Disruptive Marketing

Simon Hodgkins, Editor in Chief, VTQ

Interview with Microsoft's Geoffrey Colon

Tell us about Geoffrey Colon and what you do at Microsoft?

I've been at Microsoft for five years. I arrived here in 2013 right when Steve Ballmer was stepping down and they were searching for a new CEO candidate. I work mainly on Bing, Bing Ads and AI products when it comes to marketing and their adoption, but I am unlike many in big corporations in that I wear the hat of an evangelist for the company. I think everyone in this day and age represents where they work and with a large social footprint should use that to help with recruitment, culture advocacy and ways to get people interested in your company whether it is to work here or do business with us. I also do lots of things on the side. But who doesn't? I host a video show on LinkedIn called CULTURE JAMMING and a podcast with Cheryl Barbee called Disruptive FM. I write for Branding Strategy Insider, frequently do interviews and give presentations.

How have you found yourself on this career path? If you weren’t on this career path what career path would interest you?

I'm completely content with video and audio editing and UX. I like being behind the curtain experimenting with how different technologies intersect with one another in the fields of media, communication and technology.

What inspired you to write the book “Disruptive Marketing”?

I had the idea in 2009. I wanted to write a book about how marketing was changing because software was all about communicating and, once people adopted these methods, it would change fast and catch many off guard. But it's one thing to have an idea, it's another to execute it. So, I kept a notebook of what the book would look like from 2009 to 2013. Then I was introduced to a person who asked if I wanted to pitch a book (she was an agent) and I was like, "Yes, here's my idea." All those notes had helped get a proposal together and then the book written. I wrote it in six weeks in the summer of 2015. One of your forecasted trends is that brands that focus on Generation Z will have the advantage. Can you expand on this a little? We love to look at things based on age demographics, but Generation Z is a significant shift in terms of behavior. It's not just about those born from year 2000 to now. It is how all of us have changed because of technology. We expect more filter bubbles, more personalization, more response from the companies we do business with. But that's not happening because many companies don't have resources and scale is difficult. So, two things are happening:

1.     Companies that don't fit into a particular vertical or niche are actually stronger than those built on scale. The reason being is these ambiguous companies can move quicker into new areas which customers are already exploring. This makes customers more comfortable with these types of companies.

2.    Many legacy companies existed prior to mobile communications and commerce. This hurts them as all they feel they have to do is bolt on mobile solutions and they'll be fine. Yet, it's not just about the device but a whole new way of thinking and living. This is difficult for many companies to accept. They are unwilling to really change because, let's be honest, change is hard. As a result, many of these companies tank because they don't meet customer expectations.

You’ve spoken before about the importance of really understanding customers and why they make their decisions. Do you think we will have a surge in psychologists and anthropologists in the marketing departments of the future?

Yes. Think of other fields that were changed by psychology: fighting crime comes to mind. We rarely believe that people who commit crimes just do it because they are born with crime in their DNA. Most of it is a combination of nature and nurture. Same is true of any field in which we are trying to understand people. The issue with technical marketing is it is too rational. If we think about economics in the 21st Century, Behavioral Economics really comes to the fore. All of these articles about Mad Men ceding power to Math Men is not the way to look at the world. Math Men don't have any more power than creative people. It's really a combination of both that is a better way to observe the world. Math can make sense of chaos, but it can't necessarily enact change. That still comes through creative communication.

You’ve also talked about how we will have to market to robots as well as people. How can marketing teams prepare for that?

When I say robots, most think of a physical robot that walks around. That's not where I'm going. I am referring to programmed communication interfaces that are tapped into websites and application programming interfaces (APIs). They will carry a ton of actions for us as the web becomes more of a tool for helping us to do more in our day to day. So, we have to understand how to speak with chatbots or have these chatbots speak to others or carry out actions. So much of it begins with programming. I do think over time programming will cede way to interfaces where we have to become creative in how we program for chatbots. This is where the most revolutionary communicators will do well compared to those who are very linear in how they use comms.

