Strategy Archives | Rubric

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According to We Are Social’s Global Digital Report 2018, the number of social media users worldwide is up 13% year-on-year, with a total of 3.196 billion people having logged into their channel of choice last year. This unprecedented usage is fertile soil for brands looking to reach previously inaccessible audiences.

But with opportunity comes obstacle. In the past, language barriers have proven costly for businesses trying to penetrate new markets. Whether cultural or linguistic, your content translation could be the difference between a message landing or falling flat. And with the market as competitive as it is, where innumerable brands vie second-by-second for consumer attention, you can’t have your voice disappearing into the noise. To keep your organization at the forefront of social media, here are the trends that are expected to dominate our feeds this year:

The state of social media in 2019

In 2018, greater connection speeds and accessibility saw over 360 million people gain access to the internet for the first time. And when you consider a person spends an average of 2 hours and 16 minutes per day on social media, it’s not hyperbolic to call it the beating heart of the internet. To actively engage your audience across these digital touchpoints, Hootsuite advises that brands focus on the following three areas this year:

  • Rebuild trust:

    Consumer confidence took a knock in 2018. Cambridge Analytica and fake news dominated the headlines, making internet users weary of mainstream search engines and social channels, most notably Facebook. In 2019, brands and businesses need to be transparent and honest about how they are collecting and using customer data.

  • Say goodbye to silos:

    54% of businesses reported that departments beyond marketing have started using social media. By implementing KPIs across departments, marketers can help drive this digital transformation and reach new consumers, fostering brand growth, revenue, and user retention.

  • Unify your data: 

    In our fast-paced world, it’s hard to believe that people have enough time on their hands to manage 8 different social and messaging platforms. But it’s true! Brands can take advantage of this cross-channel usage by bringing together audience data for a unified, 360-degree view of the customer.

Connection speeds and accessibility weren’t the only areas to experience exponential growth. Voice search, AI, and augmented reality advertising in social media evolved into viable tools that audiences have quickly adopted.

  • Voice search:

    Thanks to Snapchat’s voice recognition lenses and Facebook’s testing of voice commands for its Messenger and Portal apps, voice-based search is on the increase.

  • Augmented Reality (AR):

    Last year, Facebook introduced its AR Studio, where users are encouraged to “create and distribute new, rich AR experiences with ease”. Snapchat recently released Shoppable AR, a tool that allows users to try out products via a lens. Retailers can then funnel said user to a purchase platform.

  • Artificial intelligence (AI):

    The explosion of consumer data across social media channels has given AI and machine learning unprecedented information to work with. In fact, a paper released in January describes an AI system that will soon be able to pair brands with the perfect influencers for specific campaigns.

  • Video is (still) king:

    Video is the most consumed form of content on the internet, with easy-to-digest one minute variations proving to be the favored length. Surprisingly, posting a one-minute video to LinkedIn gets you 400 to 500 percent more reach in comparison to Facebook.

  • Bookmarks and a new interface:

    Twitter’s once cluttered web interface has been cleaned up and a ‘bookmark’ feature introduced. Users are able to save tweets for later without liking or retweeting them, making for a more anonymous form of personal content curation.

Global Social Media Content. Global mindset.

Global Content is about more than creating content for people around the world — it’s about ingraining an international mindset into every business process, strategy, and activity. This philosophy of cohesion links each department and every office — no matter where in the world — to a global business mindset. With social media, consumers now have a real-time window into this organizational philosophy, from anywhere in the world.

Global Social Media Content — what do audiences want?

“Managing a global brand doesn’t have to be a logistical nightmare. With some planning ahead, a lot of documentation and everyone on the same page, you’ll be marketing in multiple countries in no time.” Sprout Social

Global audiences crave authenticity — it’s not enough to write a post in English and plug the copy into Google Translate. While it has its uses, such a tool doesn’t possess the contextual understanding needed to provide accurate translations for multilingual markets. To resonate across language barriers and international borders, consider the following:

  • Is your messaging aligned to the market you’re targeting?

    An extensive audit of your existing assets — from logos to catchphrases — is needed to determine whether your messaging translates. A great example is how Samsung — a South Korean company — went about entering the French market in 2010. They targeted the country’s love of all things art with an exhibition held at Petit Palais in Paris. The genius twist was that the pieces were screened on the company’s cutting-edge HD televisions. In its first month, the exhibition had 600 000 visitors.

  • Colloquialism and cultural sensitivity:

    While certain references may have been a hit state-side, the same phrases could fall flat with non-English speakers. Take some time to research the country’s culture and consider working with native speakers to ensure your content truly resonates with its intended audience. Take KitKat’s successful efforts to cater to Japan, for instance. Not only did they change their slogan to “Kittu Katsu” (Surely Win), but they introduced matcha green tea, soybean, and wasabi to sate the country’s appetite for savory flavors.

