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More companies than you think are managing content in multiple languages, but unfortunately few of them do it well. The latest free report from Outsell Gilbane shares the most recent developments in multilingual content management.

In Multilingual Marketing Content: Growing International Business with Global Content Value Chains, Outsell Gilbane (news, site) analysts Vince Emery, Karl Kadie and Mary Laplante tackle a question facing companies in the wake of expanding globalization.

What the Report Contains

The report begins with an overview of three business drivers influencing multilingual content management:

  1. Changing economic conditions across different regions -- One country is growing with a rich sales pipeline, while its neighbor is facing bankruptcy, while at the same time another country is changing its regulatory statutes.
  2. Customers want a consistent experience -- Customers want companies to not only speak their language, but speak it in such a way as to not appear translated.
  3. Continued growth of e-commerce -- As more people have access to the Internet, more people will spend money and purchase goods from online retailers.

From there, an overview of the current state of multilingual content management is provided. The topics covered include the current technologies being used to market multilingual content within enterprises and the challenges that marketing groups are having both with technology and with business processes.

Learning Opportunities

The report continues with a discussion about everyone's favorite buzzword -- best practices. In an interesting twist, the Outsell Gilbane analysts kick this section off by first defining what they mean by "best practices" and then by admitting that currently there are no best practices for multilingual content management. The section continues with the obligatory recommendations.

Following the "best practices" discussion, the report concludes with what are called "essential actions for global marketing and localization managers." These actions include:

  • Think of managing global content as a value chain, and create an appropriate strategy to support it.
  • Recognize and support content strategy not only as a discipline but as a global necessity.
  • Map global content management practices to global business strategies and follow the path this exercise leads you down.

High-Level Findings

  • Multilingual content management is immature -- strategies, practices and infrastructure will need to be learned and tweaked along the way; agility is key
  • Global marketing managers are too deep in the weeds -- delegate the day-to-day tactical operations and keep your mind free to see the big-picture strategy
  • With no patterns to follow, every project is an experiment -- related to the first item above, every organization is trailblazing at the same time; fail fast, learn from it and keep moving.
  • Align daily activities with corporate goals -- if the content managers are siloed, then the content marketing teams will be siloed; senior management needs to check in with the teams to make sure everyone sees the same vision
  • Customers will not wait for you to get it -- brand loyalty only goes so far, especially in our increasingly hyper-connected society; if your competitor is 1% better than you at connecting with a given customer, they will get the business
  • Use your product content as a starting point -- don't assume you have to start from scratch with global content; build your multilingual content strategy on top of your product content strategy

The full report is available by registering at the Research & Reports section of