Your organization is expanding. Your stakeholders have decided to grow opportunities in international markets. This means new countries, new languages, new cultures and new customer expectations. Do you have the right product and marketing content to engage audiences in new regions?
A crucial part of your organization’s expansion strategy is ensuring you have multilingual content to efficiently and effectively communicate with employees, customers and prospects in new markets. In this white paper, we will provide valuable tips on scaling up your approach to content globalization.
Many companies are growing their addressable markets by accessing buyers in new regions. The World Bank forecasts global economic growth will increase to 3.1 percent in 2018 as recovery in investment, manufacturing and trade continues, and as commodity-exporting economies benefit from stabilizing commodity prices. An example of an industry seeing growth in foreign markets is E-Commerce, which is no longer dominated by the West. In 2015, the US share of global retail E-Commerce sales was 22.2 percent. That number is expected to fall to 16.9 percent by 2020. During the first half of 2017, 57 percent of global consumers made a purchase online, and most of those purchases were made from online retailers in Europe and APAC.
Competitors in all industries are focused on expanding across borders, so you need to move quickly. But once operations and / or distribution is established in a new region, your internal and external communications must be adapted for local employees, partners and consumers. Correctly scaling up your translation and global content management program can help you engage new target audiences more quickly, thus creating a competitive advantage.
Ensuring your organization’s content and brand image is culturally adapted to a new market requires a comprehensive content globalization strategy. What does your current content translation and localization process look like? Common Sense Advisory (CSA), a leading market-based research company, has developed a Localization Maturity Model (LMM), which identifies five categories of maturity to classify your content localization process:
1. Reactive – localization plans are a knee-jerk reaction to urgent demands for multicultural opportunities with little thought dedicated to planning or preparation
2. Repeatable – localization process planning and role assignment happen because of a discovery phase that identifies tasks and needs
3. Managed – basic localization processes and tools are established, implemented and widely utilized, while increased demand for languages results in multiple translation suppliers
4. Optimized – core localization processes are established and regularly followed, while efforts to expand application and enforce the importance of globalization enterprise-wide are ramped up, resulting in shared technology and specialized software creation
5. Transparent – globalization is achieved, its importance is recognized by all company stakeholders, is incorporated into every aspect of business, from content to corporate vision, and processes are constantly being reviewed and improved
Your localization process most likely falls into one of the above categories. If you categorize your localization process as managed, optimized or transparent, you are on you are on your way to global success, but don’t forget you can always improve. If you fall into categories one or two, reactive or repeatable, don’t worry, we can help.
Localization means ensuring your translated content aligns with local dialects, cultures and market expectations for each locale. This applies to any kind of content, including training, technical product information, marketing content, brand messaging, corporate communications, etc. For example, while your product’s brand name may be well known and accepted in established regions, the meaning of that brand could be misconstrued if left as is or simply translated into a new language. It is critical to go beyond translation and truly localize your brand messaging to ensure it makes sense to new target audiences and inspires them to engage with your company. Your content globalization strategy is key to the success of your expansion efforts. Here are some tips to scale up your content globalization program:
1. Prioritize content globalization by centralizing your translation program
Conflicting priorities and siloed translation processes within a company are common characteristics of companies who fall into categories 1-3 of CSA’s LMM. If departments are misaligned regarding the importance of establishing a solid localization program, various groups will approach translation in different ways, which can result in redundancy, inefficiency, excessive translation costs, poor content quality and increased time to market. Highly prioritizing the implementation of an enterprisewide, centralized content globalization program is a key component of scaling up. Creating central, accessible repositories of multilingual assets, utilizing technology platforms to manage complex translation projects and integrating those repositories and platforms with existing systems are all critical components of centralization. Although that may initially seem overwhelming, we have successfully helped some of the world’s largest companies across industries take control of translation and global content management with centralized, transparent solutions.
