Personalization is a major component in most leading firms marketing strategies
NOTHING IS MORE PERSONAL THAN LANGUAGE
But global marketing strategies are extremely complex by their very nature
How can you simplify that complexity without undermining your effectiveness?
72% of consumers spend most of their time on websites in their own language
56% of consumers say having information in their language is more important than price
MORE THAN HALF OF CONSUMERS WILL PAY MORE FOR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES DELIVERED IN THEIR NATIVE LANGUAGE
Increasing globalization, engaged and empowered customers, explosion of customer touch-points
Decentralized processes, including partners and external agencies
Omni-channel is powerful but is a complexity multiplier
Languages again multiply complexity
Pressures to do things faster, better, and cheaper
Website Social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube Collateral: Sales sheets, white papers, POS materials Search: SEO and SEM Video: Website, YouTube, other Mobile & Apps: Responsive or adaptive design, apps Software: eCommerce, booking/inventory management Multilingual Chat: eCommerce support, tech support User Generated Content: Reviews, customer engagement Email Campaigns: Proactive marketing, targeted response, loyalty programs
The average number of languages supported by top websites continues to increase.
The average across the top 100 websites is now over 30 languages.
And, there’s a strong correlation that supporting more languages leads to: Higher revenues Greater profits Higher market cap
When assessing foreign language support, you don’t just want to look at how many native speakers there are for each language. You want to identify languages, and markets, that « punch above their weight » in terms of economic buying power. Interestingly, it only takes 13 languages to address 90% of the online “economic opportunity”.
In the end, you still want to determine your target languages based on which markets make most sense for your products and services.
That said, if you are just starting to do a market assessment, you should probably consider these languages first.
THREE PILLARS OF A GLOBAL CONTENT OPERATING MODEL Shared services model Translation management technology Global brand governance
ADVANTAGES: Internal center of excellence and best practices Easier spend tracking in order to assess ROI, enabling smarter and more strategic decisions in relation to spend Better process control, reducing risks and producing more consistent results Better management of global linguistic assets – TMs and terminology – reducing costs and timelines while producing more consistent quality Better brand governance and improved customer experience – which protects your brand equity
First, what is the purpose of Global Brand Governance?
Second, define guidelines for your brand presentation. Is it the same across all geo-markets?
Third, determine who holds responsibility for defining and evolving your brand.
Fourth, think about your target audience. Do you vary your brand voice based on product lines?
Lastly, consider what reference materials support your global brand voice: Company mission statement Core company values Editorial guidelines Social media engagement guidelines Campaign briefs etc
The first question you’ll be asked when reaching out to a language service provider is: “Do you have linguistic assets?”
What they are talking about is: Style Guides, Terminology (or Glossaries), and Translation Memories.
A Style Guide is a Word or PDF document which contains your writing conventions and brand guidelines. If you have that, it will be helpful to understand the style and tone you use when creating your content. If you don’t, your Language Service Provider can actually create this for you and adapt it for each market. What can be useful to them is: Mission Statement, Social Media guidelines, Campaign briefs and descriptions of your personas.
A Glossary is a list of important terms for your brand. You’ll want to share your taglines, trademarks, but you can also share SEO keyword list and company values. Although the terms may need to be translated for each market, making them available early in the process ensures that translations can be aligned with your brand voice.
As for a Translation Memory, you’ll only have this if you’ve worked with a translation agency in the past. This is more or less a databse of previously translated content. Now if you’ve done internal translations which you feel good about the overall style and tone, you can always share that with you translation agency so that they can align the content and use that as a baseline for translation.
You may have heard the term “Transcreation” already, so let’s look at how that differentiates from translation.
Translation is the rendering of language into an equivalent message in a new language
Transcreation is adapting a concept for a new market.
The processes are different in many ways, but what’s important to keep in mind is that both should be of high and equal quality. They simply address different needs.
Translation is perfectly suited for informative and factual content. You’ll be working with expert translators who will be using translation memories to make sure their translations are consistent with previously translated content. The throughput is between 1,500 to 2,000 words per day for a translator and you’ll be paying for these services based on a per word rate.
Transcreation on the other hand is less about consistency and more about creating motivational and inspirational content. TMs can be used, but you are not focused on re-using past translations, but rather creating fresh new content. The throughput it therefore much lower, between 800 – 1,200 words per day and you’ll be paying per hour.
++++++ Q&A ++++++
Yes, transcreation can be the way to go. That being said, translations can actually be accurate, but transcreation can make it more relevant. Here’s an example.
If you start with the tagline: “The World Awaits”… forgive my Portuguese, but the translation would be “O mundo espera”.
The transcreated copy could read as “O mundo à sua porta”, which means ”The world at your door”. Both are accurate.
As you may have already heard, cows are sacred in India, white and the number 4 can have a death connotation in Asia.
Your goal when writing content should not be to create Vanilla content, it still needs to be engaging. You can though create great content while avoiding:
Local expressions: Hitting it out of the ballpark
When you are structuring your content on your website, you should avoid using flags to outline. Your French content could potentially address your audience in France as well as in Quebec.
