Don’t Let Your Brand Get Lost in Translation
Globalization isn’t new, but where you’re growing might be. Most brand managers know that market opportunity exists in traditional emerging markets like China, Brazil and India – as well as new emerging markets that include the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Peru, Chile and Colombia. “Customer intimacy” is that lofty and important goal that you hear marketers buzzing about in the business-to-consumer and the business-to-business-to-consumer spaces. Before you can even attempt intimacy, you have to think about how to engage your audience, and that starts with the initial conversation. If you’re not speaking in your customer’s preferred language or dialect, then you may have lost the opportunity to engage with them — forever. Here are two examples that will help you gain opportunity – or lose it. Documents: Requirements go way beyond the typical multilanguage product pamphlet found, for example, with your new tablet. You must also translate documents such as terms, conditions, disclaimers, warranties, product warnings, and other legalese that can have significant impact on your business if meaning is misconstrued, or if you make improper representations. Regulatory communications in financial services adds an even more crucial liability to the mix, which has the potential to be very costly. Social media: It is estimated that 50 percent of the Internet communicates in English. That’s not enough to reach new markets and customers. There are billions of people who can’t read English, or who may misunderstand your English tweet or Facebook page. How do you ensure that the content on your Polish Facebook page reads the same as your English “standard” page? Will you trust the “translate this” machine-driven button to protect your brand? As the interaction with consumers now blends call center activity with social media, globalizing your communications footprint can mean supporting over 130 different languages and dialects. Managing and tracking all those linguistic versions can be difficult and costly. A Comprehensive Approach Managing translation country-by-country on a one-off basis can introduce errors, inconsistency in your brand and messaging, and raise costs. Many companies use a translation management supplier to provide content standardization along with an ability to reuse your messages across all regions. The value of content standardization and content reuse is that your markets get the right information and legalese, in the right language, in the right format, and that can be reused across multiple channels as you grow your business. Having one translation management supplier enables multichannel publishing from a single reviewed and managed source. This kind of centralization helps you roll out integrated marketing campaigns with consistent branding and messaging. Cost reductions of 20 percent, and a reduction in time-to-market by as much as 50 percent can be achieved, depending on the scope and scale of the requirements. In some industries where customer experience and service are key – like financial services — using one translation provider can accelerate service response times and reduce call center volumes; all while supporting various compliance and regulatory requirements around the world. As your business expands to new and multicultural geographies, the age-old art of trusted and accurate translation must be enhanced with modern management methods to gain better customer intimacy, engagement in the global marketplace, and cost management. Forbes
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