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How to Personalize Marketing Content While Remaining Ethical in How You Collect Your Data

Personalized multilingual marketing can be extremely beneficial for your company. When you know enough about your customers to deliver content that targets them directly, it can help ensure your customers regularly receive relevant information and look forward to receiving your content. However, it’s important to make sure the personalization in these targeted campaigns feels genuine and helpful, and to avoid being intrusive or unpleasant.

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Consumers care more and more about how their data is being collected and utilized, as showcased in recent updates to laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU - which took effect in May 2018 - and the California Consumer Privacy Act, which will go into effect in January 2020. Both laws focus on the consumer’s right to privacy and control over what data is collected and stored. Not only is it important to keep these ideals in mind for all of your customers, but your multilingual marketing content should reflect these same ideals.

Here are a few ways you can interact with your multilingual audience in a personalized way without fretting about violating their privacy:

Interact with them on social media... in their own language!

Social media is perfect for personalized engagement! If you have social media posts written in your customer’s primary language, you’ll find it that much easier to communicate and engage with them! Reply to their comments and messages whenever possible. This helps foster genuine rapport, and it reminds your customers that there are humans behind your brand who want to build an actual relationship with them (not just sell them something).

Personalize email campaigns.

Email campaigns are a great way to reach those customers who have already shown enough interest in your brand to provide you with an email address. When you contact these customers, make sure the material they receive is relevant to their current relationship with your company. Localize these emails by translating the content for your multilingual customers and choosing images and content that will be relevant for your audience. If your customers reside in another country, know what it takes to remain compliant with any regulations that may be in place in their country as well.

Personalize these emails further by including their name in the email. Make sure to address them by the name that is deemed culturally appropriate. Research email etiquette for whatever language group you are targeting so that you do not risk offending a demographic group who may prefer to be addressed by their last name instead of by their first name.

Respect privacy and be transparent in your data collection practices.

While personalized content can be truly appreciated by many, there is also a fine line between your customers feeling engaged with your materials as opposed to feeling spied on using questionable data collection practices. Make sure you respect your customers’ privacy by sending them only the types of communication they have signed up to receive. Just because they included their phone number in a contact form does not mean they wish to receive text messages with offers and updates, for example. Allow them to easily opt out at any time and have full access to and control over the information you collect about them and how it is used. For a foreign-language audience, this data collection and privacy information needs to be available in their primary language.

When you create a marketing piece, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Does it feel genuine and helpful? Great! Keep using that piece. If it feels intrusive, however, consider what makes you feel that way. Chances are, if you feel content might be obtrusive, your customers will, too.  

Genuine Engagement in Automated Marketing: How to Connect Authentically with Your Multilingual Audience

Marketing automation tools help businesses save time, money, and reach people quickly and easily. These tools can be extremely effective, as long as the automation does not come at the expense of the relationships you’ve built with your current and potential customers. Your consumers don’t like to feel like they’re just a number. And your multilingual audience is no exception.

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Here are 5 ways to make sure you are connecting authentically with your multilingual audience when using automated marketing tools.

  1. Send personalized content tailored to each individual when possible. Use your automated tools to your advantage on an individual level! If you have customers’ birthdays on file, send them a personalized message (email, direct mail, or both!) wishing them a happy birthday. You can also do this for subscriber or loyalty member anniversaries if your business offers this. You can offer a special limited-time discount to entice customers to reconnect with you for any occasion, but even a simple message lets your customers know you are thinking of them. They will appreciate that you took the time to reach out, bonus discount or not.

  2. Target your ads specifically based on where you are in the business-consumer relationship. Your relationship with your customers (both potential and existing) varies from person to person. While you don’t have to send out individualized ads for each person every time you begin a marketing campaign in order to continue building that relationship, you will at least want to make sure your message is tailored to how much of a relationship you’ve already built with them. Just as you speak differently to friends you’ve known for 20 years as opposed to someone you’ve just met at an event, the content you deliver to someone who has made multiple purchases will be quite different than how you market to those who are unfamiliar with your brand. It is essential to build real relationships with your automated campaigns.

  3. Localize your marketing content with your multilingual consumers in mind; don’t just reuse your English ads. The personalized content you create won’t be effective if your consumers don’t understand or engage with it! Content should be translated into the appropriate language for your audience, and the design and layout of your materials must be relevant.

  4. Ask engaging questions and connect with your audience when they reply. The beauty of automation tools is that you can schedule content like email campaigns, ads, and social media posts in advance. Create content that is engaging; ask questions that prompt people to respond. Since you were able to schedule these items in advance, this frees up time for your team to respond when a customer takes action. If someone leaves a comment on a social media post, tag them and reply -- in their language! This shows customers that your brand genuinely cares about responding and providing them with value.

  5. Offer support in the languages your customers speak. Nothing can be more disheartening for a consumer than having questions about a product or service, and being unable to get the information they need. If you include a phone number or email address in your marketing materials, have sufficient support available in those mediums in the language(s) your customers speak. If a customer clicks a link in your online ad, the page where it directs them should also be translated and localized. Taking these steps helps ensure there are no interruptions between the marketing campaign and the purchase your customer intends to make.