Organizations face many challenges when creating a constellation of global Web sites. They need to maintain brand consistency while allowing for variations that reflect local culture. Creating truly localized Web sites can be a daunting process, in which corporate and local marketing teams need to work together to provide relevant information to many different target audiences.
BluePrinting is a unique technology from SDL Tridion that allows organizations to manage constellations of Web sites. The separation of content, layout and other Web site elements enables organizations to adapt each of these elements separately and match the needs of local audiences.
Organizations can manage localization cost effectively using an inheritance model that allows multiple Web sites to use consistent structure, branding and content, allowing for local adaptation of content as needed.
This white paper provides examples about how organizations can use BluePrinting technology to achieve a smooth global Web operation and explains how organizations combine Content Management technology with translation technologies for even greater efficiency.
“Without telling us, our French subsidiary had been working nights and weekends to completely translate our corporate Web site to French. So when they finished and proudly gave us the CD-ROM with the translated HTML files, great was our mutual disappointment. The corporate head office had been working on changing the graphic design of the site, so their HTML files were unusable. All of their work had been in vain.”
This customer anecdote provides an illustration of the types of frustrations that organizations experience when creating and managing global Web sites.
Organizations are beginning to understand that to sell a product or persuade an audience, Web sites must reflect the languages and cultures of their target audiences. Local Web sites build loyalty and lead to customer retention. Localized Web sites provide easier access to new markets.
For example, non-English content on the Internet has increased from around 20% in 1998 to up to 50% today and the number of non-English Web site visitors is growing even faster. Current estimates state that only 30% of today’s Web site visitors are native English speakers.
Furthermore, many organizations operate in diverse cultures whose attitudes, values and beliefs, market, and institutional structures require culturally sensitive localization of content.
1.1 Rising to the challenge
If organizations can make money by localizing, it is puzzling that many organizations lack great, localized Web sites. As the above anecdote illustrates, the task of localizing and coordinating Web site localization is not a trivial task. Organizations must overcome many challenges to do so.
This paper describes some of the challenges that your organization may face when localizing your corporate Web site for local offices. This paper also describes how you can use SDLTridion BluePrinting technology and workflow to create a localized, multilingual Web site.
1.2 The goals
This section examines the types of issues that your organization needs to address when localizing a Web site:
Many organizations’ initial attempts to globalize their Web sites results in locally created sites that look completely different from the central corporate Web site. The local Web sites of some car manufacturers provide some striking examples. A 2006 survey indicates that global corporations implement more than 80% of their own brand guidelines incorrectly.
Organizations need to develop Web sites that maintain a consistent corporate and brand image while acknowledging local cultural and linguistic differences.
FlySN, a Belgian airline, discovered a niche market of Russian Jews that fly between Russia and Israel. To target this market, FlySN made their Web site available in Hebrew and Russian. This niche market would have been impossible to capture without the advantages of the Internet. The Hebrew and Russian Web sites provide FlySN with a competitive market to reach a specific market.
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