There’s no such thing as a bad question.
But the answer to a question—well, that’s what’s most important. Enter, Yext.
Yext is on a mission to put more truth online.
They do that by helping businesses around the world deliver official answers to customer questions across the entire search ecosystem—starting with a brand’s website, then extending across search engines, voice assistants, maps, and more than 175 global platforms.
Yext works with Smartling to help business owners make sure their customers see consistent and accurate information no matter where or what language they search. As Yext continues to break into new international markets, localizing marketing and product materials are increasingly critical components to scaling the business globally.
Jessica Birenz is the Director of Planning and Project Management at Yext. She’s one of several people at Yext who works with Smartling on a daily basis. Over the past six years, Yext has significantly increased their translation volume and launched over two dozen new languages all in the name of making customer experiences better for consumers worldwide.
Yext begins with the translation basics
In 2014, Yext began using Smartling to translate its help site and product with an API integration. That year, Yext translated 211,947 words, a humble beginning that demonstrated the value and importance of content translation to Yext.
But, this was just the beginning. Yext quickly expanded the scope of content that would be translated because it was important to have a rich user experience.
“Language translation for Yext extends beyond the website and product. It's an integral requirement for a well-rounded customer experience, which is why we also translate our sales decks, marketing collateral, white papers, webinar decks, and all of the content that is part of a modern marketing stack.”
Because accurate and comprehensive coverage of in-language content helps Yext support their teams and customers, Yext expanded the scope of translated content to go beyond their website and web application. It’s business-as-usual for Yext to translate content as detailed as the speaker talk-track in presentation decks, client success documents, Whitepapers, PDF’s, webinars, and all of the crucial marketing and sales materials necessary to support its international teams. If that’s not enough, Yext also translates its customer’s content in Smartling.
The result? Yext has exceeded 12 million words translated since they began working with Smartling in 2014.
“I've always been really happy with how quick we can get things done and how easy it is to flag priority content. I don't think I've ever really been told this is impossible, despite how much content we translate.”
Yext’s Translation Volume
The Challenges Inherent of Adding Support for Japanese
In 2018, Yext has a go-to-market initiative in Japan. This meant the entire website, marketing materials, the web-app, and more had to be translated into Japanese. All with just one marketer based in Japan at the time.
“We launched the Japanese site in 2018 with limited resources in Japan: only one marketer. She’s incredible, but she's just one person!”
The Japanese language and culture are incredibly nuanced, and for a company that uses a lot of American English slang as a part of their brand identity, it was challenging to create translations that made sense for Japanese consumers with the same tone that Yext customers love.
But Yext wasn’t going to give up on their Japanese launch just yet…
Yext and Smartling Work Together
When Yext first started using Smartling, it was important to create a strong, largely automated process to establish a foundation for Yext to scale their language translation requirements. With Smartling’s translation management system as the primary technology that centralized Yext’s translation to one platform, the company also leveraged the WordPress integration for their website and code repository connector for their product. This enabled Jessica and other teams at Yext to increase their volume and scale into new languages as the company’s global plans came to fruition.
“The amount of effort that we put into the initial setup - the workflows, translation memory configuration, and the back-end automation - is incredibly useful.”
The entire company has access to Smartling’s cloud TMS and can use Smartling language services with minimal setup and effort to get started. This includes existing and new teams.
Lessons learned from launching in Japan
When Smartling submitted the first round of translations for the Yext launch in Japan, the Yext team recognized that while the translations were accurate, they fell short on reflecting the Yext product and brand nuances - a common challenge when launching a new language. So, Smartling and Yext got to work.
Jessica reached out directly to Smartling’s Language Services team, who showed Jessica a few different approaches to help fix the issues including: updating the style guide, which had been edited only a few times since its original creation, and updating the glossary. They were updated to use brand terminology and product names with explicit instructions as to how the content should be translated. Smartling also scheduled a phone call between Yext’s Japanese team and Smartling’s Japanese translator.
“We ended up getting on a call with Smartling’s Japanese translator and translation service team to talk through our preferences for Japanese content. This isn’t normal for the industry, having the ability to speak directly with the translator; I was so impressed.”
Because of Jessica and the Yext team’s foundational work with Smartling, we worked together to create Japanese translations that fit their brand with the Japanese language and culture.
With an updated style guide, glossary, and direct communication with their Smartling translator, Yext was able to reduce their correction rate of Japanese strings to just 0.17%, and an 87% decrease in the number of words edited from 2018 to 2020. The result of this collaboration is that Yext can now launch their product in Japanese and other markets with greater confidence and with less work.
Over time, Yext has also amassed a comprehensive translation memory, which reduced their effective cost per word by 25% even after having increased the number of languages supported by six times.
Smartling has become such a strategic resource for Yext that Jessica couldn’t imagine what life would be life without Smartling.
Smartling has helped Yext launch in locations around the world, and grow into an established international company. On top of all the technology that automates the process surrounding human translation, it was the relationship facilitated by Smarlting’s customer engagement and translation services team that made it possible for Yext to translate the sheer volume of content into so many languages possible.
At the end of the day, Smartling’s technology is incredibly reliable, and the customer experience is fantastic.”