Automating website translation – 5 tips for asset managers

At Kurtosys, our platform sits at the center of multiple content workflows, both digital and analogue. Translation of that content is an area where we consistenly see our clients managing through challenges, and in fact in the coming weeks we will be announcing exciting new integrations and features to assist with automating the process of managing translations.

Asset managers often write off website and document translation processes as ‘easy’ tasks that add no material value. But the automation of these where sometimes complex, can offer significant efficiency gains and financial OPEX savings.

If you are responsible for distributing content to multiple regions with different languages, here are five tips your competitors often overlook.

Do not confuse process and content

This is a big one. Don’t mix up automating the translation process with automating translation content. Ensure your project teams, stakeholders and sponsors are clear about the difference from the start. Repeat this point throughout the project, because if they are not clear, it can lead to awkward conversations later.

The distinction is slight in wording but significant in impact. Automation of the translation process typically replaces the traditional exchange of telephone calls, emails, and Word and Excel documents with one or more translation vendors. This is very time consuming and can be difficult to control and record for compliance.

Automation involves a web-based interface or application that can ingest content; distribute it for translation, usually by a human; then push that content into the business for approvals. It can create significant efficiencies for a client reporting or marketing team.

Automating the translation itself is a step further. Translation technology has advanced significantly in recent years, but you should still treat it with great caution.

Beware artificial intelligence

Do not overpromise the value that automated AI-driven translation tools deliver. These tools have their place. But they will not fix all your translation needs magically. Trusting them too much can be counterproductive as it can take up resources to correct mistakes and local nuances. Poorly or incorrectly translated material can also look unprofessional and even lead to reputational damage.

AI translation tools are effective in some areas. For example, they often work well for static, short-form content, data points and ratings, calls to action, and navigational cues. They do not work well for insights, articles and fund commentaries. These require much more thought and local and industry knowledge – they need a human touch.

Build in local approval early

It is essential to empower your local teams to manage and approve translated, localized content and be responsible for its upkeep.

At the start of any automation or content management project, simple workflows are often best. Minimizing the number of site administrators and user accounts can keep costs down by reducing licenses; and make training rollouts easier.

But make sure you thoroughly analyze the long-term effort needed to maintain the sites. Using central teams to approve and certify all your translated content may look easier. But this can quickly become a bottleneck, with teams struggling to keep up and your certification process still relying on email confirmations and printed screenshots.

Maintain an accurate email distribution list

This problem still happens with worrying frequency and is caused by simple laziness. To save time during early parts of a content management system (CMS) or platform integration project, you can set up workflows to include individual contributors, local authors and marketing reviewers who approve and validate the work done by your translator. Their email addresses are added to the platform so they can receive an alert when content needs reviewing.

Eventually, those people will leave the company for one reason or another. But often the platform does not include a process, linked to HR, for removing emails when people leave.

The CMS notifications then bounce back and get lost. This leads to publications, content removals or recertification reminders falling by the wayside. It frustrates local sales and marketing teams as audits and projects take longer than necessary. Even worse, it could lead to outdated content remaining on the site and compliance issues.

Having a process for keeping your distribution lists up to date ensures your translated content gets published without a hitch.

Balance translation vendors

Big provider versus small. Personalized service versus efficiency gains. The arguments for each will continue across the asset management industry. But in our experience, one size rarely fits all.

Large translation vendors can provide efficiency and cost savings with excellent bulk services. But you also need flexibility for those tougher regions and languages where colloquial language and tone are important and a local boutique firm is better.

So making sure the system can handle multiple translation providers is always best, even if your current strategy or vendor management approach says otherwise. This will give you and your teams maximum freedom when you need it.

At Kurtosys, we have many years of experience in supporting asset managers with global content distribution. We have a series of ready-to-use tools that can help you save significant time and money. Get in touch and let us help you create powerful efficiencies across your business.

Neil Thornburn