Voices of the Engagement Economy: Clint Poole, SVP & CMO, Lionbridge
Clint leads all aspects of global go-to-market strategy, demand generation, and branding initiatives.
In this discussion, Clint talks about what the Engagement Economy means for him, the challenges and opportunities it has created, and provides practical guidance on how his team creates the personalized experiences customers desire.
Q. We have been talking a lot about the Engagement Economy – what does it mean to you?
In the past, I feel as though marketers focused more on pushing content out across all the channels at their disposal, rather than listening to the customers and customizing the interaction accordingly. No one was trying to understand what a delightful customer experience would look like for each segment and then tailoring their approaches accordingly.
I think there’s been a shift back to the fundamentals of classic customer-centricity, driven both by new tools, such as big data analytics, and more traditional methods, such as customer advisory boards. We are finally using all the tools at our disposal.
Q. How have you driven that customer focus into your business?
Lionbridge has a very customer-centric culture. We tell stories about our customers, focusing on the person and the relationship they have with Lionbridge, not the transaction. Essentially, we talk about them as an individual, not just part of a company. This makes the experience very human. Otherwise, it’s very impersonal.
Q. Is there a key to making customer-centricity work?
If employees aren’t focused on the mission and brand, they won’t think about how the engagement impacts the customer. Thus, if you empower your employees, they will care more about how they engage with customers and ultimately make a greater impact.
Q. On a practical level, how do you enable your employees to be successful with that approach?
We have monthly meetings and customer performance calls where we analyze both the happy and unhappy customers. We take a very systematic approach that is built into every team call across functions, analyzing customer satisfaction data and problem-solving ways to address the good and the bad.
Q. Lionbridge’s business is truly global—how does that impact how you market?
A successful customer engagement has two dimensions. 1) Understanding the universal similarities of a buyer segment. Identifying the touch points of a complex buyer journey that are consistent across segments and markets. Then 2) understanding the interactions that are unique to the buyer segment.
Across geographic markets the unique interactions are often cultural or language-based. You need to understand what is so unique about each market that requires you to connect with them locally, beyond just the literal translation of the message. It is important to balance the local adaptations with the universal, global touch points in order to maintain a level of corporate governance and consistency.