Yext’s Liz Walton Talks International Marketing and Global Ready Tech

Smartling and Adweek are teaming up to host a webinar on Wednesday February 3 at 1 pm ET. The webinar will feature insights from experts at different stages of the global marketing  effort about what they’re doing to execute a global content strategy.

Smartling recently caught up with Liz Walton, Director of Marketing at Yext – a presenter on the webinar – to get her perspective on what ambitious brands need to do to succeed on a global scale. Check out our conversation below, and keep an eye out for our conversation with Adam Jones, COO at SimulTrans, on Tuesday February 2.

Why is it important for Yext to be in international markets?

Liz Walton: Businesses all over the world want the same thing: more customers. With our award-winning Location Management Platform, we help businesses manage the data about their locations across all of the places customers look – business websites, mobile apps and a network of over 100 maps, apps, directories, search engines, and social networks including Apple, Facebook, Bing, and Yahoo.

Our mission is to enable the world’s 50 million businesses to drive face-to-face and digital interactions that boost brand awareness, drive foot traffic, and increase sales through our three core products.

What barriers or obstacles did you face when you first went global?

LW: We faced two main obstacles. First, we are very good at data cleansing and managing location information. However address formats vary wildly by country and they can be hard for the human eye to interpret when in non-roman characters, which presented a product and operational challenge. Unlike other countries we actually started translating our product before our marketing.

Second, one of our core products, PowerListings, allows businesses to manage information about their physical locations on all the places where customers look for businesses. However, every country uses different apps, maps and search engines,.

Our strategic challenge was building country networks or partnering by offering our service through a leading digital company where relevant. And our approach varied by country. That meant we needed to develop both country-specific products and marketing.

What are your top priorities for global marketing?

LW: We have three top priorities for global marketing:

  • Localization: Expanding to a new country is kind of like starting a new company. Every conversation, meeting, or phone call counts. We have one shot to get it right and that means showing that we understand their business problems from the first moment. Incorrect translation, non-localized screenshots, and cultural missteps are surefire ways to ruin your chances – and were things we couldn’t risk. We had to take the extra step to localize all our materials to assimilate into that country’s culture.
  • Speed-to-Market: Like any fast growing company, as soon as we make a decision we’re behind. To remain aligned with product and the rest of the company we need to be moving incredibly fast, and didn’t want to let translation slow us down.
  • Simplicity: All of our customers like to communicate in different ways – some are happy to look at the website, others want PDF one-sheets or PowerPoint presentations. That means in the US we maintain a remarkable amount of materials, which multiplied as we expanded internationally. We’re a lean team, and didn’t have time to spare managing an ever increasing library of materials, so we needed something to make it easier.

What experience did you have with translation management software before Smartling?

LW: We had never used a translation service prior to Smartling and this was my first experience with translation management software. We vetted a number of different services and soon realized we needed a software solution that would integrate well with ours, and needed a partner who understood our business and could accommodate our rate of growth and speed-to-market.

How has Smartling helped your organization?

LW: Smartling has been a perfect fit and excellent partner for us. Its product does what it promised: fast, accurate and flexible translation. We started by translating our product and website, and quickly added all our marketing materials – and Smartling has been able to scale with us while constantly delivering a better product. On top of that, they have been a trusted, proactive partner as we develop our international strategy and approach to translation.

Learn more

Register for our webinar Content Strategies for Global Brands: Speaking Your Customer’s Language on February 3. The webinar will cover:

  • What matters most to consumers globally and how to build a content strategy that meets these needs
  • How working with translators can benefit your brand marketing
  • Why a global marketing initiative needs to take into account local needs

Featured speakers include: Liz Walton, Director of Marketing at Yext, Adam Jones, COO at SimulTrans, and Judd Marcello, VP of Marketing at Smartling.