In April 2015, Taco Bell – a subsidiary of Yum Brands – re-entered Japan after an abandoned attempt in 1988 – nearly 30 years later. Almost immediately, linguist Tomoyuki Akiyama spotted some problems with the translation on the site.
Akiyama grabbed screenshots and posted the errors to Twitter. A few examples: “Cheesy Chips” had become “Low quality chips,” and “Crunchwrap Supreme–beef” had been translated to “Supreme Court Beef.” Elsewhere, the phrase “We’ve got nothing to hide” had become “What did we bring here to hide it?”
Taco Bell quickly fixed the errors and made clarifying remarks, but the story is just one example of the challenges brands face when they enter new markets. Translation and truly effective, nuanced localization is tough.
Every year, the number of distribution channels available to brands multiplies. Add to that all of an organization’s legacy content. Now imagine translating and localizing all the content that’s distributed by each one of those channels; the process quickly becomes unwieldy. Legacy systems merge with new media, oftentimes poorly. Fragmentation abounds. Messaging and regional nuance fall through the cracks. Customers get offended or dismissive. Brand image suffers.
According to the findings of a September 2016 Forrester Consulting study commissioned by SDL, there are commonalities to these challenges. Of the 151 U.S. organizations involved in the research, nearly half plan a move to a global content operating model within 24 months, but many cited common problems impeding the progress:
- Too many content repositories, or content management systems
- A lack of integration with language service providers or translation management services
- Budgets that are spread across multiple teams or business units, and stakeholders that won’t relinquish control of properties
- Transition challenges, including lack of standardization, inability to scale, and lack of understanding of customer needs at the local level
- Mismatched global and local operations, meaning there’s no simple way to develop, test, and deploy globally, and making changes to local sites is problematic.
It’s with the knowledge of stories and trends like these that SDL announces its Global Marketing Solutions Offering: a unique combination of managed web content, transcreation and copywriting, and rich media production services. With it, enterprises, partners, and agencies can manage the creation, adaptation, management and delivery of integrated, global omni-channel content. It’s all of SDL’s products integrated into a managed service:
- Managed web content services include translation, editing and cross-channel delivery services that bring together the creative with the operational for global content with local impact.
- Transcreation and copywriting services complement translation and machine translation for creative local marketing messaging. This service uses bilingual copywriters to adapt messaging and brand tonality to increase local relevance and impact.
- Rich media production services provide image, video, graphic and animation localization and transcreation.
“This new offering speaks directly to a market need,” said SDL Chief Executive Officer Adolfo Hernandez. “Our customers have articulated the desire for a comprehensive approach to content, translation and delivery that goes beyond traditional offerings. Our Marketing Solutions combine our existing expertise, rich content services and technology with a simplified supply chain and clear operational model, enabling our customers to be more effective.”