Translation Project Management: From Priority to Profit

Let’s say everything goes according to plan. You hire a great translation service, localize your brand perfectly, and find a way to capture the spirit of your slogan in another language. Things are looking up—orders are flooding in, and management wants to expand into several new markets to capitalize on recent success. Suddenly, translation project management becomes crucial as translation requests pile up and growth continues unabated. So, how do you balance profit and priority?


Making the Call

First, you need to determine which translations require immediate attention. To do so, you must consider three factors: relevance, revenue, and reception.

Relevance speaks to timeliness. Translation driven by a recent news event or as a tie-in for an upcoming product launch is a top priority. News or corporate-driven events are relevant on the day they occur and one or two days after—any longer, and your translation may be wasted money. If it’s the continuation of your brand’s story or the evolution of your value proposition, there’s a high likelihood for positive consumer response and therefore, increased revenue. A poorly done translation can slash this value in half, or worse yet, turn off customers who were impressed with your initial set of translations.

Finally, consider reception. Who is the intended audience, and what kind of reach do they have? Consider, for example, B2B marketing. Poor localization could easily spread across an entire network of connected businesses, minimizing your market penetration in that country or region. The bottom line? To ensure ideal reception, always use professional translators, give them ample time, and thoroughly review their work. Prioritize where possible, but never put speed above quality.

Using the Right Translation Project Management Tool

Of course, knowing how to prioritize content translation isn’t enough in isolation; you also need a way to manage translation requests, translators, and adjust priorities on the fly. Smartling’s translation management tool allows you to prioritize jobs on an as-needed basis by selecting the specific content you want translated. It also provides more granular control over specific jobs, such as the ability to prioritize specific URLs and add due dates, in addition to tracking job completion in real time.

Translation project management is about more than finding great translators with reasonable urgency surcharges and plugging them into a cloud-enabled system. When you’re growing at a breakneck pace, getting translations right the first time—and on time—means evaluating their relevance, potential revenue, and reception, then converting these results into actionable translation items. Find the ideal system for your company, and you can take ownership of international growth, instead of being overwhelmed by it.

Image source: Flickr


About Doug Bonderud

Doug Bonderud is a freelance technology writer with a passion for telling great stories about unique brands. For the past five years, he's covered everything from cloud computing to home automation and IT security. He speaks some French, is fluent in Ancient Greek and a master of Canadian English — and yes, colour needs a 'u'.