Bruno Herrmann

As director of globalization and localization, Bruno Herrmann is currently responsible for digital content and product operations across six regions at The Nielsen Company. He manages global design, development and localization programs while focusing on international customer experience within a globalization framework. He joined The Nielsen Company in 2003 to manage international content and digital marketing programs in EMEA prior to leading digital content deployment and delivery globally. Previously, he managed digital globalization programs at HP and content management initiatives in addition to Web localization at Compaq. Prior to joining Compaq, he worked in the marketing communications and localization industries, taking part in major international projects for high-profile technology clients. Follow him on Twitter @BHerrmannINTL


Articles by Bruno Herrmann


It is sometimes useful to reiterate facts that are taken for granted—or expectations that are may seem obvious—in order to remind some people about the basic imperatives of content globalization. After decades of global expansion, it is surprising to hear about misconceptions or assumptions that may lead global products or services to an unexpected hall of shame. Before talking about the finish line it is necessary to define the start line and the distance to run.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Sep 27, 2017
Whenever digital globalization is initiated or accelerated the testing stage is a critical milestone to certify that global content delights target audiences and thrives in any target market. This may sound like any other testing effort regardless of scope and nature. Yet, it must be considered holistically. Leading it as a mainstream activity and prioritizing sanity checks are two typical pitfalls that put globalization testing off track and off budget. A couple of guidelines should be kept in mind to avoid ending up with unnecessary iterations and to generate cost effective takeaways.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Aug 23, 2017
Succeeding in content translation puts you in a position to create compelling experiences among consumers across the globe. However, it is sometimes misunderstood and diluted within globalizing organizations, which leads some content creators and owners to misuse it and make it less effective than it should be. Here are six steps to help you on your journey.
Editorial/Feature - July/August 2017 Issue, Posted Aug 21, 2017
During recent discussions with global product and content leaders, and language service suppliers, I noticed that a recurring topic still made relationships between these suppliers and their clients less productive than expected. They can't seem to agree on the answers to a couple of questions. What are language services and how do these services contribute to global business in general and digital experiences in particular?
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Jul 26, 2017
Sharing a car, an apartment, or content is now the norm. Whether for free or paid, sharing goods and services has become more than just another trend. The same is true for the globalization of digital content. The business processes underlying content globalization are subject to efforts to increase cost- and time-effectiveness, and deliver faster results. However, this poses challenges that must be framed to avoid turning distributed engagement and empowerment into fragmentation and dilution.
Column/Globalization Guide - July/August 2017 Issue, Posted Jul 25, 2017
Diversity is a key value in digital globalization. Regardless of industry--or globalization maturity stage--diversity cannot live and thrive without holistic inclusion (a major enabler of content globalization). When it comes to the mind of global leaders and performers, holistic inclusion fuels a number of aspects of global content operations ranging from processes to standards and from planning to execution. As a matter of fact, inclusion underlies success all along the way--provided it is embraced from the outset of global expansion and growth.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Jun 28, 2017
An announcement made the headlines just a few days ago that could help recalibrate and accelerate globalization in a sustainable way. China announced it was going to invest $124 billion in order to strengthen the new Silk Road (also know as One Belt, One Road) aiming to boost global development, trade, and cooperation.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted May 26, 2017
At first glance, content globalization may be seen as a cost rather than in investment. This short-term and misleading view should be challenged and used as inspiration to execute goals on time and on budget. One way to turn digital globalization from a cost center into a profit driver in the mind of stakeholders—and in everyday content operations—is to deliver highly engaging and demand generating content.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Apr 26, 2017
Digital globalization may sound like a fairly obvious process to content leaders and owners who may therefore define it in a too narrow fashion, i.e. pushing content out to the world. Like for other business processes they should mind the gap between quick assumptions and fast execution. Digital globalization entails the deployment of content across multiple markets and a multitude of steps. So it must be managed holistically and precisely to be truly efficient.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Mar 29, 2017
At the beginning and end of each year, we see the emergence of thoughts about what was achieved and how to excel going forward. While better, faster, or cheaper are recurring considerations, the near future may be defined by "connecting for growth." Leaders and players in the global marketplace should keep delivering on that mantra. New and ambitious global challengers should adopt it sooner rather than later. Connections are the name of the game. Here are a few words of advice for trendsetters.
Column/Globalization Guide - March/April 2017 Issue, Posted Mar 21, 2017
Consistency and relevance are your best allies when grabbing the attention of global customers and keep feeding them. You should also bear in mind some dependencies and factors that are tied to digital globalization as a whole. Here are some points that are even more crucial to consider when deploying and valuing bite-sized content internationally, wherever it must be understood, consumed, remembered and shared.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Feb 24, 2017
Beyond philosophical and social dimensions, diversity fuels many tactical and strategic decisions about globalizing and localizing content effectively, whether it is internally or externally. It is part of the global success chain. Here are a few examples of areas where it is at home.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Jan 27, 2017
While delivering content across multiple channels has been a requirement for years, we must now appreciate that customers move across channels and cannot be missed in any of them at any time. Therefore there is no surprise that omnichannel goals are embedded in digital globalization plans, and have become another facet of processes and practices to create global content, and deliver on local experiences.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Nov 23, 2016
Customer centricity is the name of the game if you want to expand across diverse and evolving markets. This can be achieved only if organizations embrace digital globalization when and how it should be—and if leaders understand the value it creates and adds to their business. In other words, operational globalization facets are critical to ensure that great execution inside globalizing organizations reflects on customer experiences around the world.