How can marketers stay on top of their game with the impact that Applied AI will have on marketing departments?

Most will be how does technology work with or possibly replace what a person used to do. I realize this opens many ethical queries but the marketing department of the future is one person intermixing technology to interact with people. The day and age of 50 people is probably not going to be around long and many positions will require tons of different types of work. Applied AI could help run reports and thus there is less need for analytics personas. I know this flies in the face of everything people have been told about marketing, but how one is more human will help immensely more than if they can do Excel pivot tables.

In the next five years what will be the greatest challenge for CMOs?

Understanding that what they want and need people to do in order to meet their numbers is not what people will do. Isn't this the whole disconnect in life now? We have platforms that are developed but don't take into account how people use them. CMOs have all sorts of products, solutions and services at their disposal and are being told, "Drive growth by 30% year over year." But they don't go out and listen to the environment. They just try to hack their way to growth at any cost. This isn't efficient and it flies in the face of what people want and what we are trying to accomplish. As a result, most companies end up with flat growth. The question is whether CMOs really understand the issues of their day to day customers? Probably not. Again, lack of understanding why retail is dying can't be surmised with the simple statement "Amazon is killing them." That's a simple answer to a much more complex issue. CMOs need to be the voice of the customer but probably won't be because they are tasked with the siloed focus of growth.

Do you have advice for brands wanting to reinvent themselves and stay relevant in this constantly evolving environment?

Don't get too fixated on your value proposition. What value you provide right now may be different if you don't understand the intersection of various solutions in the coming months and years. For example, car companies still sell a car like a utility and luxury vehicle. But what if it's a mapping instrument? What if it's a computer? We are so limited in how we think of things because we lack vision. If you want to stay relevant have a vision even if others think you're insane for having those beliefs. We used to reward mediocrity in life. Now we reward outrageous outsiders. The most innovative ideas sometimes come from outside an industry and if you're willing to do or say things that are outrageous, you're more likely to be known in this world than "staying on brand".

Do you have any more books in the pipeline?

I had an idea to do a second book on visual bandits in the 21st Century. Basically, about the AR revolution that is bubbling. But no publisher wanted to touch it because most publishers are as clueless as any industry in 2018. They want simple narratives for complex issues. They just want to produce books and ship them. This is why most best sellers are the outrageous outsiders again. People want crazy books to read, but publishers are unwilling to take chances on these fringe books. I think my next book may be around emotional analytics. The need to see analytics not as math but about behavior. We've yet to define this in the world, but we can if we understand what Artificial Intelligence could do to enhance an understanding of tracking emotional health. In science fiction we see software make sense of the world around us. We're moving toward this. However, it still requires a human in the equation because humans have emotional intelligence. The book questions if STEM or emotional intelligence and empathy are really what we should pay attention to. Almost like a manifesto on the fact that critical thinking will still be a highly sought after human skill after the machines take over.

You have a podcast show, ‘Disruptive FM’. Can you tell us more about this?

I started it in my basement in 2011 back in New Jersey. I wanted to talk about the eccentric side of marketing. Weirdvertising, subvertising, outlandish stunts, things we do to attract attention. Around episode 60 I added Cheryl Barbee who is a close friend from my Ogilvy days. Cheryl is a deep strategic thinker like me. It's been a wild ride. We try to produce a show a week but both our travel schedules got in the way in 2017. It's a top priority for me again in 2018.

What’s next for Geoffrey Colon?

Probably more guerrilla marketing activity. I'd like to give a presentation this year at a conference where I'm not there but instead it's me AR-enabled. It will allow me to be in two or three places at the same time. Sort of a crude way to clone myself.

Think Global Forum European Launch

Simon Hodgkins, Editor in Chief, VTQ Founder, Think Global Forum

Following the successful development of the Think Global Forum in the United States, this fast growing forum has now expanded into Europe. With an already established network of forums across the USA covering the Technology, Travel, Manufacturing and Life Science industries, the expansion into Europe has seen three new forums launched so far!

