After addressing the high-level strategy considerations in international marketing, you’ll want to devise a tactical plan that focuses on the details that will affect your marketing assets – print material, websites, mobile apps, etc. Translation is critical to your assets and there are some things to consider when preparing your web and print materials for foreign markets and also developing your vendor relationships.
1. Text expansion. Most translation projects will result in a document that is longer or shorter than its English source. Both horizontal and vertical expansion and contraction should be considered when planning the layout of your content. You might often run into issues where abbreviations in certain translations might need to be written out in full length, and compound nouns in some languages might result in one much longer word. This will affect automatic text wrapping features, so be sure to account for it in the design of your documents.
2. Readability. In conjunction with text expansion, we have readability. Understanding the education level of your foreign consumers will impact your marketing tactics, not only in layout of content, but from a translation perspective as well. The content you present should be easily understood by your audience and should be set at or below their reading level. Keep the language simple, avoid jargon, and use graphical elements to help convey your message.
3. Localized contact information. If possible, be sure to have local contact information for the foreign region. This might even be a distributor from that country. If you plan on fielding telephone inquiries from your headquarters’ facility, you might consider investing in a telephonic interpretation service to enable your call center to include an interpreter as needed with no advanced notice required. For questions that come in via your website or email, you might ask your translation vendor for rapid response, or maybe you set up your contact form to automatically forward to your distributor or translation vendor to cut down on response time. This should all be sorted out in the early stages so your print and web materials reflect the proper information.
4. Translation memory. Selecting a translation vendor for your various marketing assets is an important consideration. You translation vendor should be using a translation memory technology and having an understanding of how this technology works will help you save money on projects and ensure you are getting consistent content across all of your marketing materials and projects.
5. Compliance. Depending on your company’s industry, there might be stringent requirements for vendors and their reporting, which might affect your decision in selecting a translation vendor. While preparing your marketing assets for the foreign market, this consideration will most definitely come into play when working with your translation vendor. Know the requirements – an audit trail, the ability to identify different roles (translator, independent edit, project manager). Understand how your vendor reports this information and how quickly you can get a report after completion of a project.
Peter founded Argo Translation, originally based in Milwaukee, WI, in 1995. Prior to transferring his love of all things international and his savvy business expertise into Chicago’s premier translation agency, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he graduated with a major in finance and human resource management. After graduation he went on to become an Italian translator and project manager for an international medical equipment manufacturer and major airline.