Conducting the Global Content Symphony

by | Aug 17, 2017

For large enterprises active in many countries and languages, content comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, destined for this market and not for another. With so many moving parts, conducting the global content symphony can be a herculean task, ensuring the needed parts are added into the performance at the right time, seen and heard by the right audience and ensuring the show goes on without a hitch. It is also imperative to find a solution that makes financial sense, with a return on investment (ROI) that not just saves money — and time — but can be measured against your current workflow to prove its value.

Symphonies and Global Content

In a symphony, it’s the skill of the conductor that brings all the musicians and musical elements together. When done well, audiences will stand and cheer, sometimes teary-eyed, for minutes, willing the maestro and the orchestra to play just a bit of that magic a little while more. Like a symphony, managing these moving parts of global content is large and your audience — your local markets — are counting on your company to deliver products and/or services to them in a way that is timely, makes sense and is accurate. Becoming a better conductor is the key to your success, and that can be done by examining the existing process, imagining a better way — and learning how to use some better tools which, like a baton, will bring it all together (and might earn you a reputation as “genius”).

To illustrate this, I’m going to retell a case study from one of our customers, a relatively small Language Service Provider with just a handful of clients. If you’re thinking that description indicates an insignificant firm, you’d be sadly mistaken. Perhaps your curiosity will peak if I tell you that they’ve been in business for nearly 30 years, run a very slim ship with a team of 12, have a very loyal client list – and are extremely profitable.

Distinct Movements

One of this LSP’s global clients needed help taming their global content, a challenge which included 27 languages, over 100 markets and over 900 SKUs. As a company manufacturing and marketing medical and industrial supplies, not all products were available in all markets; in addition to brochures, data sheets, leaflets and packaging, they publish annual product catalogues, run a website with SEO / SEA needs and email marketing campaigns, Google analytics and reporting. That’s not everything, but even from these highlights, you get an idea of how great their demands are.

As to their source and target content, there were challenges. Sometimes the source content was written by people who weren’t native speakers. Sometimes there were errors in the source — or ambiguities which would leave translators wondering what the source content meant. The content was always in flux; local office reviewers didn’t always have the time or the know-how to properly proofread content.

Woodwinds, Percussion, Brass and String

With a chain of stakeholders, even the source English content would take a glacial 7 weeks for approval – with all the cutting and pasting into word docs, then sending here then there, incorporating edits, then more back-and-forwards until the content could be finally approved. Their global symphony was playing like a piece that was badly out of sync.

One thing was obvious: their localization process needed streamlining. They developed a list of objectives and, using Wordbee Translator, found a way to reach them.

1. Distributing the work smoothly, to different people in different locations 2. Automate the bulk of the project management 3. Avoid back-and-forward emails, cutting and pasting 4. Allow for versioning 5. Use their own style guide and terminologies 6.Collaborate better amongst the stakeholders 7. Allow for real-time comments 8. Get an immediate view on where the project is 9. Having it in a secure, online environment 10. Do all this (and more), increase the turnaround time — and cut costs too.

By adopting Wordbee Translator and an improved workflow, both the LSP and their client were able to achieve deadlines never-before considered. The turnaround on a 50-page 1+5 website, for example, (the “1″ being English and an additional 5 languages) shrunk the calendar from a bulky 30 days down to a slim and trim 11.5! And speed wasn’t the only benefit: the quality of the translations and proofreading improved; better use is made of existing resources, and a substantial cost savings was made on typesetting because errors are found before the content is sent to press (which this didn’t used to be the case).

A Brilliant Success

In order to achieve this, the workflow was improved to add an English-language copywriter to ensure the source was correct and to identify possible issues linguists may have right from the start, so everyone involved knew what it was and what the challenges could be. As well, all the stakeholders were trained on the platform and the process — including external translators and the clients’ project managers and proofreaders. In addition, all the existing translation memories were aligned, cutting down on repeat translations (costs) and to maintain quality.

By re-examining the existing process, developing a new workflow and adopting better tools, the costs and time spent on producing global content have plummeted — up to 70% on each for the localization of web content alone.  Are you struggling with global content that refuses to be tamed? Contact our team and we can show you how you, too, can be a global content maestro, saving your organization time and money with a workflow and project management that proves your return on investment.


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