Keeping local markets ‘on message’ when they’re reviewing translated marketing content

marketing translations, global brand, on message

In his recent blog post, my colleague James shared our advice for establishing local market review teams to review and approve your marketing translations. For most central marketing teams who don’t speak multiple languages, your reviewers are a vital check to ensure that not only are the translations appropriate for the market but brand messaging is spot on too.

But how do you ensure that their feedback is ‘on message’ and the translated content reflects the global brand? Here are my tips – let me know if you can add to them!

Click here to download our Practical Guide to Translating Different Marketing Content for future reference.

How to make sure your marketing translations retain brand messaging!

There are four important resources every market review team needs:

  1. Localisation brief establishing what your in-market contacts are expecting in the translated content
  2. Style guidelines that encapsulate your company tone of voice and style
  3. Glossaries which set out the approved translations for industry and company-specific terminology
  4. Review guidelines to provide the team with a roadmap to a successful translation project

Localisation brief

Establishing what your local teams are expecting to see in the translated content is a really good idea. A bit of collaboration from the start goes a long way to developing a stress-free, fast and efficient review process, and improves the quality of the approved translations.

The first thing to look at is your brand messaging and how that translates in each market. We suggest that you get feedback from your in-market contacts to see what the core brand messages mean to them, and whether transcreation might be required to adapt these messages for each market.

If you’re not familiar with the term ‘transcreation’, it’s simply a mash up of ‘translation’ and ‘creation’ and means that the translation team do more than a literal translation. Instead they work the content so it’s more relevant and effective in the target market – this blog post sums it up if you want more info.

With your local contact’s input, brand messages can be translated and approved and these will then form the backbone of your style guides and glossaries.

Style guidelines

The information you and your local teams include in your style guidelines will help the translation team understand how to retain brand messaging, style and tone of voice. It will assist us to incorporate your brand message but in a way that doesn’t offend or confuse the target market.

If you can get input from your contacts when developing these local market style guides, the translations will already be ‘on message’ when they receive content to review. With your reviewers already on board from collaborating over the localisation brief, they will also be retaining the core branding themselves when they carry out the review.


Consistency is another thing to think about as it helps cement those important brand messages. So if your reviewers have approved specific terminology, those terms should ideally be used consistently across all the translated marketing content.

That’s where your glossaries come into their own!

Glossaries don’t just have to include technical terminology either. We often include things like how your brand refers to customers, common greetings and calls to action, anything that’s frequently used across your marketing content and reflects your brand messaging.

Review guidelines

By now, if your reviewers have been involved in developing the style guidelines and glossaries, they’ll have a good understanding of what to look for in the translated content. But it is important to set out the criteria for reviewing content: Review guidelines will empower your in-market contacts so they can give constructive feedback on the translations, and also ensure they don’t dilute the brand if the content needs more localisation for their markets.

We hope you’ve found the above information useful. In a nutshell, if you’re concerned that local market reviewers might go ‘off message’ when reviewing marketing translations, get them involved in the process from the start by developing your brief, style guides and glossaries together!

If you’ve got any experience of working with local market review teams and want to share your tips, please leave a comment below.

You may also find our Practical Guide to Translating Different Marketing Content useful. In it we share practical steps for translating different types of marketing content and advice for working with translation service providers. Download your copy here.

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