but can have exponential effects, particularly if that candidate shares a negative experience via social media.

By creating and nurturing social connections, recruiters ensure that candidates are primed and ready should the right opportunity eventually arise. Talent management solutions offer invaluable help in tracking potential employees across an organization and throughout the comprehensive cycle.

So what can recruiters do to build long-term relationships with candidates who may not be a current fit?

  • Be honest. Let candidates know why they didn’t move on in the process, and why the role wasn’t a fit – and let them know promptly
  • Offer advice to the candidate. If you see mistakes or details that raise flags on their LinkedIn profile, let them know. Point them to additional sources for appropriate roles. Helping others comes back to you in spades, just like in most other areas of life
  • Keep in touch. Send an email periodically asking if they have a new role, are still looking, etc. and make note of the answers. If personal emails aren’t a possibility, send a useful article once a quarter as a way to reach out and continue to foster the relationship

It’s a brave new world when it comes to hiring practices, but unprecedented results are within reach for those who stick to winning strategies and avoid these potentially costly mistakes.

About the Guest Author:

Anand Deshpande is on the frontline of customer success at WittyParrot, working directly with clients to ensure smooth onboarding, ramp up and account management. He has an intimate knowledge of WittyParrot as a solution and uses that to help clients in strategy and implementation. Anand is a graduate of Emory University and has been with WittyParrot for over a year. His previous experience includes sustainability and brand consulting for a variety of companies including HRO and Oil and Gas companies. He has a history of working with diverse teams to create solutions to complex issues and enjoys bringing that background to the team.

Think You’re Ready for PR? Tips from Those Who Know

By Jennifer Fleming, President, TallGrass Public Relations

Whether you’re a newly formed start-up or a well-established brand or thought leader, you’ve probably thought about or dabbled in public relations.

No matter how great your marketing strategies are, there is nothing more credible than an effective PR campaign. So if you’re at the stage where you really want to build your business brand, then it’s time to start seriously considering hiring professional assistance.  

The TallGrass team consults with hundreds of clients each year in various phases of their marketing and PR strategy and programs. Some are at square one; others have worked with firms in their past or current companies.

But in order to make PR work, it boils down to three things: definitive goals, managed expectations and the right experts.

Know your goals and your bandwidth

Every new client at TallGrass participates in a strategic planning session – we won’t work with a client unless we do. Your PR firm should spend the time to understand your business. From your product roll-out schedule to growth opportunities, revenue models to target markets, asking the questions and understanding your business is critical to create messaging and stories that resonate. It drives the strategy to achieve your goals.

If you’re unclear about your goals, your mission and your 118/elevator pitch, get clear – fast. Without these guideposts, your PR team can’t begin to understand the parameters of what you’re trying to accomplish (and neither can your company!). A great firm should be able to ask the right questions, form a strategy and guide you in the right direction.

Not only do you need to be clear on your goals, but also your company needs to make PR an organizational commitment. Today, PR professionals outnumber journalists three to one. Requests for contributed content – content originated from your company or a “hired gun” content writer – are more and more common. PR will take time – yours and your firm’s. Are you prepared to drop everything for an interview or draft a thousand-word article?

“Make sure you know what to do with the results,” says Deane Barker, partner at Blend Interactive. “If you get a ton of speaking opportunities, can you fulfill them? How will you vet them? If sales leads come pouring in, do you have a process to manage them? Can you do anything with them? What results from PR is a raw asset that needs to be refined to have business value. Can you do this?”

If you want to be in the NYT, sleep with Paris Hilton

I’m kidding, sort of. Managing the expectations of our clients with the appropriate media outlets and journalists is an important part of what we do. Who wouldn’t love a placement in a major publication? But being everywhere is just as important. Having an arsenal of great coverage provides credibility and establishes you as a thought leader.

“It’s always nice to get a major media hit or article placement in a major national publication like USA Today. However, the real value is all of the smaller placements in industry magazines (print and digital) that focus on a target-specific audience,” says Shep Hyken, customer service expert, author and speaker. “While getting a spot on the ‘Today Show’ was great for my ego, the interviews and article placements in the industry publications were great for my business.”