Think Global Forum Europe - Travel

The first forum to launch in Europe was the Think Global Forum Travel Europe. This new forum consisted of many travel leaders from across Europe attending the launch event and the inital meeting of the newly appointed Forum Executives took place in London on October 4, 2017. This newly formed group of European Travel thought leaders convened for a second Forum Executive meeting in April, 2018 in central London.

Think Global Forum Europe - Retail

The second forum to launch in Europe was an entirely new industry focus for the Think Global Forum. On December 6, 2018, a new Retail and eCommerce forum was launched. The launch event was held close to Covent Gardens and saw the Forum Executives discussing the rapid changes, challenges, and opportunities in the retail and ecommerce sector. 

Think Global Forum Europe - Technology

The third forum launch event was hosted in Dublin, Ireland. The event launch location was one of the world's most unique venues, Croke Park. More than a stadium, Croke Park is Ireland’s greatest amphitheatre.

The Think Global Forum Technology Europe Event included industry thought leaders and technology speakers followed by the inaugural meeting of the newly appointed technology Forum Executives.

It has been a very busy and exciting time at the Think Global Forum, we have many USA and European Forums and we are delighted to be expanding the forum further in 2018.

We are thankful to the growing number of community members, world class speakers and industry experts who have joined us on this journey.

We are particularly honoured to have the high calibre of Forum Executives who have provided tremendous industry insights and thought leadership.


Beatrice Whelan, Global Content Manager, Sage

Strategy is one of the most overused words in marketing. Saying you want to have 50,000 Facebook fans, or sell 10,000 event tickets, or be the premier event in your industry is not a strategy – it is a goal.

A strategy identifies the risks, opportunities and challenges in achieving your goal and plans an approach to overcome them. It is important to bridge the gap between strategy and tactics.

A social media strategy is an overall plan (which includes key decisions such as the choice of social channels), while tactics are the actual means to execute upon that strategy. The first part of coming up with a social media strategy is establishing your goal and then identifying the biggest challenges to achieving it. This research phase of determining opportunities and challenges is a vitally important of developing your strategy.

The Research Phase

Developing your strategy requires an understanding of the context in which your event operates, the competitive landscape and your target customers. Once you understand this, the opportunities and challenges will become obvious. And, you are a lot closer to your strategy. Look at the findings from your research and develop these into key insights that you can use to create your social media value proposition and other elements of your strategy. 

Creating your social media strategy

Research to Insights and Strategic Direction to Recommended Tactics

In the research phase, you should investigate which social channels your target audience is most active on and how they engage. This will help you decide which social channels you will focus on – a strategic decision.

You will also need to do an audit of your social media activity and that of your competitors. As part of this audit you should look at which social posts have the highest level of engagement, how the use of paid social has worked, and what reactions you and your competitors are getting. You might discover an opportunity around content formats. For example, at the moment native video performs very well on Facebook. Perhaps none of your competitors are using it, and you may want to make a strategic decision that a big part of your Facebook content should be native video.

Perhaps you also discover a major obstacle: the organic reach of your Facebook posts for your last event were poor due to the Facebook algorithm. So, you have a lot of Facebook fans, but they are not seeing your content. You have now identified a key challenge. A strategy to overcome this would be to use some paid media to promote highly shareable content that will be shared by your Facebook fans from their own personal profiles, thereby circumventing the Facebook Page algorithm.

In the research phase, use social listening to understand the needs of your audience. What questions do they ask on social media and forums? What subjects and type of content seem to be most popular with them? What blogs do they read? Which social influencers do they engage with? The insights you get from this activity will be useful when developing your social content plan, your influencer plan and your social listening activities. You might discover that your competitors have a lot more social advocates. Now, you’ve identified another key challenge. A strategic response would be to recruit your own, more influential, social advocates.