  • Consider multiple profiles if you can:

    The number of social profiles is dependent on your budget and the size of your team. A small team with a single profile can target messages by location — Facebook offers a multiple language functionality that does away with the hassle of having to repost multilingual content. If your team is bigger, consider implementing a number of location-specific accounts. These teams and profiles are by no means siloed, either: each plugs into your primary social media hub to ensure that all work is vetted and aligned to your Global Content strategy.

Solid, considered Global Content expands and strengthens your brand presence in key international markets and social media. And the right partner can guide and advise your messaging to ensure the optimal execution of your strategy.

With the above information as our guide, Rubric is broadening our reach and sharing our global outlook with more organizations.

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 in your social media strategy and beyond.


Françoise Henderson
October 19, 2018
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As a Global Content Partner, we often help our clients with a variety of translation and localization services. In doing so, one question always tends to rear its head: “What is your turnaround time?”

It’s fair question to ask, especially when a client has been burned in past — all it takes is one translation company to miss a deadline and then pile on the excuses for a client to err on the side of caution from then on out. The thing is, there are a lot more factors at play than one might realize, especially if you haven’t worked with each other before.

With this in mind, this blog post should help you manage expectations when it comes to translation turnaround times from a localization services provider.

Communication and transparency are non-negotiable

While unexpected issues may arise that delay or prolong a given translation job, you should never be left in the dark. Leaving a client hanging when an agreed-upon deadline as passed is never acceptable, no matter what. Even if a delay is inevitable, your service provider should notify you as soon as this becomes likely — and always well in advance of the deadline.

In our experience, clients are very understandable when a problem arises, and a solution needs to be found. As long as you’re fully transparent and it’s clear that you’re working with them and not against them.

Turnaround times generally improve over time

The first time you work with a localization service provider, the initially provided turnaround time is a lot harder to accurately predict. This is because time needs to be factored in to find suitable linguists, who can then be used for future translation projects. It’s also important to have a comprehensive style guide to inform and guide the translation process; however, this can take time to develop if you don’t have one readily available.

A glossary of key terms and their equivalent translations plays a key role in any translation process. This will inevitably be a work in progress, with new terms being added as the need arises, but its initial compilation phase can be an unpredictably lengthy and exhaustive process. That being said, once the glossary is up and running, the entire translation process will speed up.

Another key factor to remember is that the translation memory needs time to build up. This will progressively reduce the time needed to translate, as well as improve consistency across translations as previously approved translations can be reused.

How to get the most from a Global Content Partner

The best way to ensure a clear turnaround time without any surprises is to give your provider as much notice as possible ahead of the translation job. This is because great translators need to be booked well in advance; while they might have space for small projects at short notice, larger projects need significantly more time and planning.

Source content usually takes some time to create, so it’s important to let your Global Content Partner know about your translation requirements. This will allow them to plan and allocate resources appropriately. If there is a genuine rush — we know these things can happen — a trusted Global Content Partner will bend over backwards to make it happen; and if not, at least suggest a viable alternative.

If you’re interested in building a relationship with a Global Content Partner that you can trust to deliver, get in touch with a member of the Rubric team today.

Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash


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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It’s great to have a phenomenal product and the desire for it to be accessible on a global level. But that means ensuring that your business processes are ready to meet your clients’ expectations in all your target markets.  For localization to be successful, however, it’s vital that you implement a company-wide strategy. This will greatly assist your localization team to achieve their goals and ensure high-quality work.

Several strands make up a successful strategy:

  • Corporate-focused:

This strand centers on the granular details of a company: How to differentiate yourself from your competitors, the finer details of your services or products, and the specifics of your target market.

 

  • Processes:

This strand focuses on what globalization processes should be or have been implemented in your organization. More specifically, it revolves around what those localization processes are or need to be for every department to ensure that localization is optimal across the board for each region targeted.

 

  • Content:

The content  strand outlines exactly which content you want localized in order to reach your target audiences and ensure your customers have a phenomenal customer experience.

By implementing these three strands, you are successfully executing on your localization strategy, which will have a better chance of success. Let’s take a look at the advantages of integrating these strands on a granular level:

  • By thinking of the global picture from the outset of product (or service) development, you are in a much better position to cater for various markets from the get-go instead of having to adapt products later on, which could prove costly or impossible.
  • Excellent and high-quality localization means cooperation and collaboration between all key departments such as product development, marketing and sales. By getting them on the same page early, your localization efforts will be born out of teamwork, which means that those efforts are more likely to be successful.
  • ‘Ad hoc’ localization efforts are invariably disjointed, expensive and misaligned with company goals. Even ‘cost-effective’ ad hoc solutions turn out to be expensive if they mean making changes to services or products or recreating content entirely. That’s why a localization strategy that forms an integral part of the company’s product development is so important.

