When “going global” with marketing content, most companies focus on beating the competition. What marketers soon realize is that their biggest problem in getting the right content translated and delivered to far-flung regions is a lot closer to home. With apologies to Walt Kelly: “We have met the enemy and they is us!”
Companies often struggle to get out of their own way when developing and implementing global campaigns. They stumble over cumbersome processes and a lack of internal coordination. They can’t overcome tensions between headquarters and local offices, and the sheer volume of content involved is overwhelming.
So marketers really shouldn’t be surprised when resources go down the drain instead of sending content out the door.
There are a lot of ways this can happen. The good news is that there are simple ways to revamp how you think and how you do business that will make it easy to leap these hurdles.
- It’s a business operation, not an art form. Authors take years to pen one novel – that’s art. You need to get lots of content out the door this week – that’s production. Two different products, two different goals – two very different processes.
So don’t “craft” content; run a “content factory.” Look at each step in your process and optimize it. Find the inefficiencies and eliminate them. And if you’re going to revamp your factory, then retool it: Install a translation automation platform that encourages collaboration, automates translations as well as integrates with content management systems and measurement tools. And be sure to ask the folks on the factory floor for their input. The people who actually have to make it all happen probably know more about the problems – and solutions – than anyone in the corner office.
- Catalog, condense and connect. Chances are you have no idea about how much content you already have scattered around the organization. Generating content happens everywhere in the marketing function, in every office. There are blogs, sales materials, videos and more that live in different geographies, on different systems, in different languages, and managed by different people and tools. Do you have a complete picture of that fabulous inventory? Most likely, you don’t.
So, take inventory. Audit what you have. Once you understand where you stand, you can use a translation automation platform (TAP) to manage it, keep it organized and get the most out of it. It’s also an opportunity to break the organization out of its silos – use the technology to let people collaborate across teams and offices, and even with your outside vendors for translations. That will deliver even more efficiency in the content factory’s operation.
- Think local, act global: glocal. A global mindset doesn’t come by posting a map of the world at headquarters. It comes from engaging with and listening to the people in each region. The global aspect of a campaign can’t be an afterthought; it has to be a central idea when the campaign is being planned. That means working together with local offices and regions from the beginning, not asking for their “input” when things are already decided.
In fact, you should learn from your local offices. Have them design a global campaign – study how they approach it and add that cultural angle to your knowledge base. It will not only reduce the tension that exists between global and local marketing functions, it will result in much more effective campaigns that reflect both the languages and the cultural needs of the target audiences. Once again, the right technology platform can streamline this kind of collaboration and ensure everyone is in sync across all your markets.
Your clients and potential clients are looking for a business solution, so deliver content that implies smart, scaleable efficiency. Don’t burden them with a fog of old or irrelevant content. Speak to them as if you were at the table next to theirs. Make it simple for them to engage, and make it simple for them to become clients and fans.