Subscription Economy & Intimate Relationships
Do you remember those days when you ducked out to the local video shop when it was raining to find a fab flick for the evening? We were extremely lucky in Brisbane’s Paddington to have one with a huge international section and unfortunately too many tempting Lindt chocolates at the checkout counter. Today, that video store has long closed up shop and it’s Netflix or any other streaming site instead…
At last year’s G20 Strategy & Management Summit here in Paris I ran into Frederic Mazzella, the founder of BlaBlaCar, Europe’s leading ride-sharing community that connects drivers with empty seats and people travelling the same way, so they can share their cost. This year, it was Philippe van Hove and his Zuora team that caught my attention, and finally the penny dropped and I understood that the way people buy has changed, and it’s time for our business to change with them.
Not only ours – yours, too, by the way. Not only business, but all of you including local and state government for that instance. It’s about the customer experience journey, so this is everyone, all stakeholders, be it Australia’s export clients across the world or the multicultural users of our products and services in our Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities.
Towards the end of last year I wrote about Communicating in a Changing World and how it impacts us, how we can handle big data and collaborative economies and stay ahead of the game and keep sailing.
Today let’s look at what’s behind the new shift that our kids so naturally grow up with and many of us are already using in everyday life.
Do you really have to OWN everything?
In 2015, Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles.
Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content.
Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory.
And Airbnb, the world’s biggest accommodation provider, owns no real estate.
You get the picture.
It’s about Relationships – not about Transactions
Before, we shipped products or sold services; now we monetise relationships. We let our clients or stakeholders pay for what they use and we learn at the same time a whole lot about them, how to give them what they want and how to make their purchasing or usage experience easier. The relationship becomes so intimate that Spotify often knows more about the music preferences of their listeners than their own partners…
So what is Subscription Economy?
Well, you are using it already when you listen to Spotify or drive with Zipcar or use any SaaS (Software as a Service) product like Adobe Cloud Suite. No need to buy expensive software and to own it, if you can just pay a subscription and use the latest version for however long you need it.
It’s all about customer relationships these days, to establish them, to cultivate them and… ultimately… to monetise recurring ones.
How does this possibly relate to my industry?
If you start thinking about it, it relates to all industries. Be it a City Council who wants to engage their stakeholders including the non-English-speaking citizens or public transport providers. Be it hospitals and other institutions who are giving information and access to better health, theatres and museums offering entertainment and culture, or libraries offering education. It’s not about selling in the first place, it’s about giving our stakeholders what they need and anticipating what they might require.
And what does this mean for global communication?
A significant opportunity for you. While you are opening up to an entirely new user base and giving your existing users a new customer experience, you can multiply your target audience by reaching out to international markets or your own multicultural community domestically, when you provide the information in various languages. To translate in a culturally sensitive way your online profile and database-driven content means you are localising your eCommerce. As mentioned before, the consumer-first mentality is a hallmark of our current digital age and you need to cultivate your client relationships in their own language.
But translations and language services can become quite expensive…
Yes, indeed, but didn’t I also say that we Language Service Providers (LSPs) also need to change with our clients and think about your customer experience when you are buying translation services? It’s time that we introduce different models for you to choose from. Models that make it easier and affordable for you to be going global.
How can you make it easier and more effective for me to buy translations?
One of the issues of recurring translation requirements can be minimum charges and urgency loading. It’s so easy to think
about us and our translators, so this time we have sat down and thought about you. Reality is, you need it fast, your budget is constrained and yet you need the top quality you are used to. You don’t always know how much you will need, and you have to play things by ear.
Subscription based – avoid minimum charges and save time
A Content Connector can set you up so you can upload simple file formats yourself with text you require translated at any time, or upload automatically by placing the files in a particular folder. These are immediately allocated to the dedicated human translator who knows your terminology, communication style and tone, and well, your DNA so to speak. Or it can be integrated with your CMS system through SVN and FTP folders and there’s no need to use the Open dialog to find the files you need to add. This bypasses expensive project management and saves valuable time. As soon as the translator has finished, the translation is uploaded and goes back to you or into your CMS immediately. The TM (Translation Memory) ensures that you only ever pay once for a segment, so if new text has same segments as previously translated texts, this is recognised in the final analysis and counted as repetition. Ask us about our 2MConnector.
And yes, there are various other models that might incorporate MT + Post Editing all depending on the purpose and the needs. Horses for courses.
This is a new model being trialled at the moment by some LSP colleagues who work with start-ups. The translation is provided for free, but a percentage of revenue coming through those new export markets end up with the language service provider. Still in its infancy, a new model to watch. Think about Michelin aircraft tyres – Michelin changed from selling tyres to selling a certain number of take-offs and landings to the aircraft manufactures. Taking a risk? Sure. Did the client like it? Yes, they went for it, and Michelin made the sale ahead of their competitors.
Customer-centric instead of product-centric
Well, that’s what it’s all about in the end: the customer experience. Getting to know your client, the way they think and what they prefer, what budget they have and what level of service they want. Freemium? Standard? Premium? Some of you might want to engage them just to create brand awareness with a Freemium option, and then have a percentage of them upgrading later. Following that, you can suggest other products and services they might be interested in, based on the way they have been engaging with you already.
You see? The relationship is getting more and more intimate.
So, exciting times are lying ahead, and we are determined to change with you and ensure that we make it as easy as possible to reach your global and multicultural stakeholders. Contact me if you’d like to be inspired to reach out to wider pastures and increase your target audience, and to have the 2M team by your side throughout this process.
For now, here’s me thinking about which film to relax with tonight. Netflix already inspired me with some Italian film suggestions based on my previous choices… easy… and without the temptation of those Lindt chocolates from the video store! But surely with a Brunello di Montalcino instead.
Written by Tea C. Dietterich, CEO, 2M Language Services.