Rebecca Metcalf, Author at Rubric

Rebecca Metcalf
December 3, 2019
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International growth takes more than just localized content. Certainly, translation plays a crucial role; but the perception that multilingual content is all it takes to succeed on the global stage is wildly outdated. In a previous article, we discussed the Localization Maturity Model™ (LMM) and how a systematic, KPI-focused approach to translation can drive forward your global content strategy – and now it’s time to take that philosophy a step further with the Globalization Maturity Model (GMM).

Whereas the LMM offers guidance on benchmarking and optimizing your localization processes, the GMM is a broader framework for applying those same principles enterprise-wide. Corporate strategy, product development, marketing, and many other lines of business all factor into the global customer journey, so it is essential that they are all aligned with the same priorities and goals.

At Rubric, we’ve been advocating this kind of holistic globalization strategy for more than 20 years. And now, for the first time, CSA Research has documented and codified best practices – making it easier than ever for businesses to ramp up their globalization maturity and achieve international growth.

 

Why enterprises should adopt the Global Maturity Model

At its core, the GMM is a tool with two functions. It’s a roadmap for implementing business processes that allow for and facilitate globalization, and it’s a framework for benchmarking your organization’s globalization maturity. Taken together, these two functions enable you to identify areas for improvement, implement best practices in those areas, and then measure the impact of those changes based on actual data. Against a backdrop of constantly increasing competition and growing customer expectations, the ability to make data-driven decisions is fundamental to optimizing the global customer experience.

What’s more, globalization maturity benchmarking isn’t just a one-off exercise. It’s a process that you can repeat, targeting different areas for improvement each time, to achieve a cycle of constant optimization.

By adopting the Globalization Maturity Model, you stand to drastically enhance the international customer experience by delivering customer journeys that are not just translated, but are also tailored to appeal to the local market and supported throughout your organization. And this, in turn, will drive brand loyalty and growth.

 

Benchmarking framework

CSA Research identifies 57 distinct components that can be used to comprehensively benchmark your globalization performance. These components fall into 21 categories, which are themselves grouped under five broad axes:

  • Governance: Establishing globalization as a business process with properly defined goals, KPIs, and metrics – and achieving cross-company buy-in for those goals.
  • Strategy: Defining your business model and plans for international growth, integrating those global plans with your corporate strategy, and ensuring they are supported by your global content strategy.
  • Process: Ensuring that global priorities are baked into core business processes, and that processes can be easily applied to local teams. This will help you approach globalization systematically and transparently.
  • Organizational structure: Appointing executive leadership to oversee globalization; recruiting and training staff to support international markets; overcoming silos to ensure that teams collaborate towards globalization objectives and share best practices company-wide.
  • Automation: Factoring globalization into technology investment decisions and standardizing tool usage. From a content perspective, making use of authoring frameworks, translation memory systems, translation management systems, and product information management systems to streamline authoring and localization. In the wider enterprise context, ensuring that core technologies – such as ERP, CRM, and business intelligence systems – all support each of the languages you operate in.

 

Putting it into practice

Carrying out a 57-component benchmark is no easy task, and enacting the organizational, cultural, and strategic transformation necessary to optimize your globalization approach can be even harder. The GMM offers recommended executive actions for each element, but they are often easier said than done.

At Rubric, we’ve always seen localization as just one factor in our clients’ globalization success. We have years of experience helping businesses achieve international growth through a holistic approach to global content, and we are excited to share our expertise to accelerate your GMM adoption. Whereas a typical localization service provider only deals in translation, we put content into its wider context and specialize in working with our clients to develop their globalization strategies.

Read more about global content strategy and how the GMM helps business processes with a free teaser download of our new book, Global Content Quest.


Rebecca Metcalf
April 17, 2019
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Right now, the primary content strategy for businesses should be video marketing. Static images and text-only posts are no longer enough to resonate with your audience online. Video is an unequivocal marketing revolution and brands need to embrace this format wholeheartedly to reap its global rewards.

These stats offer eye-opening highlights:

  • Social videos are shared 1200% more than text and images, combined.
  • 5 billion YouTube videos are consumed every day.
  • Video can raise email click-through rates by 200–300%.
  • 6 billion video adverts are consumed online every year.
  • 45% of users watch over an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.
  • 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day.

These statistics can’t be ignored. And when these lines of communication are so easily accessible, brands need to ensure their content resonates across linguistic boundaries. To achieve this, you need a solid video localization strategy.

The different kinds of video localization on the market

Over and above budget, turnaround time, and production value, video localization should be determined by the end-user. Additionally, it’s imperative that video localization is factored into the authoring process as early as possible (whether it’s your content partner managing the localization or an internal team).