The research phase can include the use of tools such as Socialbakers, Salesforce Social Studio, Sysomos and more. If you don’t have access to these tools, use Twitter Search, Google Search, Google Alerts and Trends. Looking at the native analytics tools for each social channel can also be very helpful. Talk to your customers and prospects during this research phase, and use your interview and survey data to develop personas that you will use when developing your social content plan.

You also need to research yourself. This means that you need to fully understand your event and your organization. Talk to the person who has ultimate responsibility for delivering the event to find out what they really hope to achieve. What challenges are they most concerned about? Talk to the other marketers working on the event. Is there a communications plan that you need to be aware of? Do they have any messaging that you need to incorporate into your social media plan? Remember that social media is there to serve both your customers and your company. It can’t perform in a bubble. You need to have a very clear understanding of the objectives of the event and what everyone else on the event team is hoping to achieve.

Selecting Social Media Channels

Social channel selection is a key part of your social media strategy. It is not possible to be on every channel or dedicate resources equally across the channels you select. Pick three channels and choose one of them to be the core for your event. This needs to be a strategic decision. Remember that strategy means identifying the biggest challenge to your success and finding a way to overcome it.

Don't just blindly hook onto the channels that your competitors are using without looking at their performance on those channels. For example, if you're in B2B, then you might see all your competitors on LinkedIn. You could face a massive challenge to stand out against more established competitors there. So, how about looking at Facebook and the 50 million businesses active there? You may have just found a strategic solution to a big challenge.

Leave room in your plan for one additional channel to be your experimentation channel. You may have a hunch about a comparatively new channel. You feel it might work for you – but, exactly how remains to be seen. You can try a few things to see how your audience responds before developing a full plan for that channel.

Put your target customers at the center of your selection, and use the insights from the research phase to guide your decision. Don’t take a lazy approach to channel selection by thinking that you can sustain multiple channels with the same content – you can’t.

While it is tempting to look at your selections as complementary and repurpose content, you can’t share the same content across all your channels. People that follow you across multiple channels will get bored and your engagement rates will suffer. Facebook and Twitter are as different as radio and TV. Consider your social media value proposition and how you can deliver this in different ways across different social media channels.

Editor's Letter - VTQ Magazine Issue 3

Simon Hodgkins, Editor in Chief

Welcome to Issue 3 of VTQ.

For this edition we are delighted to cover a number of very hot topics!

We hear from Redsand Partners Nicole Anderson on all things Fintech and Microsoft’s Geoffrey Colon discussing ‘Disruptive Marketing’ plus we discover Social Media for events from Sage’s Beatrice Whelan.

In this issue our very own Creative Director Bronwyn Hogan shares 10 things to do in London plus we catch up with the Fujitsu’s Caragh O’Carroll on the ‘Technology Landscape’.

We are thrilled to include articles and interviews with Dan Chappelle, The Wealthy Travel Agent, Renato Beninatto, CEO Nimdzi, Rohit Bhargava, Founder and Chief Trend Curator, Non-Obvious Company.

We cover the popular topic of ‘Machine Learning’ with leading developer and data analyst Carlos Rodríguez García, and we talk to Kit Brown-Hoekstra on the latest book ‘The Language of Localization’. We also hear all about being a centre of excellence and the ‘Globalization Team’ from NetApp’s Anna Schlegel.

All this plus an update on the Think Global Forum, the recent European launches, Open Source code releases, GDPR and the Lisbon Web Summit!

Thank you to all our contributors, advertisers and supporters.

We hope you enjoy this latest edition of VTQ.

Simon Hodgkins, Editor in Chief

Glocality - The Quality of being Glocal* 

Unn Villius, Sibylle Eibl, Vistatec

Global Brands Made Locally Relevant

Global Marketing

Global marketing needs to resonate with local audiences. Powerful messages in one language do not simply translate into another. Marketing content that appeals to people’s emotional responses requires more than translation – transcreation and local language copywriting.


Global Positioning – Local Relevance.

