Three Tips to Better Marketing Translations — at a Better Price
you a marketing manager or director in charge of translation and localization?
Do you have a vested interest in improving your company’s marketing translation
process? Try these three tips to streamline your communications — both internally
and with your translation agency — and enjoy the benefits of cost-savings and
better translations in the process.
- Make introductions.
you or your staff ever wonder who does what and when? That can get expensive when
collaborating across departments and with agencies on a marketing translation
project. For example, if your public relations team has
no visibility into the translation process and turnaround times, they may
develop the habit of sending press releases for translation the night before international
distribution. Rush translation jobs such as these can cost your company up to
50% more — and result in poorer-quality translations that adversely affect your
brand’s budding international image.
remedy is to get your stakeholders familiar with the “going global” process. Implement
these ideas for improving cross-departmental collaboration around your marketing
- Organize a monthly “localization lunch” meeting where your translation agency point-of-contact,
marketing, PR teams and executives can interface. Engage in an open
conversation about how to make communication and workflow between your
- Ask your translation agency to give a one-hour
seminar to the heads of each
department on marketing translation processes. Make sure they present tips for saving money (discussing lead-time and optimizing file formats,
for example) and an explanation of key players involved in each step.
- Invite your translation agency contacts to work with
you in-house one day each week. Instant messaging and phone calls
may be fast but it still can’t rival face-to-face communications in speed and
- Train your writers and
designers for global eyes and ears.
for a global audience is not an innate skill or even one that’s typically
taught in college. Most writers know how to address a certain target audience,
usually one close to home, but struggle to extend the scope of their writing to
diverse readers around the world. Similarly, your graphic artists and creative
directors know how images are interpreted in the U.S. but can easily
misunderstand their cross-cultural impact.
in your company’s interest to give your in-house writers and designers a crash
course in becoming globally-minded — it will save you time, money and even
increase market share in the long run.
help them produce content that’s more universally-relevant, consider the
- Compile tips for using translation-friendly idioms — idiomatic expressions that tend to have clear
equivalents in each language. Provide recommendations so that the concepts
underlying all their copy play well in each market. Give examples of what to
avoid (i.e., anything racially or culturally degrading such as “Let’s go
- Create a glossary of key branded terms and carefully select and test local language
equivalents for each. Make sure to place your glossary in a shared location on a company network and keep it continually updated with new terms, product
names and branding conventions.
- Bring in a writing coach who specializes in creating content for global
- Work with your translation agency to create a
Localization 101 kit for creative professionals
— a short report on how designers influence the localization process. Include
best practices and tips such as choosing photos over illustrations with text
(which would require translation and quality assurance), working in layers, and externalizing
all text in XML files.
- Create a global image guidebook highlighting differences in icons and symbols across
cultures, taboo imagery, examples of Americanisms and other important elements
to pay attention to.
- Teach your translators
about your brand.
marketing translation, the translator’s writing skills and creativity impact your
brand messaging in new language markets. But good prose isn’t enough. Firsthand
knowledge of your products and an understanding of your company values allow a
translator to truly “transcreate” your brand content for their markets. Without
the right context for what they’re translating and creative collaboration, even
the best translators can offer only a pale rendition of your brand messaging in
your translators around your brand at the beginning of your project by:
- Providing a starter kit or goody bag. If you sell on-line video streaming
services, for example, send them your brand story and offer them a few months free to experience the service. If you market cosmetics, give them samples with some collateral.
- Emailing them a style guide or hosting a web meeting to train them on your
brand, as you might explain it to new employees.
In short, sell your translators on your products
and provide context so they, in turn, can express your brand’s virtues with
conviction in their language.
with these three tips and your creative thinking cap, you’ll get internal and
external teams on board with your global creative initiatives, which will help you
stay on budget, with translation, build your brand and boost your revenues internationally.
us today to receive more information on our comprehensive marketing translation
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