Column/Globalization Guide - November/December 2016 Issue, Posted Nov 02, 2016
Globalizing content, and localizing it at scale, play crucial roles in the continued expansion of ecommerce across a number of markets and are therefore considered reliable business performance indicators. Here is a brief overview of a few globalization best practices powering international ecommerce.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Oct 25, 2016
Digital globalization has plenty of challenges and pitfalls ahead. Logically, simplification surfaces as an immediate concern. Therefore, it is crucial to gauge and prioritize efforts to keep digital globalization under control by simplifying costs and time for the sake of audiences around the world.
Column/Globalization Guide - Posted Oct 04, 2016
If you want your localization project to run smoothly, you have to plan ahead. Here are some tips for making sure your project is efficient and transparent.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Sep 22, 2016
Executing content globalization is about dealing with a variety of details. Performance and success depend on how successful such details are addressed. Content creators sometimes consider terminology to be a low-level task or detail. They should never do so. One wrongly used term can damage the effectiveness of content for some time. While it is quite easy for anyone to spot a terminology mistake as far as spelling or meaning, it actually goes deeper and further than an obvious glitch and spoils critical touch points in the digital experience.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Aug 22, 2016
Capturing what matters and measuring what counts: This is a global leadership imperative. And it is the best--if not the only--way to showcase that managing digital globalization and delivering international experiences effectively pay off. It is all about effectiveness and starts with the early steps in the global content value chain. A number of criteria and indicators should be on the radar screen of anyone willing to define, analyze, and leverage effectiveness holistically. Productivity may not always be at the top of the list in terms of localization benefits although it definitely drives time and cost savings, while enabling to better allocate resources and optimize timeframes. It may come up as a secondary factor or be diluted in other prominent indicators such as content accuracy or consistency.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Jul 25, 2016
Some people argue a video speaks louder and longer than text. While this might not always be true, videos fit nicely in top-notch digital experiences as dynamic and engaging components. Video creators know well they have to tap into several types of expertise to glue multiple layers of content together and define the winning combination of text, visuals, and sound. That challenge is actually replicated as many times as the number of international markets and audiences you want to target. Diversity plays out in such content which is no exception to globalization best practices.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Jun 17, 2016
A few weeks ago I talked to social media experts and leaders who brought up concerns about how to make the most of content from digital listening channels in general, and social media in particular around the world. Capturing user-generated content effectively is a must in the digital globalization age. Understanding and leveraging it is equally business critical to get the whole value, and often proves to be more challenging than initially expected. To a large extent this content reflects the diversity of people who create it based on their personality and their attitude.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted May 20, 2016
Concerns about forced standardization and diluted creativity are frequent pitfalls on the way to executing a global content strategy. On the one hand local or regional stakeholders may be skeptical or reluctant to digest and deploy content that their customers may not consider as actionable within their market. This viewpoint may lead to slow or no acceptance. They may even see digital globalization efforts as the output of a big factory that rolls content out in a number of geographies while focusing the role of content owners on sign-off tasks. On the other hand, global leaders want to ensure a good level of coherence and consistency so the right messages are conveyed to target markets in a way that preserves the value of brands, products or services.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Apr 22, 2016
"The rest of the world" has to become "most of the world" in the mindset and practices of global executives and leaders. Digital is global in nature, not by default. Becoming truly international is what digital globalization is all about. Since content must be seen as a product, it means that global objectives must be translated into engaging experiences locally. Seamless digital experience is common ground for all-as it creates value during mobile, web, and social journeys and feeds the appetite for applications, products, or entertainment online.