Transcreation is a localization methodology that preserves the intention of your message and protects the global positioning of your brand while giving brand communication local relevance across cultures. Transcreation is conceptually true to its source, but deviates from the text structure, sentence segmentation, word choices, layout and design. Creative marketing assets such as taglines, SEO keywords and Meta descriptions are best transcreated.

A telling example is a campaign by Intel in Brazil: the original English “Sponsors of Tomorrow” was rendered as “In love with tomorrow”. The transcreated message stayed true to the values expressed in the original and played on Brazilians’ openness to adapt new high-tech products and technologies. Had the tagline been translated directly into Portuguese, it would have implied that the brand had not yet delivered on its promises*

In transcreation special attention is paid to cultural, social, ethnic and political considerations to deliver the intended impact. Transcreation ensures local relevance of marketing communications, maximizes return on globalization investment and promotes your global brand.


Global Engagement – Local Authenticity.

Copywriting is a powerful tool to create unique and hyperlocal content for targeted customer engagement. In-market copywriting transforms your creative strategy and content briefs into content that creates compelling and relatable experiences for local target audiences.

Copywriting creates original content that speaks to your regional buyer personas. Following the creative strategy and brand guidelines, in-market copywriting incorporates local knowledge, trends and insights to create hyper-local content for maximum engagement.

Marketing Assets

Marketing assets that need to be uniquely market-specific to promote your brand, products or services, are best created as original copy. Take the example of promoting a social media platform as a marketing tool in different countries and regions by sharing local success stories. Imagine that a local business in the north of Sweden has come up with a compelling recipe for mass-producing fermented herring, which has been marketed to great success on social media. How the regional customer base was enticed to buy this particular variety of canned fish is unlikely to resonate outside the specific market.

In Switzerland, you would need to write up a different local success story. Other content examples for copywriting include brand and product names, slogans, or blog articles. Targeted copywriting enables you to communicate with your customers hyper-locally and positions your brand as involved in the local community.

* The quality of being glocal. www.slator.com, “Mastering the art of transcreation” by Ruth Wyatt. September 16, 2015

Going Global with Karl Llewellyn, CEO Sanctifly

Karl Llewllyn, CEO Sanctifly

Karl Llewellyn, CEO and founder of Sanctifly, has over twenty years of start-up and international growth experience. He has successfully built an international business in the past, raised capital and exited at a multiple. He has designed and deployed a groundbreaking (in the BPO industry) sales strategy to the US resulting in over €50 million in enterprise sales.

Most recently Karl has worked as a management consultant, advising large corporations on their European customer service/sales strategy. Here we talk about his latest venture ‘Sanctifly’ a global members club that grants access to airport hotel gym, pool and spa facilities without having to book a room.

How did you come up with the idea for Sanctifly?

Five years ago, I sat in O'Hare airport, on a four hour layover, bored and looking for something to do other than eat, drink or shop. I wanted to exercise to run or swim just to stretch my travel tired body. I looked out at all the hotels on the campus and said why can’t I just use the gym or pool for a couple of hours… and so the idea was born. I’ve left my secure job and have given it life!

How does the service work?

It couldn’t be easier to use. Our members have the Sanctifly App on their phone; they select which airport and what activity they want to do and the App presents the partner locations they are welcome at. For as little as $50 per annum members can enjoy all these benefits when they travel. Sanctifly is an enterprise sale, not B2C. We sell to companies as part of their duty of care to travelling employees.

A lot of the multinational companies we've interviewed love the product (why wouldn’t they!) and want their staff to self-select the purchase through the Sports, Travel, Flexi-bens or rewards structure. We’ve started that process and have a healthy pipeline. We also go live with a number of airlines as part of their reward program this summer.

Why did you choose to grow the business in North America initially?

Straight up: worst airports with the most delays. I mean, Dubai is not a bad place to kill 3 hours, O’Hare, Newark, or JFK is a nightmare. We’re targeting to be at the top 40 airports in the US by end of 2017; that’s 640 million passengers, with over 150 million travelling on business. More importantly, roughly 25% of flights get delayed or cancelled. That’s normally our first window of customer use.

