In many organisations, global marketing campaigns are created and developed by a central marketing team or creative agency. Generally, and in my opinion, this is the best approach: it ensures that global brand messages and values are reflected accurately and consistently across different markets, whatever language the marketing campaign is translated into.
Yet in some cases, central marketing teams struggle to get support for the translated marketing content from their local market specialists (such as in market colleagues or sales teams). It may be that local market reviewers don’t have time to review translated content or that they simply don’t use the finalised materials because they don’t believe they’re right for their local market. Sometimes they may even localise and translate the content themselves, at the risk of losing the global brand identity that’s been so carefully developed and promoted.
Common marketing translation challenges
To support the production of marketing materials, it’s important to get buy in with your local market specialists. They’re a valuable source of market specific knowledge and insight, which can be a key factor in the success of a global marketing campaign. Also, if they’re happy with the translated and localised content they’ll use it more proactively and this will deliver positive results for all parties.
At the same time, you’ll want to minimise any friction points in the review process. Common challenges include: the time it takes for reviewers to return content with their input; unnecessary changes being made because of personal preference; feedback not being clear (“it’s not right” doesn’t help you understand what improvements need to be made); and changes or additions being introduced by your reviewers that affect the global brand.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for central marketing teams is knowing whether the feedback and changes suggested are valid. After all, if you’re not a linguist fluent in the target language, how do you know that the feedback and translations are correct?
My advice is to start engaging your local market specialists early in the creation of your global marketing campaigns. By getting their input even before source content is written and materials are designed, you’ll be able to ensure that the campaign can be translated and localised effectively for their target market. As a result, the review process will become much less stressful and quicker too.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure buy in with local market specialists:
- Get input at the briefing stage: involve your local colleagues and get their support for the campaign. They will also be able to flag up any issues with the source content that might have an impact on the translated and localised content.
- Build glossaries of terminology and local market style guides with your reviewers. By approving these early on, your translation partner will be able to work with approved translations and style guidelines; reducing the number of changes requested later in the process, and also increasing consistency.
- Make sure your translation partner is using Translation Memory Software. There are many benefits of using Translation Memories (unique memories that store approved translations, which are then used to help translate new content) including time and cost savings. But one of the key advantages at the review stage is that any feedback is stored too. This minimises incidents where a review team provides feedback, only to see the same ‘mistakes’ occurring again in future translations.
- Develop guidelines with each local market team to establish the remit of the reviewers and the criteria for reviewing content. This will reduce the number of changes requested for personal preference reasons. It will also improve consistency as the reviewers will use the glossaries and style guides as they conduct their reviews.
- Ask your translation partner to collaborate with local market specialists. A collaborative relationship with your local market reviewers and the translation team can be really beneficial. It can help build trust with local market teams when they have direct contact with the translation team, giving them confidence that the content is being handled sensitively and appropriately. It can also reduce some of the project management workload for the central marketing team, speeding up the translation and review process.
By working closely with your local market specialists you’ll be able to keep control of global brand messaging and create campaigns that have local market appeal. You’ll also get the support of those people on the ground who will be responsible for launching the campaign in their market. Definitely the best approach in my opinion!
To learn more about marketing translations and how to handle different types of marketing content (and what marketing translation services to use), download our new guide here. It also provides lots of advice for optimising your content for translation, speeding up the translation process and keeping costs down.