Equally challenging and important in managing expectations is how to measure your ROI. Having a baseline of coverage from which to measure is great and can be helpful to define “we want X number of placements.” But PR is just part of the overall marketing mix.

“Don’t look at the ROI, it’s hard to measure and nearly impossible to see direct revenue,” says Mitchell Levy, Thought Leader Architect of THiNKaha. “What you are looking for is increased awareness leading to more opportunities for you and your team to engage with your future advocates. Those opportunities, if handled properly, will lead to significantly increased revenue.”

You’re hiring an expert for a reason

Companies can dabble with DIY public relations. But “it’s difficult to be consistent with pitching your business while you’re trying to run your company, too,” says Susan Solovic, small business expert, entrepreneur and author.

Just as you know your business inside and out, a PR professional can find the gems of your value proposition, messaging, product, service and company to tell your story.

But you have to be working with the right people. The ability to have open dialogue and to try a variety of tactics, to be flexible and agile creates a winning strategy.

“What worked in the past may not work in the future, and you want to be working with folks that you like, trust and are willing to try a number of techniques to be able to deliver the results you’re looking for,” Levy says.

A client once said to me, “Great PR is the ability to take chicken shit and make chicken salad.” Well said! You’ve hired an expert for a reason – now let them take the lead and let them do what they do best.

Jennifer Fleming is President of TallGrass PR, a global B2B public relations firm. She’s been known to follow shiny objects. Follow her at @jkfleming.

My People-Centric Journey to CFO

By Nintex CFO, Eric Johnson

Growing up, I was always interested in business.  My dad spent his career in the corporate world, eventually becoming the CIO for a Fortune 500 transportation company.  I learned a lot from my father and became interested in business very early.  From my dad I vividly learned a few key lessons:

  • Deliver on your commitments
  • Have passion for your trade
  • Treat people right

I was fortunate to have a great role model who laid a strong foundation for me.  My dad advised that I study finance and accounting as he told me it is the language of business—that in the board room having this knowledge would be invaluable.  He was right. Since my first job, every single role that followed has come from a referral of someone I had worked with before.  I am eternally grateful for the help I received from these individuals and know that it was based on the fact, that in the prior roles, I had delivered on commitments and was viewed as a strong teammate.   

In my early roles, as a financial analyst and then as a finance manager, I focused like a laser on delivering on my commitments and making great relationships at work.  My bosses and other leaders quickly appreciated my execution and because of this I often was given the opportunity to take on extra roles.  At Merant as a Finance Manager, in a turn-around situation, I was part of a team that tripled the value of the company in about two years.  This experience led me to receive a large promotion to the Director of Finance and Accounting for the acquiring company, Serena Software, at age 27.  I quickly went from leading a two person team to a 30 person team.  The pressure was high with several critical projects.  I was fortunate to be able to lead a high performing team and was recognized with the Employee of the Year award in my first year. 

About three years later Serena needed an executive to lead WW Sales Operations.  Given my knowledge of the sales organization and working relationships with key sales leaders I was promoted to VP of WW Sales Ops.  In this role, I learned a ton about selling having the opportunity to spend time with prospects, customers, and our sales teams.  After four years in this role I was ready for a new challenge and joined Jive from a co-worker referral as the VP of Finance and Sales Ops.  We had an outstanding team, took the company public eight months later, and in the two and a half years I was there grew revenue from under $50 million to $150 million.

Throughout my career journey, I have learned to appreciate and fully understand the critical role of ensuring your team members know you care deeply about their personal success and the organization’s success.  Team members give their best when they have strong relationships with their boss, co-workers, and they are bought into the mission of the organization.  After Jive, I joined Nintex as CFO (of course, this too was based on a referral).  Nintex has an outstanding culture, combining innovation, collaboration and respect for the individual.  I am fortunate to be a CFO well before 40 at a successful high-growth software company. 

I credit my success to having had many great bosses and co-workers, combined with my commitment to execution and my concern for building great relationships.