You are involved with major hotel organizations such as Marriott, Hilton, Sofitel and Radisson, and the list of companies seems to keep growing?

Yes, we now work with most of the major hotel brands. We recently added Hyatt Pittsburgh and the Pullman in Miami. And, there is more to come. I hope to launch Sanctifly Experience Days by the end of the year with some pretty incredible hotel partners, the kind of luxury you never want to leave.

What countries do you operate in currently and how do you see Sanctifly expanding into more locations around the world?

In a nutshell, we expect to be global by the end of 2018, with over 500 location partners. We’re already in all the major airports in the UK and soon to open in the major hubs in Europe and the Middle East. Hotels now call us looking to partner. They see how it can differentiate them from the sea of competition at each airport and, more importantly, generate extra revenue.

You are located close to 30 international airports, adding more locations every month how do you choose locations?

It takes about eight weeks and 50 man hours to open each location. First, we go where we’re welcome. If a hotel contacts us or is referred to us, we always fast-track their onboarding (assuming they qualify). Secondly, we regularly ask our customers where would they like to see us next and prioritize their preferences. Finally, we rank airports based on passenger volume and work our way down.

You have big plans to launch in Asia later this year, how is this developing given the cultural and language differences?

Great question. Everything we do will be through English until middle 2018 when we expect to begin our first localization. That will initially limit uptake and membership to English speakers, so North Americans. But that’s our primary market and to have them seeding the journey east is our intention, it’s also their demand which is moving us East quicker than we had originally intended.

What is your global vision for the Sanctifly business?

Our vision is to change the way business travellers look at their airport downtime. To create such a wealth of healthy options that a traveller may even look forward to a delay!

Food, walks, outdoor runs, hikes, picnics … there are loads of things you can do within 5 miles of an airport, We will investigate them and deliver these to our Sanctifly membership.

Are there markets around the world that you have found or envisage as challenging for Sanctifly to grow into?

Not yet. Security is a disabler though. The harder it is to get in and out of an airport, the more concerned people are going to be about leaving it or getting ‘airside’.

You were at SXSW in Austin, Texas, which is well known for technology was this of benefit to Sanctifly?

 Absolutely! Terrific event. Everyone there was a potential customer – to get there they travel on business. So I got to speed-pitch the product and get feedback from 100s of targets. Overall very encouraging, and those conversations helped shape the product to what it is today.

As Sanctifly expands into non-English speaking countries and multiple cultures, do you see the business offering changing and how do you approach adapting to local markets?

I honestly don’t know. What has worked well for us to date is to visit each market in person and interview all stakeholders, members, their employers and hotels and use these insights to frame the solution. I do see price points changing as we move global and that’s something we are going to have to address.

What would you say are your main responsibilities as a CEO?

Right now, we are a growing startup and so I keep a lot of balls in the air. My goal this year is to identify and recruit additional senior talent to join the team here at Sanctifly. Individuals who get our vision and are passionate about helping us achieve it and can grab one of those balls and run with it. Anyone I need to motivate every day I don’t need, I want to feed off their energy and fresh enthusiasm.

What advice do you have for people looking to develop a global business in the technology and travel sector?

I’m far from experienced enough to be giving anyone advice. A basic pointer, get out there and start sharing: it’s a friendly and giving community, particularly in the US.

Digital Marketing 4 Key Trends To Watch Out For

Trevor Koen, Director Digital Strategy, Imperic Media

One thing is certain when it comes to digital marketing – it is no longer just one element of a business’s larger marketing strategy. Many businesses are taking the approach of building ‘digital first’ marketing departments and using digital as their core strategy.

The big problem for marketing teams is the rate of change in the digital world.