If the idea of implementing localization strategies makes perfect sense to you and you think it will transform your globalization efforts, then here are some things you can do to start implementing them.

See that localization is communicated to the entire company so that its value is seen across departments. Once there is understanding and buy-in from individuals throughout the company, strategies can be rolled out as part of the company’s overarching strategy. It’s a good idea to take a look at cold hard facts and figures when showing colleagues the value of localization. Take a look at what additional revenue might be generated because of localization, and then take a look at the localization budget vs. the return on investment due to localization.

It’s especially important to ensure that upper management sees the value of localization, so ensure that they understand the return on investment that it can provide. If you have them on board it will be infinitely easier to get buy-in from the rest of the company and to get solid plans for localization woven into the fabric of the company’s primary business processes.

Once you have the key stakeholders on board, it’s crucial to explain to each of the departments how beneficial the process is if tasks are executed properly the first time. Localization can become costly when tasks need to be reworked or redone entirely. This can have a domino effect on different areas of the company. Making sure everything is done right the first time means that identifying exactly which markets your company will focus on right at the beginning is vital. Think carefully about which markets you want to target. Consider analyzing the value of each market to your company – both in terms of actual figures and where you would like to be into the future. Once you have analyzed them, apply a tiered rating. This will give you and your company greater understanding of which markets to focus on.

Once you have tiered the markets, do a content audit to determine what content is already available and then figure out which should be leveraged and localized for each tier. This is a big job and should probably be done in stages and department by department.

Keep in mind that the stakeholders that commission the implementation of localization are often not involved in the strategy. That’s why it’s so important that they understand the overarching themes, ideas, markets, and goals. You need to make sure that communication is clear and directed to those who will execute the tasks. It’s essential that everyone is on the same page and clearly understands what needs to be done.

If the localization strategies are poorly implemented or non-existent, you are probably going to see people scramble to complete last minute jobs. This means that things can’t run smoothly, processes can’t be customized and implemented across the board, and the right tools probably won’t be used. It will undoubtedly affect both the quality and the delivery of localized content.

Do you feel that implementing solid localization processes and strategies is definitely right for your company but not sure where to start or worried about how time-consuming it would be? Then contact us at Rubric. We can discuss your localization needs and the ample benefits of implementing the Localization Maturity Model, ensuring that your company is truly able to go global.


Françoise Henderson
February 27, 2018
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Once you’ve invested time and resources into developing a Global Content strategy, it’s important to know what to look out for to ensure that everything is on track and going as planned.

By its very nature, a Global Content strategy is a broad undertaking with many moving parts. This large-scale focus can make it tricky to identify quick wins or notice immediate results. After all, organizing Global Content is ultimately about redefining the status quo—effecting change on a fundamental level to positioning the company for consistent and long-term international success.

That being said, any strategy worth its weight in gold—that is, demonstrable ROI—offers a number of ways for its executioners to know they’re on the right track. The trick: simply knowing where to look.

Here’s what to look out for to know your Global Content Strategy is working:

International sales are the benchmark

The biggest measure of a successful Global Content strategy will inevitably be its impact on international sales. If global customers are engaged by high-quality content, then they’ll be more inclined to purchase your product or service. If you segment international markets and contrast international sales with the expenditure of each, you’ll end up with a general indication of the effectiveness of your Global Content strategy in terms of ROI.

Keep an eye on your international helplines

Another interesting metric is to look at is the number of calls logged with your international helplines. When your Global Content messaging is unclear, poorly translated, or simply doesn’t click with a certain overseas market, your company is likely to see an uptick in calls asking for clearer information. If you do see such an increase, try to link those customers to the corresponding content (or lack thereof) and make adjustments to improve its suitability.

Your website is a great source of data

The performance of your international web site should directly correlate with the success of your Global Content strategy. Just make sure you pay attention to the right metrics and conduct regular analysis. Key website performance metrics include the number of visitors, the length of their stay, and how well the site ranks for certain keywords. It’s also useful to track the geographic location of your visitors with a tool like ClustrMaps, so you can see the direct impact of new Global Content on traffic from targeted regions.

By organizing your Global Content, your company will be in a better position to capitalize on globalization and enter new international markets with consistent success. If you would like to discuss these benefits, please get in touch.


Françoise Henderson
February 23, 2018
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Humans are estimated to have used spoken language for over 100,000 years. Written language, on the other hand, dates back only to around 6,500 years ago. This is why hearing words spoken to us comes far more naturally than reading them on a page. After all, infants start speaking naturally from 18 months old, while it can take up to seven or eight years to learn how to read.


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