Why Mad Men-esque marketing is dead

Why Mad Men-esque marketing is dead

Technology, and the rapid pace at which it’s evolving, has changed the way we live our lives. With more information available than ever before, served via a variety of devices and in a variety of forms, today’s consumers are savvier than ever before. Thanks to the avalanche of information we’re exposed to on a daily basis, attention spans are short, expectations are high and alternative options abound. Meeting the requirements of modern day consumers requires a new approach, one that serves them with content and information that’s valuable, relevant and engaging. Successful marketing today is a far cry from a mere decade ago. Here’s how the marketing game has done a 180:

Then: Everyone
Now: Somebody

Old-school marketing tactics were largely aimed at a nameless, faceless group of people who might or might not have been interested in the product or service in question. In what was essentially a numbers game, launching a campaign in the hope that it would resonate with enough people who would eventually become customers entailed big budgets and generic messaging.

Today, the marketing campaigns that successfully capture the hearts, minds and wallets of consumers are those that are strategically tailored to their unique needs, interests and lifestyles. One-size-fits-all marketing is out; bespoke, personalized marketing is in.

Then: Push
Now: Pull

In the past, brands relied on marketing methods that ‘pushed’ their messages in front of audiences. While this approach may have worked a couple of years ago, consumers no longer take anything at face value. Today, this ‘take it or leave it’ attitude is ineffective, as it essentially ignores the consumer’s autonomy, which is more damaging to brand sentiment than anything else. Today, the most effective approach is one that ‘pulls’ consumers toward your brand, via content that’s of interest and of value. If you can serve someone by giving them the information they need, in a format that’s enjoyable or easy to consume, on their platform of preference, you’re far more likely to be thought of as a brand that understands what someone is really about, and as a result, win their patronage.

Then: Shouting at
Now: Conversing with

Brands used to rely on a marketing approach that was akin to shouting “Look at me!”, and then waiting for consumers to take notice. Some did, but many didn’t. Following a mantra of ‘More is more’, brands clamored to plaster their logos anywhere and everywhere. Today’s consumers have a serious case of marketing fatigue, which means that if you want to get their attention, and hopefully, their business, you need to start a conversation with them. This entails listening to what they have to say (whether in person, via social media or via analytics), and then reaching out on their terms, in a way that recognizes their autonomy, intelligence and individual needs.

Then: Brands dictated buying behavior
Now: Consumers hold the reins

Thanks to the vast amount of choice today’s consumers have, they’re no longer beholden to a brand. As customer value begins to outweigh price as a determining factor, brands can no longer take their market share for granted. Today, consumers can pick and choose which brands they want to support, and if they find a service or product lacking, they’ll move on to another who is able to meet them on their terms.

If you want to succeed in a buyer’s market, you need to make sure your marketing strategy is tailored to your market’s unique needs, requirements and cultural context. When launching your brand in a foreign market, it’s advisable to seek the guidance of an expert localization services provider to help you do just that.

Download our guide, ‘The Psychology of Marketing Messaging’ to learn more about winning over your target market, below.

Image Credit: graphicartsmag.com


Marketing messaging guide

Trello’s unconventional approach to localization

Trello’s unconventional approach to localization

Going international can be intimidating. And few companies truly get it right.

In 2015, Trello, a web-based workplace productivity tool, started noticing extensive growth across international markets. At the time, some 75% of their traffic and 45% of their revenue was generated outside the US. In response to their growing popularity, they opted to expand their offering to better cater to users across the globe.

As Trello looked to upscale their platform – which is free to most users – they faced a major problem around cost. Hiring countless professionals to translate Trello into more than 20 different languages was simply too expensive and they were yet to see how localizing their platform would impact bottom line.

Testing the translation and localization waters

According to Trello’s International Marketing Lead, Alexia Ohannessian, they initially launched localization tests in three strategic countries – Brazil, Germany and Spain. The product was localized using professional translation services. “After this first experiment, there was no question that localization could work for Trello,” says Ohannessian. So they further tested a localized approach in France. But this time they decided to do what they do best – collaborate.

