Translation Program Metrics: The Key to Making (and Keeping) Your Global Marketing Resolutions

translation program road with 2014The new year is almost upon us, and it has everyone thinking about fresh starts and new beginnings. We all want next year to be bigger and better than the last, so many of us make resolutions to do just that.

While I can’t speak to your declaration to exercise more in the year ahead, I can help you set—and achieve—your marketing localization goals. All you need is solid data to point you in the right direction.

Translation program metrics can give you necessary insight for making better-informed business decisions. Without them, planning next year’s global initiatives can be as random and hectic as finding your way through crowded, confetti-filled streets on New Year’s Eve.

Let’s go over what kind of information you need about your translation program so 2014 can be your most successful year yet.

Cost savings and translation memory reports

Do you need to translate more content with the same size budget? How about add another language to your localization repertoire? Cost savings reports can clue you in on whether you’ll have available budget to achieve these—or other translation program requirements—in the coming year.

Gather information on how much you spent, saved and translated with this amount over the past year. This can help you figure out how to allocate funds for next year’s translation initiatives.

This type of information can also show you how well your translation memory resource works to save your organization money. For instance, maybe you spent a little more on translations in 2013—compared to previous years—but translated considerably more content thanks to translation memory. The savings may mean accomplishing your goal to translate that stack of technical manuals you put off last year, because the data tells you that you won’t have to drastically increase your budget to tackle more. Cue the noisemakers—you’ve got a reason to celebrate.

If your translation memory reuse rate isn’t what you believe it could be, you might resolve to improve this for more cost savings. There are actions you can take to maximize the effectiveness of your translation memory technology. Check out the article: More content to tackle, limited budget to spend: How translation memory can save the day to learn what these are. If you have done everything you can to optimize translation memory and think it’s your vendor’s technology that’s inhibiting you from reaching your cost savings goals, evaluate your options. These technologies are not all created equal. For example, Sajan’s translation memory software is superior in its ability to find more accurate content matches—and produce a higher number of those matches—because it offers a contextual-level approach that looks at the context of each of your segments.

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Language data

So you want to increase global sales in 2014. That’s great! But without insight into how much you spend and earn from all your initiatives, your expectations could fall flat if you make the wrong move.

Don’t let this happen to you. Review information on how many languages you translated into in the past year, how much you spent on each language and how many projects your organization did for each. You can use this data to plan or revise your global strategy so that it leads to success (and champagne flutes filled with bubbly).

Compare this information to revenue generated in each locale. This can help you plan accordingly for next year. For example, if your spend on Latin American languages produces a great return on investment, you could make a resolution to translate more content for these markets in 2014 to further amplify your revenue potential by creating a stronger brand presence in these markets.

Segment changes

A peek into your translation process can shed light on any inconsistencies or issues affecting your translation quality and turnaround. Review segment change analysis reports to see the amount of changes being made to your translated content during the translate-edit-proof process, where they were made in the process and why. This business intelligence can potentially give you insight on where you can improve the translation process moving forward.

Are your internal reviewers wasting valuable time making the same changes over and over? This report can help you get to the bottom of why these changes are being made. If alterations are based purely on preference, your resolution could be training your reviewers on your translation standards.

Maybe you’ll find that linguists sometimes miss the mark with your translation preferences. If you want your translations to shine, use this opportunity to create style guides and glossaries. These strategies make your style and word choices perfectly clear to both linguists and reviewers and leads to more consistency in your translations, which is good for your brand. Less changes on both ends also means getting your projects out the door faster.

Cycle time to gauge project timetables

Everyone wants to get more content to market faster. Like a race against the clock on New Year’s Eve, it’s crucial for outpacing your competitors. But can you realistically speed up your translation program process for next year? A look at a cycle time report can indicate whether this is possible.

Look at how much time is spent at every step in the translation process. Is something holding up the process? If so, why? This report can get you talking about any concerns you may have regarding your project turnaround times so you can anticipate any hiccups early on.

For example, if you know that next year you want to launch a major marketing campaign for a new product with tight deadlines, you can have a conversation with your project management team. Together, you can come up with solutions for decreasing your translation program turnaround times to ensure your plans are not only achievable but successful.

Business metrics = resolutions you can keep

When it comes to your translation program, you don’t want to dread each minute that brings you closer to midnight because you’re not prepared for the year ahead.

If you need help getting the business metrics you need for making and keeping localization resolutions, talk to your program management team. Like a workout buddy, Sajan’s team is here to make sure you’re on the right track to achieving your translation program goals.

Looking for some other end-of-the-year advice? Check out this article, Tips for planning next year’s translation budget, so you can pop that champagne bottle cork and celebrate 2014 with confidence.

Do you have any localization resolutions? I’d love to hear them!

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