Managing translation and localisation when developing marketing material centrally

Managing the localisation process while adopting a centralisation process for development of marketing material: points to consider

Centralising development of marketing material has become a key feature in marketing strategy for a number of international businesses and their selected creative agency as a way of driving cost efficiencies, ensuring consistency in how the brand is presented globally, increasing speed-to-market and ensuring fast response to changes in the market.

Companies such as Volkswagen, Ford, Opel/Vauxhall, Renault and Daimler and Jaguar, to name but a few, have all opted for a centralised marketing solution by appointing a single advertising partner to help manage international campaigns, thus maintaining more control over their markets by imposing a single set of brand marketing rules.

While centralisation can bring key benefits from a marketing perspective, the process needs to be managed carefully when developing marketing material centrally for use at a local level. The localisation process can be a tricky one, which needs to account for variables in styles of communication and cultures, legal environments, product consumption patterns and national approaches to marketing.

It is therefore a question of establishing the appropriate processes to involve local teams in development of material for use in their markets, while maintaining overall control. A clear process for engagement with local markets ensures local knowledge and expertise is captured and best practice is shared across the organisation. Importantly, it also ensures that the central marketing functions remains connected to customers at a local level.

At Comtec, we recognise the value of the markets’ input, both in terms of style and register of translated marketing copy, and also in market-preferred terminology and product description. We build market feedback into the translation process for large marketing campaigns such as websites, as well as highly technical product brochures.

Strategies for encouraging market feedback include translation of a glossary at the beginning of a project to ensure correct use of any preferred terminology, and also delivery of a translation sample early on in the translation stage, to adopt the preferred style and register and apply to the remainder of the translation project.

Click here to read our White Paper on how creative agencies and translation houses can work together effectively to develop marketing material for international clients.

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