Trello rounded up a group of user volunteers to assist in translating the platform into French and they successfully did so in just one month. Understandably, there were a few errors but Trello found that the translations were more in line with their brand. Being seasoned Trello users, the translators were pretty familiar with the look and feel of the product itself. Using their crowdsourcing success in France as a starting point, Trello set its sights on other regions. And in four months, 520 volunteers changed 47 000 words into 20 different languages and localized versions of Trello were introduced in countries around the world.

“We definitely had some concerns before deciding to try crowdsourcing. Mainly, we wondered about the quality of professional translation compared to crowdsourcing, as well as the speed with which we could get things done,” says VP of Marketing at Trello, Stella Garber. “Beyond the significant cost savings, it was also a great way to get our user base involved in the evolution of a product they really loved using.”

Localization and translation lessons

Trello’s decision to tackle international markets came about after conversations with local users in different markets – mainly about their struggles. For Garber, the move to launch internationally presented various technical and marketing challenges.

Here are a few things they learned along the way:

Talk to your users: Trello sent surveys to users from different countries to learn more about their Trello experiences. This information revealed interesting insights around the similarities and differences across regions.

Internationalize by country, not by language: Marketing should be done on a country-by-country basis, not a language basis. While languages may be similar between nations, tapping into the unique cultural nuances of users was essential to offer a more personalized platform.

Local relationships are key: Trello opted to crowdsource because they acknowledged how important it is to connect to the right people in each country. Having a good relationship with local users also made it easier to spread the word about the localization of Trello.

Localize your localization efforts: Simply changing the language on the platform was not enough. True localization requires that you consider the cultural quirks and unique preferences of users in each locale.

If you’re interested to uncover the power of localization, we have a team of professionals who can make your efforts a reality. We specialize in delighting our clients and want to help you do the same. Click here to check out our global translation services and to find out more about what we do.  

Image Credit: trello.com


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Is around the clock translation possible?

Is around the clock translation possible?

If you’ve ever been caught in a downpour without an umbrella, you’ll appreciate the value of a reliable, up-to-date weather report. Whether you’re in Singapore or Spain, Angola or Australia, the weather is likely to affect your decisions and your activities. And if you’re living in one of these countries, chances are that you’ll want that timeous, accurate weather report in your native language, be it Malay or Spanish, Portuguese or English.

AccuWeather, the world’s leading provider of weather information, is in the business of providing people across the globe with personalized weather news. Meaning that their content has to be localized to cater to the different languages, cultural nuances and the unique preferences of the many people using the service.

The challenge?

AccuWeather needed hyper-localization – which basically entails tailoring real-time weather data to the user’s device, location, language and dialect. This involved localizing the AccuWeather offering and gaining a comprehensive understanding of their users’ preferences and needs. To do so, Rubric had to provide AccuWeather with a 24 hour translation service; with the unique needs and cultural preferences of users in disparate regions determining how they approached the translation and localization of AccuWeather’s raw data. And because every language is unique, Rubric also had to take into account the fact that there may not be an accurate phrase for various English terms, and vice versa. This cultural sensitivity was exceptionally important.

The solution?

So how did Rubric tackle this task? They removed the repetitive, time-consuming and tedious file pushing effort from the Project Manager’s (PM) workload. This made everything faster because PMs can now concentrate on high level client communications, strategic planning and risk management; allowing the translation work to be carried out in a matter of hours. AccuWeather simply has to upload a file to the Rubric portal, it gets translated by a Rubric translator, is then re-uploaded to the portal and sent back to the client, or the client is notified that it is ready. Rubric had to translate and localize news stories and ensure that everything was developed to best meet the needs of users across different markets.

The new process works like this:

  • AccuWeather uploads a file.
  • The file is put into the correct format and sent to production.
  • The file is then assigned to a resource (translator).
  • The file is translated and uploaded into the system.
  • AccuWeather is notified that their file is ready either via notification or an email.

The 24 hour process means that people are getting their news on time and in their native language. To find out more about how we used our translation services to help AccuWeather, check out the following case study.

