It is a well-established fact that successful global marketing and the localisation of marketing and branding collaterals in hospitality and tourism require more than just a normal translation into local languages.

Transcreation (creative translation), a far more superior option, takes into consideration the nuances of local languages and creatively delivers content to readers in their mother tongues.

When words are imbued with more than just literal meaning, the result is effective engagement that draws consumers into the world of your establishment effortlessly.

As a marketing manager, you probably already know this. Which is why you would look to engaging language vendors and translators to put your online marketing collaterals on the global platform.

There’s just one problem, however.

Picking the wrong company to work on your global marketing content could end up costing you more than you bargained for in the long run.

There are several considerations that need to be taken before you engage the right services so as to avoid common pitfalls.

And this begins with getting the right answers to some of the most important questions you will need to ask before signing on your vendor.

Question: Is transcreation costly?

Not if you do your homework.

You don’t need to do ALL your content. Be very clear about the amount of information you will need to be translated overall for your entire project.

Don’t be daunted by what may initially seem a mammoth task. Start with breaking down this journey into three phases.

Phase 1: Begin with transcreating materials for markets in which you are already established.

Phase 2: Subsequently, translate content for markets that bring in your business’ second highest revenue

Alternatively, work on your marketing content in phases according to the type of content. For example, if yours is a hotel, you can start with getting your landing page localised first.

This can be followed by your rooms’ descriptions (especially important because this is usually the CTA page), your amenities, booking platform, press releases, things to do, at your establishment and so on. All this can form Phase 2.

Phase 3: This covers offline content such as brochures, menus, etc.

Take into consideration that this may not be a one-off content load but something that may need to be sustained over time as you build or update content for your website. It may not always be easy to determine exactly what transcreation services may entail.

Some companies may not be very transparent and start off with quoting you for the cost of word-for-word (or, direct) translations and eventually add-on hidden costs for various other services e.g. server space, word limits and building your translation memory. 

Be sure to engage a vendor that will not nickel and dime you with every additional service but offers comprehensive packages instead.

Question: What should I consider before picking a vendor?

The second most important step is finding the right kind of vendor.

Besides the linguistics factor, always work a with vendor who has relevant experience and knowledge in your industry - that is, work with an industry-specific vendor.

So, if you’re from the hospitality, travel and tourism industry, you’d want to work with a language service provider who is very experienced in that sector and is well-versed with the terms and jargons used and one who knows or understands your target audiences’ preferences and so on.

Beware the promises of a ‘one size fits all’ vendor because different industries (banking vs engineering vs hospitality) require completely different knowledge, expertise and understanding to tackle, especially when dealing with jargon, mechanisms and concepts.

You’d be more prudent to pick a vendor that is specialised to avoid transcreation disasters.

Once all this is addressed, decide on how you would want to:

  • Adapt your revenue-generating Product and Services: ensure that your products and services match the needs in the local context of your target customer-base
  • Technical Accommodation: ensure that your website CMS and mobile app is able to handle the language requirements for the integration of the localised content. For example, Arabic is read from right to left, Thai has scripts which require more line spacing between sentences due to the accent marks, etc.

Question: Do I localise all marketing elements?

Yes. Whatever is already successful in your current home marketing campaign that maximises on SEO and keyword strategy are the same elements that your team can use as a base or a starting point for your global marketing campaigns.

A good transcreation vendor will be able to translate these keywords into the most effective SEO versions for your target markets. 

The only difference is determining the channels that are most profitable for your business in each context.

Engaging a vendor with this added local market expertise and added service features will help you avoid many of the localisation mistakes or translation fails that could lead to a waste of money, time and resources.

Question: How can I tell if the transcreated content is any good?

Kudos to you for using the right word here - transcreated and not translated.

If you’re from the hospitality, tourism, lifestyle and retail industry, you should consider to work with a company like IPPWORLD.

They are fully invested in the quality of its services, using the elements of imagery, figures of speech and, most importantly, in-depth knowledge of cultural context, with the end-game of connecting, engaging and converting your target audiences with localised content that resonates. 

It also has actual examples to show of its track record in transcreation services for the hospitality, travel, tourism, lifestyle and retail industries. The qualifications of its language teams are also made transparent from the start.

And, if you happen to have your own in-market reviewers for transcreated marketing collaterals, IPPWORLD encourages you to involve them early in the localisation process.

Lastly, the next step…

With these basic FAQs addressed, you now have some basic know-how to position your business as a global entity.

Not only is this a more sustainable direction for your business in the long run, it will also ensure that your potential customers will not be discouraged by the “can’t read, won’t buy” phenomena that afflicts many businesses that don’t make an effort to localise their marketing collaterals.

Because when choosing a partner in helping you market to a wider customer base across the globe, don’t wing it.

Go with the professionals.