Companies that understand the true value of localization services and what those services can do for ROI opt for the best localization service providers around. We at Rubric strive to ensure that we are constantly delivering work of the highest standard – within the framework offered by Common Sense Advisory’s Localization Maturity Model (LMM) and educating our clients on the importance of such a solid system. As well as the fact that localization plays a huge part in their business goals. (more…)
As the global marketplace expands and becomes digitized, it’s important to ensure that your services are localized. There are no two ways about it, you need to speak directly to your customers in a language they understand. But localization is not merely a matter of translating products into various languages. It’s about creating a strategy that is understood and consistent across all of your company’s departments.
The great news, is that these days, localization is easier than ever – and this is thanks to the Common Sense Advisory’s Localization Maturity Model (LMM). In simple terms, the LMM is in place to ensure that your requirements for localization are carried out by the best teams and processes and are based specifically on your unique needs and market.
Not sure if the LMM would be right for your company? Then take a look at what incorporating it could mean for you:
The LMM takes the localization journey to a new level
The LMM is structured according to nine levels or stages of localization maturity. Each level has a strategic process in place in order to propel a company to the next level – until full localization (stage nine) is reached. Technically, the nine levels are divided into two categories: mature and immature. While localization should always be on a trajectory towards growth and improvement, there are companies that can be deemed as ‘localization immature’. In essence, there are five maturity phases and four immaturity phases. They are as follows:
1 – Reactive – At this phase, workflows are kept relatively ad hoc, things are done as they need to be done and there is a lot of uncertainty around roles and responsibility. There aren’t proper plans or strategies in place.
2 – Repeatable – At this level, there are a few processes in place and some of them are updated and used regularly.
3 – Managed – There are signs of things being much more formal and documented at this stage. Localization is actively being managed and various vendors are used.
4 – Optimized – In this phase, there is an optimized and managed system of localization. It’s a priority for the company, standards and processes are adhered to, and tools are shared internally.
5 – Transparent – In this phase, there are well-implemented systems, processes, and tools in place. They are constantly being improved upon and scaled. Localization is an integral part of the company and all products and release planning are based on it.
0 – Negligent – This is the categorization for companies that do not see the need for localization. They, therefore, have not even thought about implementing any processes or applying it to any of their products.
1 – Obstructive – This is the phase for companies that let things such as budget get in the way of localization. It’s the category for operations that have something ‘standing in their way’.
2 – Scornful – This often happens when people have tried the process before and it didn’t work. Disillusioned from their experience, and thinking it’s bound to fail, they feel that implementing any localization processes is futile.
3 – Discouraging – People who categorically are anti-localization. It’s a very negative phase where people are often under pressure due to strict budgets that need very thorough reports and information to justify any costs.
The LMM is designed to help companies progress from whichever stage they already are into a more optimized stage using strong strategies and processes to move through the levels. It also helps them to understand where they have come from, where they are currently, and what they need to work towards.
The LMM can give you a better return on investment
The reality is that with the LMM implemented you are empowered to select the best vendors, create solid and successful strategies, implement streamlined processes, utilize the ideal tools and set up the most important KPIs. This in the long term will ensure that you are able to achieve the lowest total cost of ownership and increase your ROI.
In a personal capacity, using the LMM in conjunction with a localization service provider to achieve everything we just mentioned also gives you better access to the key decision makers within your organization. This will allow you to achieve more in less time and show your value to the right people.
The steps to implementing the LMM are simple
Each core element of implementing the LMM is essential to the success of the process, and the steps to incorporate them are simple:
Governance is the process of ensuring that everything that is done is tracked and is in accordance with agreed-upon policies. This can be done by looking at KPIs that can be monitored and tracked.
It’s vital that a firm strategy is created to achieve localization. This is where companies will set long-term goals and budgets for expansion and growth. This is where a conversation about localization needs to be opened throughout the company and filter through to all departments so that it can form part of the company strategy and in order for people to see the value of localization. This requires a content audit in order to see which markets are your biggest and smallest, and what content you currently have in order to see what can be leveraged. This is a process that will take some time to fully integrate.
For localization to be successful, there needs to be a set and defined process, or set of processes, in place. It’s crucial that this process is documented so that everyone in the internal team can all be on the same page. This document can be agile and can be added to as the processes evolve. You can kick this off by listing any processes you might already have in place.
- Organizational structure
This links to the point above. It’s crucial that once you have implemented localization processes, they are clearly communicated to the rest of the team. Make sure that the concept of localization, best practices, style guides, and glossaries are shared, explained and discussed. Ensure that your upper management understands the importance of the Center of Excellence.
The wonderful thing about localization is that operations can be automated, this doesn’t necessarily impact every department, but it’s a vital part of the process and worth understanding.
Your exact steps will be dictated by your current position in the localization journey. If you would like to find out more information about the LMM or are looking for help in implementing the right processes for your business, then contact us at Rubric.
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The tug of war between creative and ‘the suits’ is notorious. (So much so that the internet is teeming with memes about this power struggle.) The divide between creative teams and outside vendors can often cause unnecessary and costly delays, a lot of headbutting and frustrations that often end up negatively affecting the end product. And when it comes to localizing an asset, orchestrating a peaceful (and fruitful) working relationship between the two is paramount.
There’s no room for ego – both creative and your LSP need to unite in their effort to create a result that resonates with your audience.
