In a previous blog post, we talked about one of the three key elements in global digital marketing: people. In this installment, we discuss the other two: processes and tools. Once you have recruited your localization provider , it’s time to set up solid processes and consider the tools required for efficient team collaboration, project management, and quality translation.
In the age of agile development, tight integration with the language service provider (LSP) is a prerequisite when selling across locales. With development cycles shortening from yearly, six-monthly, quarterly, monthly to now weekly or even daily releases, multilingual content too needs to fall in step. In companies with a clear focus on global marketing, the LSP is often considered a part of the product team. Such integration enables the LSP to advise on global content creation, review, and feedback processes that need to be instituted in an agile environment.
And, how does this help? Localization professionals can help with writing for diverse audiences around the globe by following some standard authoring practices. This would ensure that the content is translation-ready, and is not necessarily geared to only one locale. It would also help in keeping the brand voice consistent.
Next, consensus needs to be built on the review process: what levels of error tolerance are required for the different types of content? Some content types may skip a lengthy review process once you have enough confidence in your relationship with your localization partner. If possible, do dry runs of translation and review processes, so that you can identify problem areas and make sure the development and localization teams are on board.
Establish clear channels of communication between product, marketing, and the LSP. The structure and nomenclature of these teams may vary from company to company, but the point here is that unless these teams work together and have a healthy exchange of feedback, time to market may be adversely impacted and quality may vary.
Also, different formats of digital marketing may necessitate different localization processes. For instance, social media campaigns may need to be independently handled by your LSP’s local linguists based on your brief , as there is no time for centralized content creation and subsequent translation. For websites and apps, a more time- and resource-intensive process such as transcreation would work better. Visuals as well as text may need to be re-created from scratch or tweaked, depending on how different the target market’s cultural and social practices and preferences are from that of the home market of the company.
When it comes to translation and localization tools, decision-making can get complex. Which tools you choose to work with depends on several factors such as:
- The volume of content to be translated: this would directly impact the cost of the solution.
- Your team structure: Through your LSP, you could skip or at least put off your investment in a tech solution, for the simple reason that you would be able to use their solutions. LSPs also have the capability to build plugins that will connect your content management systems such as WordPress, Sitecore, Claytablet, eZ Publish, etc., to their translation tools and processes. This enables seamless pushing of content as it’s created for translation, minimizing file transfers.
- Your existing tech infrastructure and your overall global marketing strategy: These will influence all of the above in the sense that (a) your existing tech investments will determine what tools would be compatible and also feasible budget-wise and (b) how much control you require over your content, which markets you choose to enter and how fast, and other factors will influence many decisions regarding localization technology.
Successful global digital marketing requires all three elements – people, processes, and tools – to work together in harmony.
Remember that each element can influence the other. Hence, build resilient teams that collaborate with each other and understand the role and value of localization; recruit localization partners that understand your brand message and work to communicate it globally; institute processes that enable your international communication to be more effective, faster, and scalable; and work with tools that support the people as well as the processes involved in localization.