Image Credit: josic.com

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Five things you need to know about the modern day consumer

Five things you need to know about the modern day consumer

Today’s consumers are digitally savvy, glued to their mobiles and always a ‘like’ or swipe away from their next byte of digital gratification. As the internet – and the degree of connectivity it offers us – continues to fundamentally alter our behavior, we’ve come to expect experiences that are captivating, relevant and engaging. Modern day consumer behavior is incredibly intricate and complex, and deserving of more than a cursory glance. For the sake of this blog, we’ve highlighted the five defining characteristics of 21st century consumers that you need to consider.

1. The ubiquitous mobile phone defines the modern day consumer.

Mobile phones have radically changed (and continue to change) the way we live our lives. We can order takeout, find a date, play virtual reality games, buy a new pair of sneakers and connect with friends and family in far-flung places – all thanks to a device in the palm of our hands. As such, the way we interact with brands has drastically changed too. The rise of mCommerce, in particular, has brands sitting up and taking notice. Consider the following statistic from Invesp: mCommerce sales are set to reach $86 billion by the end of 2016, making up 24% of all eCommerce sales – double the amount of a mere four years ago.

2. No longer satisfied with one device, the modern day consumer is online via two devices or more.

If you’re partial to kicking back and watching Netflix while you scroll through your Instagram feed, you’re not alone. In fact, accessing two different types of content via two different devices is now the norm; with 87% of US consumers using a second device while watching television, according to Adweek. The ramifications of this behavior for brands are considerable. Today, omni-channel marketing strategies are expected, because if you want to connect with your consumers, you need to be visible on more than one channel. In the same vein, there are countless other brands vying for your market’s attention on multiple platforms, which means that your content needs to be engaging, enjoyable to the consumer and, ultimately, relevant if you want it to stand out.

3. The modern day consumer is more visually driven than ever before.

Humans are inherently visually driven creatures, and thanks to the digital age’s onslaught of visual content in the form of video, memes and gifs, we’ve been conditioned to prefer images over words. At the end of last year, TechCrunch reported that Facebook “sees 8 billion average daily video views from 500 million users”, making the old adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’  an apt description of the modern consumer’s modus operandi. What’s more, this article by Matthew Ferrara notes that as millennials – who were taught to read via the ‘look, say’ method, as opposed to the phonetic method used by previous generations – enter the consumer market, images are the most crucial marketing currency for this portion of the market. As such, this has given rise to marketing campaigns that are fuelled by the power of images. In short: it’s out with copy and in with visually-driven marketing messages.  

4. Short attention spans have made the modern day consumer a demanding one.

As our lives become increasingly digitally influenced, our attention spans (and patience) continue to dwindle. As such, modern consumers want what they want, when they want it – and if your brand can’t give it to them, they’ll look elsewhere. What’s more, you need to be able to provide your market with an exceptional experience that’s tailored to their individual needs and preferences in order to demonstrate that you value their patronage.

5. Customer assistance that’s fast and sincere is now expected.

Possibly one of the greatest benefits of social media is that it’s largely done away with the stressful (and often infuriating) ordeal of trying to contact customer support. We no longer have to wait on hold while we’re blasted with elevator music in an effort to communicate with a brand. Today, we take to social media to air our grievances and share our praise. This has seen the social media manager begin to replace the old school call center, as brands clamor to put processes in place to ensure that no tweet is left unseen and no follow goes unmentioned.

Connecting with the modern consumer – whether they’re in Berlin or Baghdad – relies on an in-depth understanding of their unique requirements, buying behavior, and cultural context. Download our guide, ‘The Psychology of Marketing Messaging’ to learn how to create marketing campaigns that get to the hearts of your audience.  

Image Credit: pexels.com

Four localization lessons from our partnership with Amway [Slideshare]

Four localization lessons from our partnership with Amway [Slideshare]

Our recent partnership with Amway was a resounding success. We worked in collaboration with Amway staff and stakeholders, providing them with project management and the localization of internal training collateral in order to enable the company to upskill their staff in various locations around the globe. We’ve compiled a SlideShare to showcase some of the most important lessons we learned from the project. Click through to learn the four most valuable lessons we’ve taken away from the project.



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