It is far greater than it ever was in the past, and with that in mind we’re outlining 4 key trends to watch out for in digital marketing going into 2018: Offline to online attribution (and vice-versa) The beauty of digital marketing is that, with the right systems in place, absolutely everything is trackable and measurable, which means you can maximize every dollar you spend.

A major issue, however, was the grey area between online and offline attribution, growing numbers of consumers either doing their product research in store, but going online to try to find a better price for the purchase decision, or vice-versa. Now, companies are working on crossing this line between offline and online, in some cases using map data, to get an idea of whether a user who purchases something in-store has previously searched for that product/service online.

As technology advances, we will be seeing far more possibilities to assign attribution between offline and online activities, giving digital marketers even more opportunities for lead generation and conversions. The need for ‘instant’ is the new normal It is a scary prospect, but there is an entire generation that has grown up not knowing a world without Google, and very soon, Facebook.

The fact that we are starting to see such a shift into digital nativity for consumers means that the demand for instant gratification is going to drive the success or failure of many a business. It is a huge challenge for marketers, as this means that the window of time for them to put their message in front of people is getting smaller and smaller.

We are reaching a point where if you are not getting your brand in front of someone as the purchase decision is made, you will lose the sale to a competitor. Social media plays an important role in this instant gratification world, and companies and marketing teams that not only embrace social channels but that are willing to have conversations with their customers online, anytime, will generally have the edge. 

More brand advertising budget going online

Historically a lot of digital marketing has been focused on direct response and the likes of Google and Facebook have fundamentally benefited from this over the years, however a new generation of platforms (Snapchat, Instagram etc.) is starting to see an influx of brand spending.

The interesting common denominator is that these platforms are based on the visual experience, and 2018 could lead to a similar influx of brand spending moving into audio channels. Through devices such as Amazon’s Alexa, and platforms such as Spotify we will start to see ad products becoming far more mainstream and valuable to marketers when putting out brand-focused advertising.

Editors Letter


Welcome to Issue 2 of VTQ.

For this edition, we have certainly scaled up our operations and feature a host of world class contributors with many more articles in this bumper edition.

We hear from Microsoft’s Geoffrey Colon on ‘Jamming Culture’ and we feature Vistatec as they celebrate 20 years in business this year.

We take a trip to Chicago and to Mexico City, plus we catch up with the Sancti y CEO Karl Llwyellyn on his new company looking to go global. We are delighted to include the very latest Kathrin Bussmann of Verbaccino interview with Vistatec Co-Founder and Chief Commerical Of cer Patrick Kelly.

We have additional interviews with Julia Cames from GetYourGuide on agile marketing localization and we speak to Anna Schlegel Co-Founder of Women in Localization.

We discuss data driven decision making with Gala’s Allison Ferch and feature an article on augmented translation, wearables, mobile and IoT with Donald de Palma of Common Sense Advisory.

All this plus articles on the quality of being glocal and what we can learn from China by Colin Lewis, CMO OpenJaw Technologies.

Thank you to all our contributors, advertisers and supporters.

We hope you enjoy this edition of VTQ.

Simon Hodgkins

Editor in Chief


Ocelot Gaining Global Momentum

Phil Ritchie

Ocelot was born out of a Vistatec business requirement to finesse the process of linguistic quality review, with the aim of improving some poor ergonomics, removing double-entry and integrating with some industry standards. Although it was never conceived to be another Computer Aided Translation workbench, the current version has translator oriented features such as the use of translation memories, concordance search, and the visualization and movement of inline mark-up.

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Tips & Tricks For Staying Healthy When Keeping Up With A Busy Work And Travel Schedule

Kristin Hansen

It’s 3am and I’m waking up with sleep in my eyes, preparing for another few days of traveling  for work. It’s going to be a long day, my flight departs LAX at 6am and I have to beat rush hour traffic, praying that there’s no line at airport security (which can be hit and miss with the early AM flights) and grab a bottle of water before making my way to the gate, sometimes having to run. It only takes one time to have to wait two hours to get through security or for your luggage when you land that you learn to carry-on and fly direct whenever possible.

