International Communication Under the Control of the Marketing Manager
As an internationally operating company, you have to communicate in many target markets in different languages. A head of marketing has to be sure that the marketing managers communicate in all target markets according to your specifications. This often fails due to poor translation and in particular due to "translation correction" of your marketing texts.
Here we describe a strategy for international communication that allows you as a marketing manager to be in control, use synergies and save costs.
First mistake when creating your marketing texts: too many cooks spoil the broth.
A professional should create marketing texts, which should be validated by one person if necessary.
Some of our customers have their marketing texts validated by several people. The result is mostly a worsening of the texts. Everybody wants to make their "contribution", as a result the texts become longer and unnecessarily bloated. The readability and translatability deteriorate.
One author and, if applicable, one validator must be sufficient, otherwise the wrong people are involved.
Next requirement when creating the text: keep an eye on the translatability.
A text that is easy to translate is equally a good marketing text.
Texts that are hard to translate often miss the desired marketing goal in the target markets.
As an author, you should consider the following points:
- Write short sentences, without nesting and subordinate clauses
- Make only one core statement per sentence
- Avoid unnecessary filler words (remove all words that are not required for the statement)
- Don't use figures of speech (not like I did, for example, in the first paragraph of this article 😊) – these figures of speech may not exist in the target language or are not appropriate for the text
- Refrain from wordplay – plurivalent wordings, for example, usually get lost in the translation
Checking the translated marketing texts
As head of marketing, you ask your marketing managers in the target country to review the texts and correct translation errors if necessary.
Marketing managers often take this opportunity to alter the translated texts to suit their own taste or to insert their own statements in the text. As a result, the revised texts differ strongly from the source text.
If you allow that as head of marketing, you will lose control over communication in the target country. You should prevent that.
Variants in the target language that deviate from the source text cannot be adopted into the Translation Memory. These texts are then no longer available for cost-saving reuse in future translations.
A review should always take the source text into account. Obviously, the reviewer needs to understand the source language as well. The source texts should be written in a language that you and your marketing managers understand.
If a correction differs from the source text, you should oblige your reviewer to make the same correction analogously in the source text.
As head of marketing, you should then approve or argumentatively reject all these changes. An approved change is in most cases equally useful for the source text and the other target markets. This way, good ideas from your foreign colleagues are adopted and synergies are generated. As a positive side-effect, you get to know the capabilities of your foreign colleagues better. That's how you improve your company's marketing.
PTS Translation Approval
The word processor in "track changes" mode or commenting in a PDF is not suitable for a professional review. We make a free online approval tool available to our customers – the PTS Translation Approval.
Here, the reviewer works in the target text and also sees the source text. Both the source text and the target text can be changed and commented. In the process, the text cannot be destroyed.
All actions are traceable, even if several reviewers are working on the text. Our tool automatically detects whether a change affects other occurrences in the text. Then, the reviewer can interactively confirm or reject changes suggested by the tool.
All changes are saved directly into the Translation Memory and are available for future marketing texts after approval by the head of marketing.
On our YouTube channel we show you how to use our PTS Translation Approval tool.
Professional international marketing starts with the creation of the text. The correct management of translated marketing texts is a basic prerequisite for controllable international communication. The proposed approach exploits synergies and improves marketing.
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