2. Fortify your processes
A scalable translation program is built on strong processes, much like buildings are built on strong foundations – without them, everything else will crumble. It helps to have an in-house team to oversee the establishment, documentation and communication of these processes. This team may also act as a conduit between your company and a Language Solutions Provider (LSP). The right processes will ensure your content globalization program is scalable, quality controlled, monitored and cost effective as the volume of translated content increases.
We often help companies assess the status of their translation programs and develop roadmaps for implementing flexible, efficient new processes to improve the cost, quality and turnaround time of content globalization.
3. Partner strategically with an LSP that can implement scalable technology
Scaling up translation means investing in flexible technology that aligns with your company’s value chain and integrates with existing systems. There are many translation management technology platforms on the market. Even though most will have similar base components, such as a Translation Management System (TMS) and a user interface or “portal,” not all solutions are created equal, especially when you need to expand your program into new markets. It’s important to work with an LSP who can:
4. Implement metrics that matter
The most mature translation programs, as measured by CSA’s model, harness the power of analytics to gain actionable insights. Knowing you are improving, meeting expectations, stagnating or sliding backwards is essential to maintaining a healthy translation program. Early in the development of your content globalization strategy, you should outline key performance indicators that align with your translation goals, whether they focus on customer satisfaction or error-free content. Monitor these performance indicators on a regular basis throughout the year and share the results with content creators, language service providers and team members to facilitate transparency and continuous improvement.
Amplexor can help you capture useful data and insights to keep your translation program on course. Our advanced analytics provide on-demand reports that offer visibility into cost savings, translation memory reuse rates and more.
There are many aspects to tackle when going global, and not all of them involve ensuring content is translated and localized properly. From finances to regulations, logistics to market access, having the right partners to help you get a foothold in foreign markets will provide the support and knowledge needed to make global expansion smooth and successful. IDA Ireland, Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) and EUROCHAMBRES are examples of organizations that can guide you through every stage of the process. To understand how these international interest groups can aid your journey, let’s examine what they offer.
Ireland’s International Development Authority (IDA) partners with organizations looking to gain a foothold in and expand across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Ireland is a committed member of the European Union and provides companies with guaranteed access to the European market. Ireland is the only native-English-speaking country in the Eurozone and provides an ideal hub for organizations seeking a European base. Some of the brightest talent from across Europe is attracted to Ireland, which results in a multinational and multilingual melting pot of business talent. It is also a center of excellence for content localization.
The Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) partners with organizations on their global journey into Hungary. They offer consultancy services, incentives, information on the business environment, labor market and tax regulations, location research, site visits, meetings with local HR, access to real estate and legal firms, references from already established companies, assistance with applications and continued support as your expansion progresses.
EUROCHAMBRES represents over 20 million businesses throughout Europe. The organization’s goal is to improve operating conditions, expand market access outside the EU and to provide overall support to European businesses. Like IDA and HIPA, support from EUROCHAMBERS includes help with industry and governmental regulations, sustainable operating practices, access to financial solutions, staffing, implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe, trade, investment and economic integration with EU neighbors.
From some of the world’s largest manufacturers to major players in the E-Commerce, cryptocurrency, finance technology and cybersecurity fields, Amplexor has helped clients across industries scale up their translation programs to keep up with global expansion. Whether you require a full translation program to support 20+ languages, help automating processes to increase efficiency or experts to design and manage multilingual marketing campaigns, we’ve got you covered.
We can answer any questions you may have about identifying a scalable solution that is configured to align with your specific needs. We help our clients scale up internationally by using a modular continuum of solutions that can be consumed holistically to support end-to-end requirements or used “on demand” in conjunction with your existing technology. Our advanced connector capabilities enable us to integrate with almost any content management system. Furthermore, our R&D team is consistently focused on the creation of innovative, differentiating solutions meant to deliver high-value to customers and solve evolving challenges. We have a proven track record of helping businesses scale up content globalization in a way that reduces translation cost, improves turnaround time, increases quality and delivers expertly localized content at any communication touchpoint.
Through the right set of expert translation and localization services and the most advanced linguistic technology, we help you to reach your customers, partners and employees successfully, ensuring meaningful localized messages in any language.