Japan: Personalisation in the Open Marketing Cloud

Submitted by davidseth on Fri, 27/Nov/2015 - 00:46

Japan: Personalisation in the Open Marketing Cloud

Japan colours

Recently I was invited to Tokyo to present on Drupal, Open Source and Personalisation. CI&T have been holding strategic, business focused events in Japan for the past year. These are structured to introduce the Japanese market to the wide-ranging use of Drupal globally and how it and Open Source in general can be used regionally.

The uptake of Open Source in Japan lags other regions of the world. Although Japan is a very high tech country, it is also a very traditional country and there are strong preferences to doing things in established patterns. Big proprietary vendors have strong influence and have had the deep pockets to produce localised training, API documentation and events.

On the other hand, Open Source has suffered for nearly all the opposite reasons. There is no central investment that is driving Japanese specific training or documentation. I would say 90-95% of nearly all OS projects are in the English language. Globally this matches well with developer uptake and has made OS a defacto choice in nearly all areas of the private sector and government. However, in Japan the strong preference is for books, training and documentation to be in Japanese. English language materials do not have as great an impact.

Things are changing for the better. More and more Drupal content is being translated and originally created in Japan. The uptake of Drupal and Open Source is on the increase — even within some of the largest Japanese companies: Sony and Subaru are good examples.

CI&T have been driving a lot of this adoption in Japan through building cutting edge projects with Drupal and by holding strategic events such as D-Business


The event was hosted at Amazon's Tokyo office. There was a great turn out, AWS had a great room with a nice layout and it looked to be nearly full. Before the event kicked-off I had a pre-planning session with the translators. I was told it would work by staged translation, I would speak first for one or two sentences then pause, the translator would take over and speak in Japanese to the attendees.

AWS office

The first few minutes of my talk were a bit difficult due to this flow but within a short time it felt fine. In fact it made things a bit easier as I had a "forced" pace that allowed me to slow down and pause; allowing me to collect my thoughts for when it was my turn again. It would be nice to have this for other talks I have given!

My talk

A short overview of my talk is below. i have the slides available on Slideshare.

The days of “one-size-fits-all” marketing are over, and hyper-personalisation is the new norm. Digital marketers and site owners are being asked to do more with less to engage customers, segment their audience, and offer highly tailored content. Today’s sophisticated consumers, thanks to personalised sites like Netflix or Amazon, are accustomed to a new level of engagement that seems to have been built with them in mind.

Join me to learn how Acquia is empowering marketers and site builders to build personalised digital experiences from the ground up with adaptive learning, new and engaging campaigns and content, increased conversions and revenue, and improved engagement.


Wow. What can I say... Tokyo was everything I dreamed of and much more. From the moment of arrival I constantly had to remind myself that I was there.

Tokyo subway


In January an article was published on the Japanese tech site MarkeZine.

What do you think?

What are your thoughts on the Japanese uptake of Drupal, Open Source and Personalisation? I would love to hear your opinion or get some feedback so please add a comment or drop me a line on Twitter: @davidseth.

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