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Global View Interview with Anna Schlegal


“We all started with translation teams, moved to localization groups, and we are now leading globalization strategy for corporations.”

1. How did you come to be involved in the localization industry? It was unintentional!  I started translating software manuals for my cousin’s software company in Catalonia at the age of 18. At age 23, I opened my own localization agency.

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San Diego

Bronwyn Hogan

This quarter, we take a look at the host city for the inaugural Think Global Forum for Life Science and what it has to offer

In this quarter’s VTQ issue, we profile the city in which the inaugural Think Global Forum for Life Sciences  was held, San Diego. A vibrant city which has seen a recent emergence as a development centre for biotechnology and healthcare. Known as the ‘birthplace of California’, San Diego hosts a semi-arid Mediterranean climate, along with a deep water harbour and a multitude of beaches.

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Cruise Line Wearables

Carnival unveils new vacation management technology plans at CES

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Last Vegas, Carnival, an American-British cruise company and one of the world’s largest travel leisure companies with a combined fleet of over 100 ships across 10 cruise line brands, announced an exciting new wearable technology system. Carnival intends to introduce a new app paired with a coin-sized smart medallion that is designed to be “invisible”. It can be worn as jewellery or simply carried in a pocket. There is no need to tap a sensor. It connects to the ship’s payment system and doesn’t need to be charged. It is designed to enhance and personalize a passenger’s cruise experience.

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Deep Content

Phil Ritchie, CTO Vistatec

Deep Content is a technology that uses state-of-the-art natural language processing services along with public and private datasets to automatically recognize subjects, topics and events within content and carry out Internet scale discovery of related or custom defined relevant resources. 

Deep Content leverages the power of large-scale computing and big multilingual datasets with inferential searches to automatically discover supplemental content resources which would be impossible or too time-consuming for humans to carry out. 

Deep Content Use Cases

Content Authoring

A multi-brand travel company has many silos of information which contain existing assets of a particular interest: e.g. worldwide food festivals, historic towns, micro-breweries, organic farms. 

A travel company regularly publishes new articles about fashionable places to visit. The articles tend to be generalist in nature due to authoring time and cost constraints and as a consequence, their web analytics indicate that people do not tend to stay long on the pages. 

A travel company decides to create datasets of their special interest content and use these to enrich the generalist articles with hyperlinks, relevant links, and auto-suggestions to other pages on their own brand sites. 

Discovery of this additional information can be done automatically leaving content authors to select and curate those that are deemed most useful. The content being authored can also have metadata attached to itself which will enhance its discoverability and inter-relationships on the Internet. 

Translation Productivity Improvement 

Writing, editing and translating content of a specialist nature is demanding. Adherence to terminology and accurate understanding of the topic and subject matter requires time and cognitive effort. 

Deep Content with its use of Internet-scale multilingual datasets and sophisticated multilingual natural language computing techniques enables authoritative and relevant terms, definitions and concepts in the originating and target languages to be served up directly to the authors/ editors working environment within seconds. 

This delivers major benefits because the authors/editors can verify the accuracy of the content and leverage time saved doing research into improving brand adherence, readability and end-user experience. 

Adding Value to Localized Content 

An Internet Security company has many existing localized media assets: e.g. short videos on how to remove a virus; text definitions of “Worms“, “Trojans”, “Denial of Services”; animations of installing their software; and knowledge base articles on common user problems. 

All of these assets are relevant to new documentation that is being localized but the authors who are already stretched to meet in-country publication deadlines don’t have time to look up these references and manually embed them in the new content. 

The potential solution is for the customers to work with Vistatec in creating a private dataset which describes all of the existing assets and any relationship between them and concepts which are common in their products. 

Once the dataset exists, it is instantly available using the type of dynamic lookup that Ocelot is capable of. The value to the customer is that their content assets give a greater return on the investment that was made in localizing the many existing media assets.