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Localization Challenges for Content and Brand Marketers

The Three Hottest Topics from Brand2Global 2014 Conference

robert martinWelocalize Business Development Director, Robert Martin, recently attended the Brand2Global Conference in London. Brand2Global is an annual event for professionals who drive global marketing and are responsible for international market share and revenue. In this blog, Robert shares the three hottest topics discussed at the event.

This year’s Brand2Global conference was a great meeting place for global marketing professionals along with excellent presentations from some of the world’s leading brands. As a localization professional, this event helped me further understand some of the challenges faced by content marketers today. There were three common topics that cropped up regularly over the course of the two day event.

1) CONTENT VOLUME: The biggest topic discussed was the utter explosion of global content. There’s over 27 million pieces of business content shared each day and content marketing is emerging as a key driver to increasing sales revenue and expanding into global markets. With more volume, intensity and publishing channels to distribute content and gain sales revenue, extreme pressure is being put on the content creation chain and marketing teams to develop, amend and optimize content for all markets. Many of the presentations from leading marketers highlighted the fact that managing the creation and distribution of huge volumes of content is a challenge. Producing vast amounts of content every-day presents some serious considerations for global marketers:

  • Do we have the budget to pay for increasing content demands?
  • How do we manage content and marketing assets?
  • How will increasing volume of content affect the supply chain, not just for content creation but also for localization and translation?
  • What technology can I use to help me manage the content creation chain?
  • Am I using the right media and channels?
  • Is my brand correctly represented in global markets?

That’s quite a lot for today’s marketers to consider in their global content strategy. There was a great opening presentation from Anna Vihelmsson from Volvo Cars about using technology to easily plan the creation of global marketing assets. Volvo uses Brand Maker as a content communication platform between central office and the global sales organization with over 2000 retailers in over 100 countries. Using this technology has helped Volvo manage the creation of content assets and assure their consistency and correct use when selling the Volvo brand.

2) MANAGING A GLOBAL BRAND: From a localization perspective, one key question asked by marketers for global brands was how to find the right translators to localize their brand who have in-depth knowledge know of the brand, the product and the industry. For example, translating the Prada brand into German not only requires a native German translator, it also requires someone who is passionate about Prada and the high-end fashion industry.

When localizing high impact content, the translation and transcreation teams have to have the knowledge and requisite skills to accurately represent the brand content for local markets. They need brand evangelists. This is where translator forums and crowdsourcing came into the discussion, where big brands and their partner LSPs can attract brand evangelists to help develop local versions of their brand content. The role of the LSP itself has evolved. LSP’s must be part of the overall global content marketing team, acting as a consultant from the planning stage to make sure localization activities start upstream. It is then part of our job to harness these new methods of talent sourcing and manage them to ensure the appropriate levels of quality are met.

Today’s global brands are experiencing a shift in the way the brands are perceived. Now, consumers are telling companies what their brand stands for, not the other way round. New two-way communication channels like social media and UGC have further increased the power consumers. Global brands must listen and react to consumers, in the right language, and not just in the consumer market but also in B2B. Brands have to be able to successfully manipulate popular media to their advantage to add and not erode their brand equity. Ajit Sivadasan from Lenovo delivered an excellent presentation on how marketing is going through a dramatic transformation led by social and mobile marketing.

3) QUALITY: As more global content is produced, how do you define and measure quality? This is always a widely discussed subject in the localization and translation industry. Welocalize helps organizations address this by working with clients to consider the “return on content” (ROC). What impact does source and localized content have on the global brand? The impact of content will determine the quality. High impact content must be created and localized with 100% accuracy and true brand representation. Low impact content can have quality levels that are “good enough.”

What companies must be aware of is how the different types of content impact consumers. For example, do consumers prefer to have a website in their own language with minor errors or in the source language, with 100% linguistic accuracy? Websites tend to be high impact content, especially e-commerce sites; however, content like social media and UGC simply need a general understanding of what is being said is “good enough” from a language quality standpoint.

brand2global logoOne of the final presentations on day two of the conference was “The Rest of the World is Most of the World: Evolving Mindsets and Practices in Global Digital Media” delivered by Bruno Herrman from Nielsen Company. Bruno spoke about how the world’s demographics are changing and that includes the expectations of consumers. Tomorrow’s markets and consumers will be very different from todays. For some global digital media, many of today’s Internet generation expect to see content in English – largely thanks to YouTube. So marketers must also consider what not to translate.

To meet the international growth targets, global marketers must identify partners who can advise and consult on how best to create and localize their content. Welocalize works closely with many global content marketers on publishing the right content for local markets.

Robert

Robert.martin@welocalize.com Based in London, Robert Martin is Business Development Manager at Welocalize.

Read more Welocalize blogs on the subject of global content marketing:

BOOM! The Increasing Explosion of Global Content

Get Your Content Read More With These Five Tips

Five Tips for Publishing Global Content and Protecting Your Brand

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