The International Content: Monetizing Global Content Assets and Measuring Success report examines the views of brand-side marketers on the management of international content.

This research, conducted by Econsultancy in partnership with Lionbridge LLC, is based on a sample of more than 270 executive-level marketers across a variety of international businesses. Respondents’ organizations reported an average of $1bn-$5bn in 2016 revenue.

The report explores ways in which high-performing organizations govern their international content to improve global brand positioning and increase revenue. The survey contrasts leaders’ methods with those of the mainstream to give the reader a better understanding of successful approaches to global content management, and the challenges those taking these approaches encounter.

As globalization accelerates, industry leaders tend to centralize control of their global content; 72% of leaders describe their governance of global content as either “very tightly controlled at a global level, with no local autonomy,” or “tightly controlled, with some local autonomy.”

Naturally, localization is a challenge for larger international organizations that tend to have more rigidly defined content strategies than companies in the more ad-hoc mainstream.

However, leaders are trying to change this; twice as many leaders are planning to extend the number of markets in which they have a web presence as their mainstream peers.

Standing out among the challenges organizations face in seeking to grow the number of local markets in which they operate are technology, industry compliance, and limited undestanding of ROI within the organization. Leaders are more than twice as likely as their mainstream peers to report “industry compliance” as the chief obstacle to localized expansion, while the mainstream reports “lack of business case / limited understanding of ROI” at twice the rate of high-performers.

Still, everyone struggles with establishing a global governance framework. While leaders are unsurprisingly better in this regard, roughly a fifth of both performance groups report it being the main barrier to their organizations’ expansion efforts.

Findings include:

  • Nearly two-thirds of leaders (65%) believe that internationalization of content is ‘critical for creating a global brand,’ compared to only 35% of mainstream respondents. There is broad consensus among leaders that carefully planned international content is integral to digital transformation and the overall customer experience.
  • More than half (54%) of leaders believe their budgeting for international websites is ‘very much based on a quantifiable understanding of the likely revenue uplift.’ They are similarly likely to report that they have portioned off budget for content internationalization (60%).
  • Leaders are more than four times as likely as the mainstream to have clear ownership of content within their businesses.
  • Among leaders, control of content within the business itself lies with product teams twice as often as it does with the product teams of the mainstream (35% versus 15%, respectively), and with analysts at about the same rate (46% for leaders versus 23% for the mainstream).