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By Silviya Belahcen
Finding the right Marketing Localisation Solution for you: do you know the difference and how to avoid embarrassing, cultural mistakes?
The Right Solution
Be open to discuss your needs and wants. Look for a multilingual partner who is available to do just that. Be wary of businesses that aren’t transparent, or overpromise what technology can deliver.
With ‘business as usual’ impossible and firms forced to pivot, it is unsurprising that there’s been a huge boost in digital marketing over the last year, as well as a growth of the localisation industry.
Localisation is the process of taking a product, a service, or a business to a new country and language market, and considering the new “in-country” market rules, regulations, needs, wants, and of course, language content and context. Typically, companies providing localisation services are market researchers, language service providers, tech companies, and different SaaS platforms.
Since businesses are increasingly reliant on technology and machine translation may be a great option for linguist revision but do we truly believe that machines, machine learning, and AI have evolved to a point where they can deliver crafted messaging in different languages?
Options for delivering creative copy
Marketing in a new language is a challenging task. You will need to recognise whether you want your current content localised, or whether there is the need to create original content for the local language. After all, a literal translation sometimes misses the nuances of a brand and fails to capture the tone of voice adequately when being introduced into a new market. The likes of Ford, Mitsubishi, Dolce & Gabbana and other brand giants avoid these traps and localise their content well.
In terms of delivering multilingual copy that suits your brand, you have a range of options:
Creative translation is much more than changing words from one language to another; any bilingual person can do that. You want to engage writers who are linguists, experienced and proud to deliver the product/service or content information that is second to none each time. Their skills allow them to localise each piece of text and make it sound like the original copy. Such linguistic skill sets include a deep knowledge of both the source and the target languages and an impressive set of researching skills.
Creative translations provide you with one version of your original copy in a new language, and the tone of voice will always be brand relevant. The linguists won’t make significant changes unless absolutely necessary: respecting the fact that there’s no better experience from a customer perspective than being addressed in their native language.
When to use:
Creative translation is applicable for your website’s body copy, your marketing collateral, or your book.
Transcreation is used when creative translation is insufficient, and you need to capture your target audience by ensuring the message is relevant, engaging and memorable. So, how do you do that if you have one version only? Simply, you can’t.
Languages are unique. Linguists and writers are the professionals who will tell you what works and what doesn’t. They will provide you with up to three versions as an industry standard, including the copy, a back translation, and the rationale for choosing that specific wording.
Your message will have precisely the same impact in another language, but the wording may be different. Transcreation is designed to maintain the intent, tone, emotion and context of your message.
When to use:
Transcreation tends to be used for products and service names, taglines, calls to action and social media. They are also a must-have for marketing campaigns, advertisement, and branding.
Ultimately, this service gives you the freedom of choice to send your message in a new language, and phrase it in a local way with the version you feel delivers your brand best.
This is the process of developing original copy and is perfect when you have the idea but don’t have the time or expertise to write the content yourself.
Copywriting teams produce well-researched and, most importantly, well-written content on your timelines. Starting with a brief, you can direct a team with a title, keywords and tone of voice and they will deliver insightful content.
When to use:
Copywriting services are perfect for websites, blogs or marketing campaigns that need a constant flow of new, up-to-date, and high-quality content.
Consider this, if you are a food brand expanding your international reach, do you really need your blog translated, including all your local chefs and stores? Instead, a more robust solution is creating new copy, highlighting your target market’s top-notch chefs and stores in a more customer-centric way. Don’t let the lack of multilingual resources slow you down; find a multilingual partner.
Your checklist to find a multilingual partner, or how would you know if they are adequate:
Q1: How much do they care about you?
Q2: How much do they care about their team and vendors?
Q3: Are they tech-savvy, or do they rely on external software providers?
If your multilingual partner just asks for your files without a single question, then a good rule of thumb is to enquire why. Any resistance to open communication is a red flag. Any promise that sounds too good to be genuine probably is.
In conclusion, be open to discuss your needs and wants. Look for a multilingual partner who is available to do just that. Be wary of businesses that aren’t transparent, or overpromise what technology can deliver.
The future is now for multilingual content management.