How does a multinational company – one that operates in more than 100 countries – ensure that all staff are on the same page? With a strategic localization plan, of course. While the answer may be simple in theory, orchestrating the accurate and timely localization of internal training collateral requires a little help from localization experts. Here’s how we assisted Amway in conducting a localization process that was streamlined, efficient and ultimately, effective.
In order to upskill their staff around the globe, Amway turned to Rubric to localize their multi-media training collateral.
Amway needed to localize internal training collateral that consisted of web and video-based content. This called for the translation, subtitling, engineering and testing of various assets, totaling a massive 250, 000 words. With staff working in multiple time zones and offices, the project required a water-tight, strategic localization strategy that emphasized collaboration with all stakeholders, regardless of where they were located around the world.
Effective communication played a pivotal role in the project’s success.
Regular communication between Rubric project managers, translators, engineers and Amway staff and stakeholders played a crucial role in the success of the project. We sought to find the most effective methods of communication between all involved and then prioritized frequent calls, meetings and updates with all concerned.
Proactive project management allowed us to plan for all eventualities and create schedules based on each market’s specific needs.
In order to ensure that we were able to provide Amway with a superior localized end result, we first sought to understand exactly what they expected from the project. Once we had identified these goals, we then worked together to determine the most efficient (and effective) processes and technology. By identifying potential issues before we began, we were able to streamline the localization process as we were aware of the red flags and bottlenecks that might be encountered along the way right from the get-go. Specific localization schedules were planned around market-dependent, pre-determined launch dates as well as the current workload and capacity of Amway staff. Rubric project managers ensured that everyone was on the same page at all times.
A resounding success, our partnership with Amway enabled the company to effectively upskill staff in their UK, US, China, Mexico, Thailand, Korea, Japan and Russia branches.
For the full run-down of what this project entailed, you can download our Case Study, here.
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When briefing in any project, the first question should always be: how long will it take? And when that project has a localization component, understanding the project timeframe is even more important.
The key is to plan early. As soon as you’re aware that translation is required, your starting point should be sitting down with a localization service provider (LSP) so that they can help you plan effectively. Good project management from your LSP can help you scope your project thoroughly, assess risks, provide a clear schedule so tasks are done in the right order and help you move tasks off the critical path. This helps reduce stress and time to market.
Having a gauge of the number of words you need translated is essential. A good rule of thumb for translation is 2 000 words per day, on average, once translation is in progress. For small volumes there’s a ramp up time for the LSP, so the earlier you start to plan with the LSP, the smoother the project will run. And if you’re looking to send English content and your target market content together, then you need to plan extra carefully. One also needs to factor in the time needed to create glossaries and style guides.
When planning any translation project, you should ask yourself a few simple questions:
- When do I need to have the content ready?
- Is there a need for a pre-final content stage?
- When is the source content final and ready for translation?
- Have I clearly identified the content for translation?
- In what format will I provide the content to be translated and are all source files available?
- What languages do I need this content in and which countries are being targeted?
- What other tasks need to be done for this to be ready for market?
- Will we have reviewers look at the content?
When it comes to localization different things take longer than others, of course.
With video localization, translating the script is often the smallest part of the project because scripts are generally quite short. It’s the other tasks that can prove complicated. Your LSP needs a clear idea of the project schedule to ensure that voice samples can be recorded and provided on the correct dates. If your LSP is creating videos, they need the source videos and should know the software that these were created in; they’ll also need information around output formats, video quality and screen resolution to ensure you get the correct deliverables back.
Here are a few questions you should be asking:
- Do I have the source video?
- Do I want a voice-over for this video? If so, what sort of voice?
- Do I need subtitles?
- What should the subtitles look like?
- Are subtitles already used in English?
- Is there on-screen text which requires localization or will this remain in English?
- Who is going to create the videos for the target markets?
With website localization, it’s important to involve your web team early to plan effectively.
Often the translation of web content is the simplest part of the process, but planning how that content will be exported/imported can take a lot longer. Discuss with your web team and your LSP how best to export content for translation. For smaller projects, you can copy and paste from Word or Excel. However, this probably won’t work for larger scale projects.
A few website localization questions to consider:
- Which pages need to be localized?
- Is there localized content already on your website?
- How will you set up the local pages?
- Will people access these pages via the main site or will there be country-specific URLs?
- How will you map the local content within your CMS?
- Are there graphics which require localization?
- How am I going to keep localized content in sync with US content going forward?
- Will content be regularly updated?
- Who will be responsible for getting the content back into the CMS?
Looking for an LSP to make your content translation easier? We offer all the localization services you need to make your project a success. Click below to find out more.
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Elections seem to bring out the emotions in people, as the recent events in the United States have shown. Supporters of Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump, and the other candidates were so passionate about their choice for president that in the wake of the results there have been protests, petitions, rallies, marches, and of course heated debates. As for the presidential candidates themselves, the elections results are a culmination of years of their campaigning including one crucial element of planning: having an understanding of the public whose vote they are procuring.
How are businesses like presidential candidates?
Businesses, like presidential hopefuls, have to spend time thinking about the market that they are wanting to capture. A lot of the time businesses will just jump into a new market because it looks favorable but, unfortunately, things aren’t always what they seem to be at the outset. The success of your expansion depends on knowing the market you are entering using extensive research. Doing a little digging on the business and social etiquette of your intended market is a good start and will definitely set you in good stead but what else can you do to get to know the market?
Understanding your electorate
Once you have set your sites on the market you want to enter, narrow it down as much as possible in terms of demographics, location and possible interests. Then you can look at the market analysis including growth rates and forecasted demand. Familiarize yourself with the currency fluctuations and business laws that will affect your bottom lines.
Consider conducting a focus group to get an understanding of how your demographic is different in the specific country you would like to expand to. Is a new approach required to reach your potential customers in this location? Looking at the history, culture, and social rules of their society will definitely help but you might also need some personal insight.
Make sure that you are ready to adapt your business: take a look at yourself and think assess whether you would like to extend your current abilities by building on or whether you would consider partnering with another business or businesses. Would outsourcing be a better solution for certain tasks than completing them yourself?
Get the “vote”
Like campaigning to be president, expanding into an international market will need to have a good understanding of their target market and what makes them tick. Their culture and customs, their social rules and their specific needs. How should the marketing strategy that you are currently using on a local level be changed for the best possible results: localization enables you to understand all the specific cultural factors so that you can expand your business successfully.
We help global brands to build their own localization success story. We can help you get the “vote” from new markets/customers by understanding the culture and needs. For more information on how Rubric’s localization services can help your organization make the best possible entrance into new markets, feel free to contact us and speak to us directly about the services we offer.