International Markets Archives | Rubric

Ian Henderson
June 3, 2019
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As beneficial as an acquisition, consolidation, or merger (M&A) can be for an organization, they can cause a great deal of instability and stress. This is particularly true for managers and others who are trying to oversee the process.

Even under the best of circumstances, you’ll need a plan to help navigate the merger. And even then you are still likely to come across challenges. Considering the M&A process can have an impact across an entire company, in what way is this likely to affect the processes, scope, technology, and staff involved in localization projects? We unpack this further with a brief look at one of our clients who underwent multiple mergers.

How multiple mergers impacted a client

Our team was brought in to assist a multinational software corporation that had undergone several mergers. With each merger, new products with new languages were added to their portfolio. What had started out as a single-language human resources management product, ended up requiring translation into 43 languages. As each merger added a new layer of complexity, our client ultimately decided that it was more cost effective to create a new product from scratch — one that was designed with localization and multiple languages in mind. A new strategy was also required to deal with the growing complications, the most notable being the inconsistent use of terminology.

Even changes that may seem insignificant, such as referring to employees as staff, colleagues or teammates, can have a huge impact on a company, or in this scenario, the relevance of their multilingual HR product.

Understanding M&As and localization teams

During M&As, affected teams may ask a number of questions, including:

  • Which markets shall be prioritized moving forward?
  • Which brands and products will be marketed where?
  • How much are we going to translate for each market?
  • Which languages will the newly formed company focus on for localization?

These M&A questions are affected by the degree to which the prospective companies are merging, which is in turn determined by whether an acquisition, consolidation, or merger is taking place.

Tips for localizing after an acquisition, merger, or consolidation

Once you have established the extent of the M&A, you’ll need to implement these four steps:

  1. Any knowledge about the brand should be documented and stored in one place for reference. Information about a product can often be fragmented and scattered, even within an organization. This is equally applicable to the language and terminology used for a product. When a merger takes place, this information must be centralized to avoid problems further down the line.
  2. Once information is stored in one place, a review will be required to compile a comprehensive cross-company brand glossary and style guide. Both organizations will bring their own preferences and style, so the review will ensure there is no misalignment between the two. Make sure to involve product owners, writers, legal, marketing, and translation team managers to achieve a consensus.
  3. Translation memories will also be impacted, and the newly merged company will need to assess if legacy translation memories should be penalized moving forward. In our blog, From a Million Words to Fifty Thousand, you can learn more about the purpose and benefits a translation memory offers your organization. In this context, penalized refers to the match rate a term or phrase may have with another term or phrase in the translation memories’ systems. In translation memories, if a term or phrase has a 100% match, it can be pulled through automatically to replace the term or phrase. However, if the company has decided post-merger that the term or phrase is potentially no longer relevant, it can be penalized within the system so it no longer reflects as a 100% match, allowing a translator to step in and assess the situation.
  4. The newly merged company will need to assess which tools and suppliers are kept on board for the new translation process. You can learn more about adding new systems to your company here. Companies often rely on different tools to get work done. To ensure that no problems arise during the translation process (for example, incompatibility between tools), companies need to identify which tools and suppliers will be used, and then standardize their systems. Clients should seek the assistance of a trusted global partner to help them with this process.

Implementing these steps will help ensure that a merger or acquisition doesn’t dramatically impact the performance of your localization teams.

A localization and translation partner to help you through the M&A process

While these steps will help your localization and translation teams transition through this period, it’s always better to avoid or minimize these problems beforehand. The right content partner with experience in the global arena can help you achieve this. Rubric is a customer-centric Global Content Partner with years of experience developing and managing localization and translation strategies for multinational companies.

To find out more on how we can ensure your content localization and translation proceeds smoothly, no matter the circumstances, contact us today. If you need to keep up to date with the latest on localization systems that can help your business navigate mergers, be sure to subscribe to our blog.


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With 5G on the horizon and approaching at speed, AI, machine learning, and voice search will soon have a network to match their processing potential. But what do lightning-quick transfer times and cutting-edge comms tech mean for international brands? Let’s find out.

