Every organization that reaches across their borders through words to educate, explain, engage or encourage others to consume their content requires a well-defined global communications strategy.
What are the important considerations for defining an effective multilingual communications strategy?
1. Return on Content (ROC). First and foremost to every global communications strategy is how does it align to corporate business goals? Alignment to outcomes related to market reach, revenue and event profit margins should drive the top line global communication planning to effectively demonstrate meaningful ROI. We call this impact. Global communications is more than a marketing approach; it is a roadmap to achieving success in your organization.
2. Defining Your Target Audience. One content type does not fit all. Along with demographic definitions and assigned attributes, there are requirements to understand socio-graphic and behavioral traits. These can amount to hundreds and imagine defining these across multiple geographies. It requires time, market experience and research to match target to content. Culturally, there are differences in approach, positioning and key market messages that without proper definition can offend or create irreparable harm to your brand or organization.
3. Logistics and Statistics. Global communication strategy requires an understanding of how information is consumed by your target audience, where and through which medium. Mediums for delivery are not universal. We can all cite the growing number of mobile devices; however, there are places in the world where certain types of content are not effective for a mobile consumer. There may also be times where content will be primarily delivered via mobile, impacting a buying experience if the content is not easily consumed and understood. Common Sense Advisory* research indicated, “…billions of people don’t read English at all or well enough to make buying decisions, so they’re increasing information in other languages to reach many more prospects.” Data matters and the experience can impact your overall ROI simply by not following through the entire customer communication experience.
4. Language Trends. In the language services business, we encourage people every day to translate their content into every language. There may be exceptions. Certain languages may find a specific content media acceptable in the source language. This requires analysis, testing and research; however, what has highest value should always be considered when evaluating opportunities, budgets, timing and impact of language requirements. Equally important is the need to understand demand on a global scale of languages that have the greatest opportunity. What are the trends in emerging markets?. We produce a report every year to evaluate our language trends. You can read the highlights here: Welocalize Top 10 Language Trends.
5. Rate and Regularity. Understanding frequency and timing of your communications can also help dictate tactics for global reach. Language tools and automation can assist in getting translation done faster and more cost-effectively when the driver is close to real-time frequency. As an example, building machine translation programs, terminology technology and content source analysis can assist in meeting growing demands for fast translation user-generated content (UGC). Every communication type will have a demand requirement that can be matched to your supply for “global” reach. Public relations may have an immediate need; whereas, software updates may have a planned communications strategy over several months.
6. Your Brand. There are times when brand overrides all decisions related to speed and time-to-market. For example, transcreation of content may be less frequent and require a much higher devotion to ensuring there is absolute brand-alignment and adherence to your global brand standards.
Global communications strategy requires a customer-focused and data-driven methodology to maximize reach and impact with your audience, both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C). Welocalize language services help global brands evaluate, plan and execute their strategic communication initiatives to produce the best ROC results.
What is making the biggest impact on your global communications strategy?
By Jamie Glass, Senior Director of Global Marketing at Welocalize
*Report: Can’t Read, Won’t Buy by Common Sense Advisory