Industry Insights

Content Globalization Revisited - Allie Kelly and Tim Walters

Content Globalization

Now that we have a few more days to wait for this year’s show on globalization, I thought I would take a look back at our show from last year and summarize what we learned. It’s likely the challenges today are similar, but perhaps we have a more guided picture of what is at stake and what is required to deliver our content globally in a relevant and targeted manner.

WCM Globalization

Allie Kelly

What would have normally been a moment for Seth Gottlieb, CMS-Connected welcomed Allie Kelly into the studio for our globalization discussion. At the time, Allie was the Director of Global Marketing and Solution Innovation.

As I mentioned in my last post, it was clear that the good ol’ content audit is the de-facto starting point for any strategy. Only, Allie made a point of making sure that part of this audit took a strategic look at the analytics behind the content for regional performance and viability. Some considerations during the audit included:

  • Establish where the content is (physically hosted location, cms based, etc.)
  • Establish the performing content (mobile, regional, segment, etc.)
  • Audit for content types whether it be text, video, etc.
  • Audit for ‘evergreen’ content and user generated content with a long shelf life or stale content that is ‘past due’

Whatever behavior and performance metrics that can be attained from the analytics will dictate the priority content direction

The key here is to use any insight to learn about regional interaction with your content. What are the regional differences? For instance Allie mentions that in China 40% of the internet users expect brands to engage with them socially. This trend isn’t shared by North American audiences (at the time).

Next it was explained that content translation itself was low on the totem pole in the big picture. It is cultural and user specific behavior by region that is the most important. Translated content becomes less relevant if, for example, the system is unable to display the correct currency, or if the company can’t provide their services in particular regional market.


Allie dropped this term a few times, and looking back, it would have been a good idea to quickly define it. In a nutshell, the transcreation process transfers the conceptual ideas in the originating text, into the new language. It goes beyond simply word translation. Here, how about a quick read over here. There, that was well written wasn’t it?

And based on the complexity of the content, the following options are viable:

  • Machine translation with a quick post content edit
  • Crowd sourced translation
  • Fully qualified professional globalization vendor

Tim Walters

Tim, from Digital Clarity Group joined us from Skype to lend a few words from his vas insight into globalization. We started off with some quick definitions:

  • Translation (transcreation) – word for word translation
  • Localization – transcribing the translation into the locale
  • Internationalization – performed prior to the translation which makes localization easier
    • Architectural in nature and factors in layouts and engineering the content design for use with left to right languages or languages that occupy larger ‘surface areas’
    • May also include simplification of the source (pivot) text

In closing, Scott dropped a bomb (*waves at the NSA) on Tim and asked how content marketing is affected by internationalization. Tim responded with a smile by stating that this was one of the most utterly confusing and unanswered software spaces around. He really didn’t have an answer, only to say that this is a great opportunity for a globalization vendor to jump in and establish themselves as a thought leader and guide companies through the early stages of globalization.

Tim left us with a comment about the growing complexity of websites. Once quite simple and linear in nature, they have become much more vast and segmented, multi-faceted portals. Customer engagement, content marketing, visitor path tracking and conversion logic all play a part in a modern globalization strategy. It’s the content marketing that has really added another complex layer on top of the already challenging task.

We are very much looking forward to this year’s show on the topic!

Jade Carter

Jade Carter

Jade is a content writer for CMS-Connected, facilitating the needs of the company blog. Bringing 10 years of Search and Digital Marketing to the table, he strives to build informative, relevant and fun editorial posts for the blog feed. Jade is an ultra distance (26.2 miles+) trail runner and lives to run trails in and around his home town of Victoria, BC.

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