How artificial intelligence is changing global communication

Raconteur reports that “with the help of parallel text datasets such as Wikipedia, European Parliament proceedings and telephone transcripts from South Asia, machine-learning has now reached the point where translation tools rival their human counterparts.”

No longer the stuff of science fiction, artificial intelligence is powering text-to-speech and speech-to-text functionality across leading platforms and devices. In fact, Google and Amazon are in the midst of a battle to see who emerges as the king of speech technology. Google Cloud has just updated its AI-powered speech tools, meaning that brands and businesses can get access to additional voices and languages:

  • Google Text-to-Speech:

    The product now supports 21 languages, on top of 31 new voices courtesy of WaveNet, a deep neural network for compiling raw audio into realistic, natural voices.

  • Google Speech-to-Text:

    The customer usage data attained through data logging has enhanced Google’s models, enabling video transcription that has 64% fewer transcription errors.

Similar to Google’s Text-to-Speech, Amazon’s Polly is currently turning “text into lifelike speech using deep learning”. While Amazon’s Transcribe falls short of Google Speech’s supported languages, its custom vocabulary offering makes up for it. It’s a fair call to say that both products are equally competitive at the moment.

This leap in translation technology has remarkable implications for online translations and face-to-face communication. In fact, Skype’s Meeting Broadcast is already trialing real-time translation for video meetings, bringing us closer to demolishing the language barrier.

Consumers are demanding localized video content

Not so long ago — in a world of dial-up modems and 56k speeds — static visuals and reams of text were the only viable forms of content delivery. Fast-forward to today’s hyper-fast connection speeds and you have a fertile environment for the video format to thrive. Indeed, you’d be hard pressed to find a social media post or webpage without an easy-to-digest embedded video. In fact, social media video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined.

With video now the most popular means of content-consumption online, users are demanding authentic localization from brands. Some considerations:

  • A well-delivered voiceover from a native language speaker conveys the cadence and emotional weight or subtlety of local communication in the region you’re targeting. However, it can be costly to translate and record dialogue for every country you’re delivering the video too.
  • Given that 85% of video on Facebook is watched with the sound off, it makes sense for a business to invest in high-quality subtitles. By accurately voicing (pun intended) the nuances of a country’s language through text, you go a long way towards fostering brand loyalty. Consumers are far more likely to choose a brand that’s taken the time and effort to craft content that’s unique to their region.

Your voice is the command

While we’re already witnessing the rise of Voice Search, it’s predicted that 30% of all website sessions will be without a screen by 2020. Now whether or not that comes to pass, there’s no arguing that Siri, Alexa, and similar have emerged as communicative powerhouses that demand attention.

And with great power comes SEO responsibility. Currently 20% of all Google searches are voice-based. And with this statistic expected to rise exponentially, Google is already ploughing resources into voice search optimization for more accurate website ranking, starting with conditioning users to use voice on mobile phones. To get the best results, it’s important to localize your content and SEO for a particular region so that native speakers can find your product or service with ease.

Make technology your friend with an optimized Global Content strategy

As video, text, and speech technology evolves to facilitate the quick translation of multiple languages, it’s vital your Global Content is aligned with innovation and correctly worked for its intended markets. A Global Content Partner has the experience and expertise to tailor and optimize your messaging to the regions you’re targeting.

If you think your organization might benefit from our managed Global Content services, be sure to sign up for a two-day workshop. In the session, we’ll use actual data and examples from your business to show you exactly what’s working in your processes and what can be improved.


Françoise Henderson
September 28, 2018
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In today’s increasingly competitive international business climate, market leaders need to always be on the lookout for new ways to cut costs and boost ROI. In our extensive experience helping companies optimize their Global Content, we’ve identified a simple way for multinationals to do just that: and it involves their technical authors.

Tech authors are specialists at creating content about an organization’s products and services that’s easy for the end-user to understand. This information — in the form of instruction manuals, training guides, or online help tutorials — greatly reduces the burden on the customer support team. The thing is, the value of a technical author can be far greater than a multinational organization might expect. For instance, an author can actively increase company ROI by taking international factors into consideration when writing content.

