Marketing media practitioners are confronted with creating insightful and impactful strategies for clients' global branding objectives, whilst being challenged to deliver content that's linguistically and colloquially in sync with the respective target markets around the world.

In the past, every media agency knew that translation alone had failed in global brand and content marketing.

To meet that enormous challenge, key players in the creative media industry embarked on a slew of acquisitions and mergers with in-country agencies, primarily for their location-based operations and local knowledge of the target audience. Publishers and even consulting firms have snapped up creative media agencies or engaged in deals in the media marketing sector in unprecedented numbers — all in an effort to ensure each international market gets messages in a way they can understand, relate to and engage with.

Competing on a Global Scale

For smaller consulting agencies and marketing/communication (marcom) teams without access to a global structure, there's another route towards initiating multilingual marketing content. And that's by working with a Language Service Provider (LSP) that provides transcreation services: translation infused with creative editing that connects with your international target markets while remaining unified with your global branding strategy.

LSPs operate as more than just a translator. They also provide creative editing, copywriting, as well as management and administration of back-end online content and transactional systems. Not only can LSPs develop global content at much lower cost and with high efficiency, they also contribute to a total package that enables consulting agencies and marcom teams to operate more productively. Business owners will also reap enormous benefits by working directly with a transcreation LSP.

Why It Works

First, design concepts and creative elements have to be in place in order for an intended worldwide campaign to be simultaneously launched by location-based media teams. Without these requirements, no other offshore media agencies can successfully partake in a concerted and consistent global branding exercise. In other words, the role of the offshore media agency is mostly to adapt existing design elements to suit the milieu of respective target audiences — primarily this involves syncing in localized language content with existing design concepts. This being the case, LSPs offering onsite transcreation and centrally managed media localisation teams can provide the required consistency in branding and content tone-of-voice adapted in multiple languages.

Second, for languages that marketing agencies or media teams aren't familiar with, bilingual editors and translators from a transcreation LSP act as an effective liaison. A native creative editor for the target market is essential for ensuring that the branding message succinctly connects with the audience.

Third, for campaigns targeting five or six languages, this would certainly pose an even greater challenge as the global marketing practitioner has to liaise with five or six offshore location-based creative teams to manage and ensure editorial consistency, linguistic quality, terminology issues, tracking amendments, archival of multilingual project files, etc. On the other hand, a single transcreation LSP is poised to undertake content localisation in multiple languages and to manage the whole package simultaneously. Arguably, multiple language content workflows are not the everyday activities of creative media or design teams. Hence, it will be much more productive to collaborate with an LSP.

The Whole Package

Some of the areas that LSPs can help address include: target audience research, product customization and cultural connectors.

  • Target audience research. In the same way that media teams develop its source content, LSPs perform research to define and review peculiarities, such as the vernacular of target readers, terminology preferences and relationships with the products or services. The objective is to understand demographics, psychographics, sociological structures and nuances peculiar to readers of each target language community.
  • Product customization. In the old days, multicultural content workflows were limited to single dimensional efforts, such as mass printing of publications with several language versions. In the face of globalization, clients prefer to create standalone product strategies with single or bilingual literature specific to each targeted market. Likewise, media teams working with LSPs are able to adopt a multicultural business-wide approach, especially for marketing efforts in Asian-Pacific countries or Europe where there are significant language and cultural diversities.
  • Cultural connectors. Cultural connectors cover specific identifiers such as language, race, religion, social status, lifestyle and gender orientation. These have substantial implications for blending in with key groups and for retaining favorable influence from the local communities. Every media practitioner understands this important rule. Similarly, LSPs have native as well as local networks with innate knowledge on relevant cultural connectors to assist media teams.

Co-Sourcing is a More Favorable Option

Outsourcing is defined as a better option for getting the work done externally, even though it could be done internally. In multicultural content development, outsourcing may not be the best solution due to its multifaceted processes that may not be familiar to the outsourcer. Multicultural or multilingual content development involves management of unique workflows and digital publishing systems, and a myriad of activities such as terminology research and copywriting in bi-directional languages, multilingual software and applications, various language fonts, etc. In this environment, co-sourcing is the wiser option.

The advent of transcreation, as opposed to literal translation, offers many advantages to creative agencies and media practitioners. Instead of outsourcing the work to multi-location subsidiaries and having to deal with each and every onsite teams, why not collaborate with an LSP for the total one-stop package to serve your marketing efforts?

The media marketing industry still hasn't fully exploited the content transcreation efforts that a specialty LSP can offer. An LSP specializing in transcreation can help eliminate linguistic barriers with global communities, especially in the hospitality, travel and lifestyle industries. This creates a wide-open opportunity for entry into global content marketing. With exceptional creative instincts and the support from a reliable LSP, you can manage your multicultural or multilingual campaigns with less stress, shorter turnaround times and better returns for all.

To be continued… Global Media Content Strategy (Part 2) Creative Strategy + Transcreation = Global Media Content