Your creative team’s input is invaluable, but so is that of your localization service provider (LSP). If you want to mitigate against any creative differences (yes, that was intended), refrain from pitching the project as a case of ‘my way or the highway’. Instead, frame your objective as a common goal of creating clear, consistent and convincing messaging – something which requires both creative, lateral thinking, as well as strategic insight and cultural awareness. Remember, even the most beautiful and seamlessly executed creative is obsolete if the message is mangled. So too is an asset (whether an app, a TV spot or explainer video) that conveys the right message, but does so in a way that’s unappealing to – or worse, confusing for – the audience.
Traditional marketing and advertising campaigns give creative a lot of freedom, whereas the localization of content requires creative thinking within a set parameter.
If it wasn’t for off-the-wall tangents of creative, we wouldn’t have ads like these, or these. That said, winning a Cannes Lion is redundant if your new audience is not 100% clear about your intended message. Localized content is a far cry from creating creative-for-creative’s sake – a space where the rules don’t apply; instead this is the one exercise that calls for coloring within the lines, which may require some compromise in creative thinking.
The core of localized content that successfully connects you to your market is a crystal clear message that’s easy and convenient to consume.
Regardless of the content you’re localizing, your priority is to retain the core message, and then convey it in a way that your audience wants to consume it. While your creative team may want to execute this one way, this is the part where your LSP gets to call the shots. They’re the ones who’re familiar with the culture at hand: ranging from the platform that will best serve the audience, to the cultural ‘red-flags’ that need to be considered. Unfortunately, brands often throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater, doing great creative a disservice by using inferior translators who come back with copy that’s devoid of its original creative flair. In order to ensure that your message is equally compelling when translated into another language, your messaging needs to be localized by a copywriter who’s also a native language speaker. (And there’s a big difference between someone who merely speaks the language, and someone who’s a skilled copywriter in the language in question.)
Creating a localized asset that resonates with your market is only possible when your localization service provider’s expertize is enhanced (as opposed to being ignored), by your creative team’s input.
Contact us today to find out how our localization services can help you.
Misconceptions about the relationship between a localization service provider and their clients abound. Just like urban legends, fallacies painted as the truth endure. We’re all for spooky tales being told around the campfire, but when it comes to localization service providers, these mistruths can cause unnecessary panic about your impending localization process. In an effort to shed some light on some of the most common concerns out there, read on to see if your apprehensions about working with a localization service provider are more fairy tale than fact.
- “My team will have to work under time pressure to make amendments and changes across all languages.”
An already tight deadline means time is of the essence, which means you may be concerned that the back-and-forth of implementing changes across various mediums – in multiple languages – will add even more pressure to existing time constraints. A localization service provider should be able to provide you with a plan that tackles the bigger picture of your localization requirements. This involves putting procedures in place that enable all content and assets to be localized in the most efficient manner possible. We tackle the localization project holistically, implementing streamlined project management processes and tools that cut down on the unnecessary and incredibly stressful game of ‘hot potato’ that many companies unwittingly endure when orchestrating the localization of their assets.
- “There’ll be a considerable delay between receiving translated material and the time when the product gets to market.”
As mentioned in the point above, time is often not on the side of companies localizing their offering. Many brands worry that by making use of a localization service provider, the delay between receiving translated material and the roll-out of it will be even lengthier. A reputable LSP – like Rubric for example – has extensive experience which informs our delivery of quality translated material, enabling us to cut down on time to market, while ensuring that all translated material is of the highest possible quality. The reason we’re able to set our clients’ minds at ease? We equip them with the right tools and skills sets and advise them as to the best way to achieve their localization strategy.
- “The reviewing process will eat up what little precious time we have.”
Quality checks regarding accuracy and messaging don’t have to take up a considerable amount of time. We act as an interface for the review process; in other words, we’ve built this vital part of the localization project into the entire localization process. By incorporating the review of all material as an intrinsic part of the entire process, our clients are able to eliminate gremlins and errors right off the bat.
- “I’m not comfortable with handing over the reins entirely.”
High stakes and even higher expectations from the upper echelons of your company mean that you can’t afford to lose control over any aspect of the localization process. The good news is, you don’t have to. We approach the localization process as a partnership. By collaborating closely with our clients, they’re involved and kept in the loop from start to finish. Our ability to provide you with quality localized material that meets all expectations relies as much on your expertise as it does ours. By working together, we’ll make sure that you’re actively involved from beginning to end.
- “I don’t want to work with nameless, faceless translators.”
If you’ve ever had to call a company for technical support, only to get through to someone who’s familiar with the product, but whose instructions are clearly scripted (rendering them useless the majority of the time) you’ll know all too well how refreshing and important it is to work with someone who’s not just a collection of pixels on a screen. (Or a distant voice in the ether.) We put our clients in touch with their specific translation experts, enabling them to forge a relationship that’s incredibly beneficial as to the quality of their translations.
- “I don’t want to pay for services that I’m not sure I actually need.”
As we’ve mentioned before, no two localization or translation projects are the same. We’ve made our pricing transparent so that you know exactly what you’re paying for at any given time. By tailoring our services to your particular needs, you’ll only pay for the services that are necessary. What’s more we’ve priced our consulting and services at a competitive rate in order to make sure that you get real value for your money.
Not all translation agencies are made equal. We offer localization services that empower your entire localization department. Contact us today to find out how we can provide you with solutions that take the stress out of localization.
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