Column/Globalization Guide - April 2016 Issue, Posted Apr 12, 2016
Some myths or misconceptions still affect digital globalization and lead to risky decisions or faux pas. One of them is the assumption that it is less important to localize content when it comes to engaging with business-to-business customers and employees internationally. This boils down to stating that they neither need nor deserve the same level of content quality that other valued consumers require. Some decision makers are willing to justify it by claiming that English is the universal language of business. This proves to be an opinion rather than a fact more often than not.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Mar 18, 2016
Data is all around us whether we use it or we are part of it. More than another trend, data is the way to move with agility and make every step and achievement tangible for those who do not see or believe it. One of the most transformational and accelerating factors of digitization is precisely how data is considered, leveraged, valued, and distilled. As data mining is not new it has become more than just a back office type of activity. It is all about turning facts into more than facts, figures into more than figures, and content into more than content.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Feb 19, 2016
Digital content excellence will play out more than ever before and global expansion will remain a major growth enabler for the next 12 months--and likely beyond. In other words digital customer experience across geographies and markets will be there to stay and will keep global business leaders and players busy, sometimes busier than what they planned or expected last year. Having said that we may wonder what is ahead of us this year and how it is going to impact digital globalization practices and objectives.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Jan 20, 2016
Almost everyone speaks at least one language but that does not make everyone a language expert. It is quite sensible to recognize that fact. In the same vein, all translators are multilingual people but not all multilingual people are professional translators. This may sound obvious for anyone working in or with the language services industry. However, it remains important to point out what makes professional linguists and translators valuable resources and how they power content effectiveness to a large extent. Essentially they all make a difference because they are different - or more different than some people may think - in the way they help walk in the shoes of customers. In other words they help shape the customer experience that must be delivered around the world.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Nov 25, 2015
"Where should it sit?" is probably one of most frequent questions I hear when it comes to determining where digital globalization makes the largest contribution to the overall business. But this question really goes way beyond finding a place within a global organization. It is actually about positioning digital globalization in the best possible way to create value, generate benefits, drive experiences, and accelerate growth around the world. There are also a few equally important organizational pitfalls or assumptions that should be avoided to turn it into more than just a service and therefore to gain visibility and effectiveness.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Oct 30, 2015
When mapping global growth opportunities on a regular basis it is crucial to prioritize business requirements and to plan for actions accordingly. This means categorizing countries according to a number of criteria ranging from local demand to local competition. Although some developing or emerging markets have been listed in top tiers for some time, their positioning in business expansion has not always been reflected in effective efforts to produce content and products meeting their actual customer requirements. It might stem from the fact that, historically speaking, globalization has been driven by many Western companies.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Aug 24, 2015
Following a presentation at a recent global customer experience summit I was glad to discuss drivers and enablers of content effectiveness around the world once again. Quality and consistency came up naturally as topics of interest to many attendees and speakers. As I mentioned that I was considering consistency and coherence as major factors in globalization in general and localization in particular, it triggered a couple of immediate questions.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Jul 22, 2015
A few weeks ago a peer told me a story highlighting the value of localization for training activities and deliverables. In short, materials were designed and sessions were set up by various leaders in his company to train a number of teams around the world, led by instructors virtually or face-to-face and based on e-learning modules. When the time came to capture and measure the overall effectiveness of training sessions it appeared targets were missed in some markets. Following a thorough investigation and review the root cause was found in a poor local experience generated by English-only materials and--equally important--in the format of remote sessions.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Jun 10, 2015
Much focus has to be put on processes--such as content authoring, asset management, internationalization, localization, or SEO--to deliver on digital content effectiveness and customer experience globally. It is equally important to think about the organizational framework where these processes become most valuable, and best practices across the board. For leaders in large and multinational organizations it often means moving toward a cross-functional evolution rather than spurring a revolution by forcing their way into silos.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Apr 29, 2015
In the digital age marketing and communications leaders cannot escape challenges put out by customers who are more diverse and demanding than ever. While they are aware digital is global in nature they also know that ensuring a global footprint is not an achievement anymore. Global excellence is. This is translated into efficiency and effectiveness across geographies from a strategic perspective. There is good news for global and local players as they can leverage digital globalization to enable and boost their own efforts as well, whether they have to initiate or accelerate digital evolution. These considerations are equally important to help them avoid being insulated when dealing with tactics on global scale. Let's have a look at some of these common imperatives and how to increase value for the sake of the whole business. These focal points are articulated around simplicity, innovation and growth as components of the foundation shared by all digital strategies.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Mar 18, 2015
Global marketing and commercial leaders are under more pressure than ever to make the right balance and choices when it comes to positioning and strengthening brands. What's more is they have to do this across a number of diverse markets and multiple channels for consumers. Shaping budgets and justifying investments in each country and on every screen are challenges in the advertising world where the digital evolution has been fast and strong over the past years. This is an ideal framework to leverage digital globalization and proven localization practices and to make marketers profit from value they can add to their own efforts.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Feb 13, 2015
Managing localization in a time and cost effective way is critical for the definition and execution of digital globalization plans. It is therefore no surprise that product leaders and content owners need process enhancements while making the most of localization budgets according to clear requirements and indicators. This is where automation comes in to play. However, it may turn out to be a great efficiency enabler as well as a dangerous pitfall if it is not used at the right time and within the right framework.
Editorial/Commentary - Posted Jan 07, 2015
Ignoring content globalization is no longer an option in international business environments, and questions and comments may come up on how to best define, optimize, and execute against a strategy-and how the expected ROIs and growth can be ensured and measured effectively. Generally speaking, creating and developing awareness around global challenges remains crucial to align and change mindsets-which is the foundation of the organizational and process transformation needed to take up these challenges. Once the stage is set, processes can be defined and implemented in line with global business objectives and enabling technology and resources can be identified.
Editorial/Commentary - December 2014 Issue, Posted Dec 29, 2014