The marketing landscape is dramatically evolving with the explosion of new technology solutions and globalization. Advances in social sharing, interactive web content and mobile applications allow consumers to access a constant stream of information from their favorite brands across multiple devices. While this instant access to information is beneficial in many ways, it’s also creating new challenges for global marketers to meet an increased demand for customization and personalization at every touch point. Today’s marketers must execute targeted and thoughtful campaigns to break through the noise and reach consumers with engaging and memorable content.
Developing an effective marketing program on a global scale can pose even greater challenges. An essential factor in reaching customers in markets around the world is to create content that is locally relevant. According to a recent study from the International Customer Management Institute and Lionbridge, 60% of customers expect service from a brand in their native language, and the expectation is that content will be available in their local languages as well. At the same time, marketers need to maintain a global level of consistency with marketing materials, ensuring that messaging and content effectively communicates brand values in all markets. Finding the balance between global consistency and local relevancy is critical for global marketing success.
As if these issues aren’t challenging enough, marketers today are also required to be experts in technology like never before. IDC predicts that worldwide marketing technology will grow by nearly 50% from 2014 to 2018, which demonstrates a convergence of digital technology and marketing solutions. Where previously IT departments made decisions about marketing software, today’s marketers are the decision makers and must be well versed in the wide breadth of technology solutions to make smart choices.
How can brands today navigate this complicated landscape? Many marketers are working with digital agencies to create effective global marketing programs. While creative agencies can help to design campaigns that reach customers across a wide array of digital and traditional channels, they often lack localization and translation expertise to ensure that campaigns resonate from region to region. But savvy digital marketing agencies are partnering with language service providers and localization experts to further expand their capabilities and create engaging content that’s culturally relevant for all customers whether they’re located in Boston or Bangalore.
Two Strategies for Partnering with Language Experts
In the past, marketing agencies often served as the middle man between end-user marketers and language service providers. Language service providers would be contracted on a project basis. This process often involved significant back and forth between the agency project manager and the translation team to obtain quotes and manage projects resulting in extended turnaround times and potential project delays. But in today’s landscape of digital technologies, agencies have new, more effective options for partnering with language service providers to create, and deploy, global content.
Here’s how they’re doing it.
- Advanced Translation Platforms: As marketing content becomes increasingly digital, agencies are requesting projects to be translated quickly to meet the demand for faster speed to market. Language service providers have evolved to create advanced translation platforms to increase the efficiency of the translation process, through automation, for both small and large projects alike. Marketing agencies can use these platforms as self-service portals to submit and track localization projects. In addition, advanced platforms allow marketers to obtain instant quotes and turnaround times, eliminating much of the back and forth between the project manager and localization team. The advances in digital technology, translation workflow tools and backend algorithms allow these platforms to be used for all types of content including text, multimedia, web content, social, apps and more. With these automated translation platforms, digital agency project managers remain the main point of contact with their marketing customer, and language service providers deliver high-quality, localized content on the back end.
- Translation Integration Solutions: Another way that digital agencies are partnering with language service providers is through digital integration and application program interfaces. Companies like Adobe, Sitecore, Acquia, Drupal, and Wordpress have created powerful content management solutions specifically tailored to meet the marketing industry’s needs. These systems can be further enhanced to fully support global stakeholders through translation integration. By partnering with language service providers that offer web connector solutions to these marketing systems, digital agencies can deploy translated content directly on the end-user’s marketing channels, such as websites and social platforms. In this case, the language service provider would work directly with the agency project manager as well as the client team to automate the translation workflows of web content hosted in a content management system.
The Advantage of Strategic Partnerships
Digital agencies are seeing many advantages to partnering with localization service providers. As their clients continue to expand their global reach and market to audiences worldwide, digital agencies that partner with localization experts are able to offer their clients the highest quality of translation. This factor helps agencies develop global programs that meet consumer expectations for personalization and customization and stand out from the mass of content available today. Another benefit comes from using automated translation and integration platforms, which helps agencies increase the speed in which they can produce globally relevant content for their clients.
In addition to improving the overall customer experience and enhancing marketing campaigns, agencies that partner with localization service providers can also drive new revenue streams. Having a localization partner on record allows marketing agencies to meet the needs of prospects and new clients requiring translated marketing content. In many cases, this capability is critical for an agency to get through the request for proposal stage of an initial pitch for new business. Partnering with a localization service provider allows digital agencies to “check the box” for translation and make it to the next round where they can wow prospects with their creative ideas.
Marketing agencies looking to work with global clients should consider partnering with a localization service provider. In doing so, they will help clients find the global and local balance that’s needed today, and reach local customers with content that is both engaging and effective – essential factors for fighting through the noise in today’s crowded content marketplace.