When Mary Meeker recently released her annual Internet Trends Report, it set off a globalization craze. Armed with a treasure trove of data, marketing teams are now scrambling to expand their content, services and products into new markets.
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!”
Less than 25% of your potential market can read this sentence! Don’t let your content get lost in translation: go global. Marketing teams that expand content to markets across the world are able to seize more global opportunity and revenue for their companies. Those who don’t may be left in the dust. And that’s where translation automation platforms (TAP) come in.
Traditionally, translation and localization have been managed by using manual systems, and a network of vendors and internal staff. It takes valuable time and resources to complete, review and implement each piece of digital content, with no centralized way to track the workflow, cost or ROI.
Now, a TAP called Cloudwords streamlines the pursuit of a multilingual market with more conversions in less time and at a lower cost.
A global strategy is far more than the tools to implement it, however. If you are ready to take your company global, or expand into new markets, consider this checklist of six essential items:
- ___ Prioritized list of target markets: Which markets are most expected to contribute revenue? Which territories are up-and-coming? Continue monitoring potential markets to inform the next generation strategy.
- ___ Global editorial management: In order to fully leverage content effectively across the globe, audit your existing content to determine what is suitable for specific geographies. Research your markets to bring culturally and locally relevant content to each territory. And, back up the hypothesis with tracking and analytics.
- ___ Your road map: From content creation to localization to translation to review to deployment, map out your plan for each location. Translate language and content for each territory, and continue to monitor the market for any necessary changes due to localized trends or current events. Glocal is the most effective global.
- ___ A meeting time and place: With new hands on deck, plan ahead for longer lead times as new responsibilities and team structures are implemented. Your content needs to be translated into multiple languages and be applicable to the needs of different cultures, so plan lead times accordingly. Schedule regular – we recommend weekly – status meetings with the team to enable predictability and integration.
- ___ Use a globalization platform, aka TAP: To go global at scale, you need a TAP to make sure the lead times don’t get seriously long, potentially busting your budget and missing deadlines. Cloudwords is cloud-based and integrates with nearly all other marketing platforms (Marketo, Wordpress, Hubspot, etc.), as well as your preferred translation vendors, either in-house, freelance, or from Cloudwords' own translator marketplace. Within our platform, translation management is centralized and yet flexible to enable consistent brand communications at a local level. Robust reporting is also included.
- ___ Translation memory: Translation memory is your company’s approved library of all words and phrases ever translated. A cloud-based translation memory works across all your different translation agencies and allows for real-time updating and global access. This alone can save almost 20% of the time and effort associated with manual translation processes.
These six essentials will make a world of difference in your global marketing journey. They are a mix of strategy, execution and technology. With these items, your brand can go anywhere. We look forward to getting postcards from your favorite campaigns!
Simplicity, Consistency, Integration and Speed to Market: The Fantastic Four of Translation Automation
Translating global marketing campaigns into business success is a matter of…translation. Despite technology bringing the world much closer together, the global market remains multi-lingual. To reach even 70% of the global market, your company needs to speak 12 separate languages. To reach 90% of the world’s potential customers, you need to be fluent in 21. Parlez-vous translation automation?
We all read the facts, likely on our own phones: mobile now accounts for 60% of digital consumption. Mobile has taken over and is even more pronounced in Asia, with high growth rates elsewhere. A search for “mobile first marketing” renders 337,000,000 results.
...isn’t true in business and marketing. In baseball, fans are well aware of the “home field advantage” teams enjoy when playing at their beloved local stadiums. The cheers are louder, the beer is colder. And, because of familiarity, they feel more confident that their team will win.
In marketing, however, it doesn’t pay to play favorites with your ‘home field’ audiences, especially when it comes to translation and localization. The English language accounts for a little more than 20% of the global market opportunity, and yet a typical enterprise has over 95% of their written assets in English. SSSTTRIIIKE!
While the present situation may be explainable, the plans for adapting in the future are surprisingly short-sighted. Over half of marketers have no strategy in place for multilingual marketing and 8% of companies do not translate any content at all.
Perhaps this lack of execution is because it’s hard to know where to start. Research suggests that 85% of Senior Global Marketers feel unprepared to meet the key challenges in reaching global consumers. What’s even more perplexing is that many of these same marketers work on global teams.
Just as workers are learning to collaborate across the globe, so too must our processes and platforms “collaborate” with each other. Old cut and paste processes and standalone solutions have gone the way of the Yankees ‘House that Ruth Built’ and Boston’s ‘Curse of the Bambino’. Just like for these old rivals, It’s time to build a new playing field and a new championship-winning approach… the ‘Post Season’ is here and its time to Play Ball!
Anything that relies on globalization for growth, like a business or an investment portfolio, benefits from diversification because it minimizes risk and increases opportunity. In marketing, this is localization – the ability to quickly and consistently translate words and ideas to suit a local audience.
So, maybe marketing is a bit like baseball after all, but from an All Star coaching perspective. Diversification, seamless integration and flawless deployment. Is your business ready in the batter’s box to market globally?