Earlier this month, I attended the Brand2Global conference, which is, in my opinion, a must-attend event for global marketing professionals and their partners in the localization industry. I wrote earlier this week about what I considered to be the biggest themes of the event, and what presenters from brands like Lenovo, SAP, Lego, and others defined as the key to-do tasks for global brands looking to engage — authentically, consistently, and successfully — with customers around the world.
Today, I want to talk about what this means for those of us working with these brands as localization partners. What has changed for our work in the social media marketing space, for example? How are we aiding (or failing) our partners in achieving their goals? The growing importance of Marketing Resource Management (MRM) systems for managing global campaigns. And what’s next for us all?
Sharing Multilingual Assets Tools
Anna Vilhelmsson is the senior manager for marketing communications at Volvo. In her session, “Plan, Adapt, and Roll Out Global Marketing Campaigns Easily,” she provided some great insights on how technology tools can be used to decentralize the localization burden. While most of Volvo’s marketing assets are still in English, they are using a Marketing Resource Management (MRM) system — BrandMaker, specifically — towards the development of a comprehensive and multilingual repository of all of their marketing assets.
Except in the major FIGS markets, Volvo dealers and resellers are allowed to create their own translations of the marketing initiatives. Volvo’s end goal with the MRM, said Anna, is to empower their local resellers and national service centers to roll out localized campaigns on a self-service basis using pre-approved marketing material within the MRM. In that way, they would be able to translate and replicate successful campaigns in their own region.
Multilingual language vendors need to connect to MRMs so that both brands and their localization partners are working optimally within these new marketing ecosystems. In addition to BrandMaker, the other “must-connect” MRMs include the Leaders from Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Marketing Resource Management — Teradata, Infor (Orbis), SAP/OpenText, SAS, and IBM.
Bringing Back Best Practices
As I noted in the last post, there is still plenty of evidence that global-focused marketing professionals need the expertise that multilingual language vendors bring to the equation. They need our help in understanding local cultures and their nuances — whether that is in creating sensitivity to the cultural offenses that even product naming and coloring can provoke or instructions on how those companies can listen to and engage the consumers via the platforms of their locales.
Listening to conversations at Brand2Global, I was amazed to hear how best practices have slipped in this respect. For years, for example, we go out to our customers and advise them to clean up their source content as a cost-saving measure. Yet it is not unusual to find such an essential localization best practice being ignored.
It is important the we as localization professionals guide new and existing customers in achiving best practices in localization. It is through them that companies can achieve quality, time, and cost savings.
Calling in Content Specialists
Yes, social media marketing and traditional marketing strategies are being run in parallel to create consumer engagement and brand loyalty. While traditional marketing translation is still very much alive, some Brand2Global professionals believe that it does not go far enough in meeting the need of multilingual consumers worldwide.
Eric Ingrand is the vice president for global marketing for EMEA at the EnVeritas Group. In the panel he hosted, entitled “How Do You Globalize Your Content Marketing Strategy?”, panelists proposed using multilingual content creators — to engage specialist marketing creators and copywriters for content creation instead of using multilingual translation. This is a more expensive undertaking; both multilingual language vendors and content creation groups can agree that the return on investment is already proven for translating content. However, it is time for global marketing budgets to match the actual requirements involved in producing multilingual marketing material — whether translation, transcreation, content creation, or all of the above.
While only using multilingual content creators may be beyond the budgetary allocations of some brands now, it is an idea worth closer examination by comprehensive language service providers for the future.
Again, I would like to thank the entire Brand2Global team and our fellow conference sponsors for making this a fantastic event. Do you have your own thoughts to share from the conference? Share them in the comments section below!