  • Subtitles

    Is the video intended for someone scrolling through their social media feeds? If so, you may want to consider adding subtitles — 85% of Facebook videos and two thirds of Snapchat videos are watched on mute. If the piece of content is intended for multilingual audiences and your timings are tight, adding subtitles is a quick method for getting your message out there. According to research, subtitles improve comprehension, meaning your messaging is far more likely to be understood and remembered when using closed captions.

  • Voiceover

    Does your video contain a lot of information or is it intended for research purposes? If so, you may want to open your contact list and get your favorite voiceover artist into the studio. Voiceovers lend themselves to multimedia assets such as eLearning courses, product and marketing videos, and instructional pieces because they allow the user to pause, rewind, and study at their leisure.

  • Simple User Interface

    TechSmith explains: “It can be difficult to onboard users to new and complex interfaces and workflows. Too much information can easily overwhelm the user and make it difficult to keep the focus on the essential feature or functionality.”

    Enter the Simple User Interface (SUI) and our collaboration with TechSmith, the industry-leader in screen recording and screen capture. Essentially, SUI involves removing or simplifying unnecessary elements in favor of essential, recognizable iconography that multilingual markets can easily understand. A SUI interface is an excellent visual aid for quick, uncluttered user education because it takes cognitive overload out of the equation.

    For this reason, Rubric has teamed with TechSmith to make presentation easier through a marriage of simple visualization cues and scalable localization techniques.

Video Localization best practices

Consider the following best practices when laying down your video localization foundation:

  • Inform your localization strategy by learning what your customers need and expect from video content.
  • Aim for collaborative video localization from the get-go by commissioning the skills of a trusted Global Content Partner. Rubric’s partnership with TechSmith has resulted in high-quality marketing, tutorial, and onboarding videos that wouldn’t have been possible had they been attempted in siloes.
  • Design your video with localization in mind by keeping things simple: use iconography instead of text, universal examples, and a simplified user interface.
  • Ensure that you’re giving your end-user the information, context, and guidance they need.

In the end, whichever type of video localization you choose, it needs to account for your target market’s cultural nuances. For example:

  • Does your subtitle lexicon include slang and other unique colloquialisms?
  • Does your voiceover artist employ a cadence that your targeted audience will understand, enjoy, and respond to?
  • Does your SUI use similar visual cues as the market it’s intended for?

 

Rubric is a customer-centric, Global Content Partner. We partner with multinational companies, like TechSmith, to help them achieve their global strategy goals. We’re pushing the boundaries of video localization and experimenting with new, innovative technologies for greater resonance across multilingual markets.

 

Check out even more about video localization in our Best Practices for Video Localization guide!


Rebecca Metcalf
February 23, 2018
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With almost 5 billion video ads watched each year, audio-visual content has become one of the most effective ways to engage customers. This is a global trend, so it’s no surprise that leading businesses are increasingly looking to incorporate localized audio into their global content strategies. Developing your audio repertoire can seem like a daunting task, but the process can be significantly streamlined by performing a content audit of your existing material.

Here are some tips on how you can save time and resources by reusing existing content and focusing global audio efforts where they will have the greatest impact.

 

Make the most of existing content

Even though multilingual audio might be a new piece of your global content puzzle, that doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch. By conducting a comprehensive content audit, you should be able to identify many opportunities to adapt existing written content into audio. By eliminating the need to create and translate entirely new scripts, this reuse can both deliver major cost savings and ensure that your audio content is consistent with your wider content portfolio.

This approach also highlights the importance of optimizing your source content from the outset. By authoring English content with localization in mind, you can prevent downstream issues before they arise – enabling seamless translation and adaption to audio. CSA Research’s Content Source Optimization Checklist offers an excellent guide to getting your source content on-track.

 

Establish priorities

No business has the resources (or the need) to adapt all of its content into localized audio. A content audit will help you prioritize which information to include in your global audio strategy, and which markets to target. To best focus your efforts, we recommend a content tiering approach. Develop data-driven, fleshed out marketing personas and customer journeys, and use them to make informed decisions about how to prioritize your audio content.

 

Is audio necessary?

When creating and localizing videos, it’s important to remember that audio isn’t always necessary. Audio – especially voiceovers and music – is often the largest contributor to video localization cost, so if you’re going to include it, ensure that it is delivering value. In many cases, translated subtitles are a viable and cost-effective alternative to fully localized audio. This is particularly true of videos created for social media feeds, since 85% of Facebook videos and two thirds of Snapchat videos are watched on mute.

 

Keep the number of voices down

When creating audio content, it’s important to keep things as simple as possible. Usually, this means only using one voice – and ideally, the same voice for each project. This will make your audio content cheaper to adapt and record; it will ensure consistency from one piece to another; and it will minimize the time and cost required to find voice actors. A high number of voices can rapidly inflate costs and take away from the overall impact of your content.

To learn more about how you can optimize your audio-visual global content strategy, check out our in-depth report on Best Practices for Video Localization.


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