Continue from Part 1 of Global Media Content Strategy

Traditionally, when international media practitioners manage multicultural marketing campaigns, they rely on the combined efforts of the specific account team for the client as well as their location-based creative networks to develop their marketing content. They trust these in-country networks to produce culturally appropriate language-friendly content and media assets relevant to their local markets in respective locations.

For example, a media practitioner who leads campaigns in the Asian markets involves in-network creative teams based in Asia. In this case, although the strategies and campaign directions are centrally managed by the media practitioner, the preparations for each market's campaign elements — the editorial content and post-production products — are decentrally fulfilled by the in-network creative teams, taking advantage of their local knowledge. Finished or semi-finished content assets are then delivered to the client account team to be assembled and made ready for the campaign launch.

Changing Global Landscapes

In the face of widespread globalization, creative media practitioners have initiated massive consolidations through mergers and acquisitions. Two key groups have emerged:

  • Very large groups — such as WPP, Omnicom and Publicis Groupe — have become Holding Establishments.
  • Renowned consultants — such as IPG, Dentsu and Havas —have grown extensively by acquiring networks in various country locations, companies purchased primarily for their onsite presence and ability to offer respective clients immediate access to vital location-based knowledge.

It's normal for overseas-based networks to upsize or downsize according to their group's business cycle, which is also somewhat linked to their client's business cycle in those territories. But the new normal isn't tied to brick and mortar. The Internet of Things (IoT) has introduced new perspectives for multicultural content to be almost simultaneously developed and ready for dissemination at a much greater speed and fulfilled at a cost than wasn't possible a decade ago.

With the convergence of wireless technology and content applications, as well as broader data transmission bandwidths, creative media assets are conveniently uploaded and downloaded. Content in multiple languages can be vetted, proofed and even approved online. Indeed, it has offered content developers so much more convenience and flexibility to directly leverage multi-ethnic resources working in their respective home-countries.

Customize Content for Each Market

Achieving success in a multicultural, multi-language project, requires:

Streamlined Marketing Strategies

Once finalized, the media concepts and content directions can act as source material, especially as they refer to the campaign strategy, editorial guidance and media assets needed to develop the other market's content assets. With the concepts and strategy in place, the creative design elements become less critical. What is critical for each market's content is that it be:

  • Consistently adapted to the objectives of the source material
  • Equally impactful and appropriate to the cultural milieu of the respective target audiences

Onsite creative teams often work with a local translation agency or freelance bilingual editors. The onsite creative team's role during the content localisation workflow has shifted to that of a project coordinator. LSPs, on the other hand, already have project teams consisting of bilingual editors and native web page or print media artists who regularly work together and are capable of independently fulfilling the requirements of localized media assets or the target content of source material.

Allow the Experts to Do What They Do Best

Consider campaigns that need to be in four, five or six languages. The onsite creative team has to deal with several groups of translators and proofreaders on linguistic issues that range from industry-specific terminologies to revision and change tracking, re-editing and customizing content to suit each new target market and solving text display issues — due to space constraints or improper word/paragraph breaks that render words or phrases meaningless — consume enormous amounts of resources. Meanwhile, an LSP is organically structured to undertake multiple language content activities and provide a single-point liaison to manage the respective resources involved.

Arguably, translation and multicultural content workflows aren't the everyday activities of traditional creative design teams. Hence, media practitioners who partner with LSPs operating with a network of in-country native resources and project management teams are likely to fulfill multicultural content faster, with shorter lead-times and at a significantly lower production cost.

All Avenues of Marketing Are Covered

Some of the areas this partnership addresses include:

  • Audience research. Although research is often time-consuming, it's necessary to allow creators to “see and feel,” to evaluate market segments for their peculiarities and relationships with the product or service. Research helps determine the right localisation strategy. The purpose is to understand the demographics, psychographics and sociological classifications of the target audiences, as well as the cultural nuances common to the client's product or service.
  • Content customization. To reach multicultural audiences, marketers should consider a two-prong approach: managing the respective creative elements to develop the source, and creating customized language versions by adapting the source. With the proliferated use of websites that have become vital marketing infrastructures, companies are now enjoying a centrally controlled and versatile media platform.
  • More content control. Not only can you offer immediate dissemination of information on a global scale, but you can also disseminate customized content that is exclusively localized for specific groups of native-language speaking audiences. Media practitioners who collaborate with LSPs benefit from not only providing creative expertise to their clients but also in effectively conceptualizing how respective market's content should be aligned — achieving better focus on planning and initiating global-wide campaign launches.
  • Cultural connectors. Cultural connectors cover race, religion, language, social status, lifestyle and gender orientation. They have substantial implications for blending in with key groups to win and retain favorable influences on their local communities at large. The way each of these key groups views the product or service can influence how individuals perceive the company that's behind the product or service. Every advertising practitioner understands this important rule. In a multicultural landscape, it's equally important that the customized content achieves the right cultural connectors.
  • Outsourcing vs. co-sourcing. Outsourcing means getting work done externally. Even if you have the required skills and resources to accomplish the work internally, it's often more economical to have it done externally. In multicultural content developments, outsourcing may not be a right solution if you aren't adequately familiar with the multifaceted processes of multicultural or multilingual project management.

As a service profession, content localisation involves unique workflow processes and procedures — such as terminology research, copywriting in bi-directional languages, multilingual software, fonts, inspecting content entropy and verifying integrity on quality display, among other issues. In all fairness, these are mostly activities that marketing/communication managers and creative teams are less accustomed to, which is why co-sourcing is a wiser option.

End-customers Ultimately Benefit

The roles and the functionality of creative media teams are irreplaceable. However, do not ignore the present-time capabilities of LSPs to localize and populate information online or through various content management systems.

Transcreation through co-sourcing with an experienced LSP offers new perspectives and a greater scope for you and your team, whether your marketing team is internal or external. You benefit if you run a marketing agency that offers these services to your clients targeting global audiences. Compared to the traditional approach taken by the creative industry at large, we see a better option by combining the media practitioner's good creative instincts and that of LSPs – that allows multicultural content to be managed with less stress and completed in a shorter timeframe... translating to better returns for all.