Streamlining Marketing Translations

Category: International Business, Marketing Translation

Managing marketing translations as part of a larger global launch can seem challenging, especially if this is your first global launch. However, there are some ways to smooth out the process and help integrate your team.

1. Familiarize stakeholders with your “going global” process

If departments or outside agencies lack visibility into the translation process, how can they understand the drivers behind project cost and translation quality?

  • Start a monthly “localization lunch” meeting where your translation agency point-of-contact, marketing, PR teams and executives can interface.
  • Gather department heads for a seminar with your translation agency. Present tips for saving money (discussing lead-time and optimizing file formats, for example) and an overview of how key players are involved in each step.
  • Invite your translation agency contacts to work with you in-house one day each week. There’s nothing like side-by-side collaboration.

2. Provide global training for your creative team

Writing and designing for a global audience is not an innate skill. Most creatives know how to address a certain target audience, but struggle to extend the scope of their work to address diverse readers around the world.

A crash course in thinking globally for your in-house teams or agency partners will save you time, money and even increase market share in the long run:

  • Compile tips for using translation-friendly idioms. Provide recommendations so that the concepts underlying all their copy play well in each market. Give examples of what to avoid.
  • Write a glossary of branded terms and test local language equivalents. Provide a shared glossary for creative teams and keep it updated with new terms, product names and branding conventions.
  • Conduct a writing seminar with a translation agency specialist capable of teaching the ins and outs of working with “global English.”
  • Create a Localization 101 kit which explains how designers influence the localization process.
  • Build an image guide to explain differences in icons and symbols across cultures, taboo imagery, and common examples of Americanisms.

3. Introduce translators to your brand

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 their language.

While we expect creatives to understand the brand, it’s important that translators do as well. Send them your brand story, collateral, and offer them free access to your product or service. Explain the brand as you might to new hires.

Take a look at our newsletter article for more information on streamlining your process.