You want to make sure your marketing team is savvy and understands the global impact of the content they are creating. The more aware you are of these best practices, the smoother and faster (and cost effective) the process will be.
Talk Track Speaker: Jeffrey
Unicode encoding ensures that all characters will display correctly for all languages Your on-page translatable content should include URLs, titles, meta description and all other SEO friendly elements You’ll want to utilize auto-resizable text boxes to accomodate text expansion HTML 5 should be prioritized, especially if you are sharing video content. Avoid using Flash-based FLV files. Same logic as for your collateral, you’ll want to avoid images with content
Word is probably your last resort. If you are using a CMS, you’ll want to make sure it can support multilingual content. You can actually setup connectors to ease the file sharing between you and your translation provider, where XML files will be shared. If you aren’t using a CMS, then you can directly share your HTML files. This ensures that all the on and off page content is translated and it ensures tagging is respected. Word can become messy and error-prone. It possible, but when you need to copy/paste Chinese content into code, it can lead to a headache.
WCMS should be internationalized and translation-ready Think not just about current functionality needs, but also what you need in the future WCMS should be translation-enabled, but shouldn’t try to encompass translation directly Check how the linkage between source and target languages is managed Consider direct integration with TMS Other systems to consider? PIM, ecommerce, inventory management, etc Look at your options for in-country review (in WCMS, or in TMS) Appropriate QA for the site’s functionality
Functional and dynamic elements: personalization, ecommerce, loyalty programs Video content is some of the most compelling and engaging content on the web Incorporation of social channels Mobile: responsive is good, adaptive is better SEO and SEM are complex when localizing, you need a plan to ensure effectiveness
Your translation agency should work with you to adapt your strategy so it reflects in-market search habits. For example, if you are translating content into Chinese, Russian or Korean, they’ll actually use specific search engines popular in those specific markets to perform their keyword research.
To share your English Keyword list with your Language Service Provider. As we mentioned earlier, this can be helpful for establishing terminology, but it also makes them aware of the important terms used within the copy
You’ll want to also allocate sufficient time to perform keyword research before the actual translation of the web content begins. A typical translator can translate 250 words per hour or 2,000 words per day.
When working with keywords, you actually need to: brainstorm on variations of a given term identifying synonyms researching the terms via keyword tools such as Keyword Planner defining the proposed primary and alternative keywords
These steps will require more effort and time – productivity is anywhere between 4-6 keywords per hour, so you will want to allocate time to get this done right ahead of the translation process.
This is a recommendation you can discuss with your web dev team, but using the HREFLANG tags to define the on-page language can improve the indexing of your web content. Especially if you plan on customizing content in a language across multiple markets, for example, English-language content targeted to the US, UK, and Ireland.
Make sure you have your XML sitemap translated.
From a design perspective, when developing a multilingual site, you’ll want to have an easily accessible and visible language selector. It creates a much better customer experience when the user can navigate between the different language options.
Moving along to video marketing, YouTube is certainly the most accessible video portal out there with over 1 billon unique visitors per month and traffic from across the globe. But it’s not necessarily the primary portal in all markets so you’ll want to consider alternative channels as part of your global video strategy.
At a high-level, just keep in mind that mobile content and mobile apps can be really unexpensive to localize and you can leverage a lot of content, which comes from your other channels.
Architecting Your Global Digital Experience House - Nicole Uhlig and Derek Patrick at SDL Connect 16
Localization Best Practices
Derek Patrick & Nicole Uhlig
Why go global?
More than half of consumers are willing to pay more if you give them
information in their own language.
72% of consumers spend most of their time
on websites in their own language.
56% of consumers said that the ability to
obtain information in their own language is
more important than price.
Challenges for the global marketer
• Content is decentralized and requires hands-on
• Omni-channel strategies require additional skillsets to
create & build assets (web pages, images, email
• More languages means increasing operational
workload for pre-launch, go-live and post-launch
• Working with limited budgets while extending
presence to foreign markets
Global marketing content landscape
How many languages should you support?
*Source: Assessing the World’s Most Prominent Websites, Common Sense Advisory
The average number of languages
supported by commercial websites
continues to increase
There is a correlation between the number of
languages supported and financial performance*
– More content relates to more revenue
– More content correlates to higher profits
– Increased translation spend also correlates
to higher revenue
Which languages matter the most?
It takes: 13+Languages 90% Global Online Economic
Global content operating model
Shared Services ensures an internal center of
excellence and best practices within an organization,
Visibility of overall spend enables better management,
smarter more strategic spend, ROI tracking
Standardizing process workflow guarantees better
results across the board, consistent turnaround
Proper asset reuse (translation memory, terminology)
guarantees dramatically lower costs, faster
turnaround/time to market, consistent quality
More consistent branding, better customer experience,
protecting brand equity
Global brand governance
Purpose Scope Responsibility Considerations References
1 2 3 4 5
“It’s is not what you say,
but how you say it.”
o Protecting your brand
voice is vital to your
o Anchored in the source-
o It affects how your
message translates into
the various markets &
Define guidelines for
the style and tone
o One Global Voice?
o Different voices for
Should involve input
o Corporate marketing
o Feedback from in-
country end users?
