The Global Marketer's Expectation of Localization Teams

Here is an answer to how global marketers and localization teams can work collaboratively to build a stronger, more productive, global future together.


Marketers work hard to help their companies thrive in all their markets, which is why they depend on the expertise of their localization teams. Marketing and localization teams are integral to the success of any global organization. And, neither team can work at a global scale without the other.

During a panel discussion at the GALA Connected: Bounce Forward, Smartling’s Customer Success Team Lead, Ryan Soos, and Rover’s Senior Manager of International Marketing, Jordanna Ber, addressed global marketers’ expectations of their localization teams and how they can work collaboratively to realize results. This session gets it all out on the table so these two teams can build a stronger, more productive, global future together.

How is localization expected to keep up with marketing?

The key is setting up localization to be scalable. Marketers can help the localization and translation teams by understanding the brand and each other’s world. Linguistic assets such as brand guidelines and glossary are helpful in onboarding translators and localization teams. These can help speed up time to market drastically and keep all outward-facing communication consistent, ensuring global brand continuity.

In addition to keeping up with marketing, aligning with product teams also help prepare for communication with customers. That way, the localization team can have enough time to think through strategies to best resonate with customers when new product features launch.

What can marketers do to make life easier for localization teams?

Dynamic Workflows

When working with a language services agency or contractors, you likely have your standard agreement, such as an expectation for turnaround times. But there are always times you need content turned around faster to stay relevant. So being able to build a workflow that’s flexible for the marketing team is vital.

Dynamic Workflows is an excellent tool that can help achieve that. It allows you to quickly set up your workflow any way you want, and you can mark a project as “urgent.” Then, it will be automatically routed into another workflow for quicker turnaround.

Visual Context

Visual assets that can provide context for the localization teams are also beneficial. It is one of the best ways to get the translations right the first time. Translators can better understand how something should be translated if the marketing teams – or even product or UX design teams – can provide visual assets such as mockups, drafts, screenshots, or video records. Even if you can’t present something visual, text instructions such as string instructions or product variant labeling are also helpful.

Clear Feedback Loop

Having a process for feedback is another way marketers can make life easier for localization teams. For example, you can remove the middle person from the feedback process by connecting their language services software to Slack (or another communication tool). That way, your engineers have an opportunity to connect directly with the linguists to ask questions or get clarifications much faster.

When all of these assets and processes we mentioned, like linguistic assets, dynamic workflows, visual context, and clear feedback loop, come together, you can achieve higher quality translation at a lower cost at a faster time to market.

What Metrics Matter Most When It Comes to Localization?

Quality Metrics

Quality has always been challenging to measure for brands, but it is imperative as a lack of translation quality can break the customers’ trust for your product or service. Since quality can be subjective, developing a quality benchmark first can help measure whether you are meeting the goals or not.


Speed metrics can tell you how long a project takes. By tracking speed, you can identify bottlenecks and look for ways to improve your workflows.

Cost Per Word

Tracking cost per word is also essential since it is directly associated with ROI. Translation memory, which is your brand's ever-growing database of all previously translated content, can help decrease the cost per word the more you translate. And the more translation memory you have, the more automated your translation process will become, leading to a faster turnaround.

What do you look for in an LSP that proves you can trust them with translations?

When an LSP has an extensive understanding of your brand and can clearly translate your brand voice and product offerings for the global audience, that often proves that you can trust them with translations. The key is whether the LSP can translate your content so that the customers can relate to the intention of the source content.

And finally, remember that the best translations are realized when your team members think of translators as an extension of their team, and vice versa!

Did you find “The Global Marketer's Expectation of Localization Teams” helpful? Explore more motivational Smartling events on international trends, localization best practices, product enablement, and more. And for more events and news from GALA, become a GALA member here.