Easily translatable content means higher ROI

Including the following content requirements in the briefing process will help maximize the value of any content created by a technical author:

  • Local technical constraints and standards
  • Language support
  • Legal issues
  • Language reuse
  • Ease of manipulation (appropriate file formats)

The above points are integral to cutting costs in the translation process for increased ROI. Reworking content isn’t as simple as just changing some text. In some cases, the entire asset — video, audio, or visual — will have to be adapted accordingly. By identifying key areas of content that will need to be translated down the line, the process will end up being far quicker, smoother, and free of expensive delays.

For example, Rubric recently quoted a client who’s been using content by different authors. While this helped vary the tone and style of the content, making it less monotonous for readers, certain content ended up being repeated across each author’s work. This unnecessary repetition quickly adds up when content needs to be translated and localized, leading to higher costs and a slower process. We calculated that by removing redundancy in the text, the company could reduce costs by 30%.

A Global Content Partner will help you analyze your business’ markets and come up with a gameplan to ensure your valuable collateral is translated accordingly. By integrating translation into the process from the beginning, you can avoid the unnecessary costs of having to reconfigure documentation further down the line. The Global Content process doesn’t end there, however, and Rubric will provide your company with a framework to monitor progress as you strive to improve your business processes to maximize your market potential.

Get in touch with one of our specialists today and find out why Rubric is the perfect Global Content Partner for your business.

 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash


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In June of this year, iconic motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson announced that it is planning to move some of its production away from the US to facilities in Australia, Brazil, India, and Thailand. This is a direct response to an increasingly hostile trade environment between the United States and the European Union. Specifically, the United States introduced tariffs on metals produced in the EU and elsewhere, which prompted tariffs in response. These retaliatory tariffs, combined with the increased cost of the metal, are expected to increase annual costs for Harley Davidson by between $90 million and $ 100 million, with each new bike costing the company an average of $2,200 more to produce.


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In 2014, Amway introduced The Voice as a platform for its independent business owners to communicate, collaborate, and share ideas. But while The Voice looked great on paper, Amway quickly realized that facilitating clear and productive communication was more complicated than they had initially expected. Amway Business Owners (ABOs) come from all corners of the globe, speaking a combined total of over 60 languages.


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Global Content is the bread and butter of a successful international marketing strategy. If you get it right, your company can enjoy heightened success in overseas markets; but if your Global Content is lacking, then you risk jeopardizing not only expansion into new markets, but your overall brand reputation as well. This is why it’s so important to ensure that all of your Global Content is designed for international use right from the start.


Françoise Henderson
February 27, 2018
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When many key decision makers in a business think about translating their content for new international markets, they view it as a reluctant cost. It usually sounds something like this: “We already have the content…and now we need to shell out for translation? What a pain!”

But this is a misleading way of looking at the issue. Translation isn’t a cost to be begrudgingly accepted. Rather, it’s an opportunity for your brand to grow and reach corners of the globe never before possible. And from a financial standpoint, the benefit of having content that’s accurate, engaging, and culturally on-point far outweighs the cost, as there will be a significant increase in potential revenue from new international markets.

But considering that it’s rarely feasible to translate your Global Content in its entirety, how much translated material do you actually need?

Your translation investment should match market potential

Companies often segment international markets according to their potential size and profitability. For instance, if 50% of all products are shipped to China while only 5% are shipped to Norway, then China would constitute a larger market than Norway.

This can be a handy guide for determining how much translated material you need for any given region. The bigger the market, the more value you are likely to receive for high-quality translated content. To use our previous example, a large market like China might qualify for translated brochures, product descriptions, website, and videos, while a smaller market like Norway might only receive translated brochures.

Above all, your Global Content should be useful

The most important factor that should be driving your Global Content efforts is usefulness. If certain content would increase in value—and usefulness—through translation, then by all means it will likely be worth the investment. A few key indicators of the usefulness of Global Content include: impact on your brand’s reputation, legality in the country of distribution, relevance to the target market, and how easily people can find it through strategic promotion and online SEO best practices.

If you would like to talk to someone about organizing your Global Content for international success, do connect with Rubric.


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