Why is marketing in our industry terrible? – in remembrance of one significant plant

While following the twitter stream from the annual ALC conference 2013 (#alcconf) we came across this tweet which triggered the question of how bad is marketing in the translation and localization industry and why is it so?

Innovation. Creativity. We hear these words all the time. They’re present at every industry conference and they shout at us from every source of information. If we were to measure the most frequently used terms at translation & localization events, these two might make it to the top 10. On the other hand, we all know how conservative our industry is. It takes people from outside the industry to challenge it and rock it. Here’s an example:


As an industry, we’re not very innovative. Nor creative. Just take a look at web presence of translation & localization companies. Or social media presence. We all know it’s kind of a pain point. And then suddenly, something as unusual as this happens:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8D4j6zNDSM

So, how cool, innovative and creative is this!?! The first plant to be connected to an artificial intelligence engine which translates its electrophysiology into tweets! Yes, you read that right. Isn’t it a great concept for a technical translation company like treeloc? Isn’t it a well-executed marketing campaign?

Source: http://www.greatwebdesignideas.com/mr-melvin-green

This concept does communicate the idea and the complexity of technical translation. It’s interactive, challenging, surprising and fun. WOW-effect guaranteed! Mr Melvin Green was featured on Great Web Design Ideas with a high rank. And guess what happened? Did the industry get excited? No, not at all.
Mr Melvin Green tweeted his last, very meaningful tweet on February 20, 2013.


What does it say about us? What are homo sapiens from our industry like? If marketing is bad, we see and agree that it’s terrible. If marketing is good, we don’t seem to have noticed it.
So, here is our point and a provocative question: Why don’t we follow a good example? Is it too good for the industry?

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