Target audience for each
market should be defined
o Vary message based on
o Informal vs. formal
Values Mission Statement
Guidelines Campaign Briefs
… establishes standards
for writing and designing
documents that describes
writing conventions, from
spelling, punctuation and
word use, to structural
and formatting issues
o Mission statement
o Social media guidelines
o Campaign briefs
o Editorial guidelines
o Tone of voice
… enables access
and integration with
enterprise content and
data from various sources,
o SEO keyword list
o Company values
… stores "segments",
which can be sentences,
paragraphs or sentence-like
units (headings, titles or
elements in a list) that have
previously been translated, in
order to aid human translators
o English and translated
versions of the same
To transcreate or not to transcreate, that is the question…
“… is the process by which new content is
developed or adapted for a given target
Concept or paragraph-based translation
with or without TM
Paid by the hour
800 to 1,200 words per day
“…is the communication of the meaning of a
source-language text by means of
an equivalent target-language text.”
Sentence-based translation with TM
Paid by the word count
1,500 to 2,000 words per days
(Product descriptions, marketing campaigns)
(Tag lines or highly targeted content)
à sua porta
O mundo espera
“The World Awaits”
1. Numbers, colors, and animals
2. Dates and seasons
3. Colloquial expressions
4. Maps, flags
5. Cultural references
6. Social norms
Developing content for a global audience
Every culture has an inherent set of rules about what is and isn't acceptable in their society. These
rules are important when choosing your images, when filming your video or making other
important design decisions about your course.
Kenya & Saudi Arabia:
Bad luck, ill health, or death
7 is lucky; 13 is unlucky
8 is lucky; 4 is unlucky
7 has a sexual connotation
Lack of direct America:
Love, Action, Danger
Happiness and Luck
○ Machine Translation can be highly useful for
localizing large volumes of content.
○ Human translation delivers the best overall
quality and is strongly recommended for
strategic & highly visible content.
○ Machine Translation with Post-Editing may
provide significant time and cost savings
without sacrificing quality.
2016 Best Global Websites
1 Google 14 BMW
2 Facebook 15 3M
3 Wikipedia 16 Hitachi
4 Hotels.com 17 Starbucks
5 NIVEA 18 Nike
6 Booking.com 19 Samsung
7 Nestlé 20 Cisco Systems
8 Pampers 21 Nikon
9 Adobe 22 TNT
10 Intel 23 Philips
11 Twitter 24 Autodesk
12 Microsoft 25 ABB
13 American Express Copyright 2016 Byte Level Research
Benchmark against leaders
• How are your key competitors
• How are Google and Facebook
– Google and Facebook are raising
the customer experience bar for
all online engagements in every
Use global templates
Determine what information is
global and what is local
Will sites be localized by language or
Translatable URLs, Titles,
Meta descriptions, H1,
encoding & font
of text boxes and
Use alt attribute for
Avoid Flash, use
HTML 5 where
Web CMS platform
Design appropriate QA
processes for your site’s
Ensure your web platform is
Pick a WCMS that supports
the functionality you need
today, and in the future!
WCMS should have
but not a closed-system
How does the system
manage the relationship
between source and target
If you use a TMS, you
should consider direct
integration with WCMS
Frequently there are
other systems to
consider as well
Carry out in-country
review within the TMS if
Some other notable trends…
display and host
is a must!
Centralized translation management
curve by training
users on one
SEO best practices
• Share your English Keyword list with your Language
• Allocate time for keyword research and validation
before the actual translation of your web content
• Use <hreflang> tags to help search engines
languages index you sites
• Integrate a multilingual XML sitemap
• Allow users to navigate using a user-friendly &
clearly visible Language Selector
Source: “Press Play: Quick Introduction to Video Localization” by Rebecca Ray Common Sense Advisory, Inc.,
○ Over 1 billion unique visitors per month
○ More than 80% of its traffic now comes
from outside the United States
○ Brazil: UOL, Vimeo, YouTube
○ China: iQiyi, PPS, Youku Tudou
○ India: Storypick, Upworthy, YouTube
○ Turkey: Dailymotion, Vimeo, YouTube
○ Russia: RuTube, YouTube
Video best practices
• Create content with international references that
appeal to a global audience
• Consider using voice-over while limiting the use of
• Obtain, preserve and re-use audio narration scripts
• Limit text appearing in the bottom third of the
• Receive and share audio assets as separate tracks
i.e. 1-narration, 2-sound effects, 3-music
Internet access by mobile phone is more
common than via PC in many countries
Ensure your platform supports mobile display
App localization may need to be incorporated
into your strategy
Apps can be inexpensive to localize - you may want
to support more languages there than on the website
Mobile app best practices
• Avoid concatenating strings when coding your
• Perform a pseudo-translation cycle prior to
translating your app to identify any missing
• Perform linguistic & functional testing on
mobile platforms for each of the target