The podcast for global marketers to hear experts talk about opportunities and challenges in increasing multilingual lead gen and revenue. Explore the highs and lows and then delve into best practices for strategies, technologies, processes and quality for translation, transcreation, localization and more.
Wednesday Oct 05, 2022
Wednesday Oct 05, 2022
Wednesday Oct 05, 2022
Helen Southgate, Chief Global Officer for Acceleration Partners clearly knows how to build a global team and increase sales for expanding companies. Acceleration Partners builds affinity links and partnerships in over 30 countries as of today, and they continue to expand into new markets. Clients benefit from their expertise on the ground and on the web to drive buyers to purchase.
Helen has responsibilities in three key areas:
1. Global Marketing Consistency – Although they operate in 34 countries, when a client wants to expand into a new market, her team does an analysis to measure the potential for their products or services. They start by looking at pricing, doing a SWOT, looking for any gaps and what is currently working in the market. Then they do a “gut check” to see if it makes sense while looking for partners, and agencies to launch.
This is important to keep a consistent global brand and to understand what might need to be culturally adapted for local markets. She believes in Think Global, Act Local!
2. Opening New Markets for Acceleration Partners – The company expanded from 50-350 employees in the last five years and about 90 of those new employees are based in the target countries to be able to launch new products. As the company looks to expand or clients request new markets, Helen does the research on what countries make sense. She looks across these variables:
If the opportunity doesn’t outweigh the risks, costs, and time, it may not be a good target market. Helen gives a helpful link to a downloadable document that lists the countries that are hardest to easiest to open for business (see Global Business Complexity Index link below). She shared that the US and the UK are two easy markets, while Germany takes about a year to open.
3. Inclusive Employer – Managing employees in different countries becomes more difficult if the culture is not inclusive. When employees do not feel part of an organization, they leave. Helen’s job is to make sure that the corporate culture extends around the world, employees feel connected, and they follow the laws. She does this by talking to employees and relying on experts for information.
Slack serves as a valuable communications tool for employees to have “water cooler” conversations no matter their location. They have channels for people’s pets and animals, and even one on dinosaurs.
They use TMF Group as their Employer of Record in countries where they only have a couple of employees. TMF serves as the company of record for laws, benefits, payroll, and HR services. She says this is a great way to test a market before hiring a big team.
As for language – English is the primary language spoken in the company but as they’ve gotten bigger, she sees more desire by employees to have employee resource groups to speak their native language.
And for the partner programs, there are global managers for consistency in partner programs and then local teams do a “sense check” - do the local marketing materials make sense.
We talked about funny US – UK English misunderstandings.
My favorite was when her new US boss told her that he would be “out of pocket” next week. In the US, it means unavailable, while in the UK, it means that you’ll be out of money. She was a bit perplexed as to why he’d tell her that.
She has also made her communication mark – one time she told the senior leadership team that she was slightly concerned about an issue. They brushed it off because it was a slight concern. In the UK, a slight concern is something to pay attention to. They now know that any slight concern is to be reckoned with.
Helen’s advice to companies expanding -
- Do your research to balance the cost, time, risk and the return on the opportunity.
- Develop relationships on the ground in the country.
- Don’t forget about culture – including your team and your target audience.
Her favorite foreign word is Hygge – the Norwegian term that she recently learned in Denmark that means content, comfy, and happy.
Global Business Complexity Index - https://www.tmf-group.com/en/news-insights/publications/2022/global-business-complexity-index/
Connect with Wendy - https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendypease/
Connect with Helen - https://www.linkedin.com/in/helensouthgate/
Music: Fiddle-De-Dee by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com