I try not to talk about Lionbridge projects in this blog because that might be boring for you and a bit self-serving for us. But today I’m making an exception because we recently published a case study about Global Search Marketing that I think you’ll find pretty interesting. It’s all about how our teams localized 100,000 search terms for one of the world’s leading online travel agencies. Continue reading »
I thought I’d take a step back today to look at something that comes up in almost every customer conversation I have. And if you read the blog title up there, you already know what that is: “What’s the difference between translating something and localizing it?” And believe me when I say this really applies to global travel and hospitality companies. Not only do you need to translate material for many of your customers, but quite often the material being translated is critical to the success of their travels and therefore, their relationship with you. Continue reading »
Believe it or not, developing a mobile-friendly, multilingually-accurate, globally-accessible, culturally-appropriate travel and hospitality app isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Although there’s no way I can detail the actual how-to’s of this important objective in a blog post, there are some ideas I can share with you that might get you pointed in the right direction. Before I go on, though, let’s agree on a few things:
If you need convincing of any of those three areas, please add a Comment to this post so we can chat, but assuming we’re on the same page, let’s continue… Continue reading »
I’ve blogged about mobile strategies before (e.g. “Translation of Mobile Websites and Apps in the Travel Industry,”) and wanted to share something related to that which has been on my mind recently. I think it can be tempting for companies to think a good strategy is all about, “How can we do everything?” But the best strategies are really about figuring out the right things to do while not ignoring, but deliberately identifying things you won’t do.
Specifically, I’ve been seeing travel companies engage in complex conversations about how to integrate a web app into their online market strategy, without first considering whether they (read: their customers) really need an app in the first place, or whether a fully optimized and localized mobile website would do the trick (especially if they were to follow some advice in a related article about mobile strategies for travel companies on Tnooz, please see links below). Continue reading »
Have you ever been in a website strategy meeting where one person says, “Let’s add Spanish to our site,” and another person says, “Great idea! Which kind of Spanish: European, US, International, or the Argentine-Uruguayan-Paraguayan variant?” And then that first person says, “Ummm… excuse me?”
It’s one of the most common and interesting conversations I get to be a part of in my role as localization professional. The reason it’s so interesting is that there is no one right answer to the “which kind of Spanish” question. The successful answer really hinges on how well you know your target audience and their expectations. Since Spanish is the official language in 21 countries, it’s not surprising that there are so many variations. Continue reading »
I read a great post on John Yunker’s “Global by Design” blog last week, “Hotels.com: The best global travel website,” which I’m sure you’ll all appreciate. He talks about the strengths of this top-ranked global travel site, and (I love this) he also makes some suggestions that would make it even better. Continue reading »
An old friend from high school was coming to visit us in Texas the other day all the way from Oregon. She called from her hotel to say she was on her way and just needed our address. I was excited to see her, so quickly gave her the convoluted turn-by-turn directions to the house, complete with landmarks to watch for, which lanes to be in, and big potholes to avoid. When I wrapped up my descriptive monologue five minutes later, she said quietly, “That’s very interesting, Kathleen – and someday when I drive to your house, this will be helpful. But today I’m taking a cab. Really just need the address.” Here’s what I learned: there’s a time for granularity and there’s a time for big picture.
Master the Big Picture Fundamentals
I think this applies to the Travel and Hospitality industry because no matter how many trendy new ways there are to build an audience, and no matter how many granular details there are to learn about global marketing, the first big-picture thing you need to do is offer a well translated and localized website. This is especially true for this industry because you target customers around the world who often want to visit other parts of the world. Your audience is global; your website should be, too. Continue reading »
As you’re probably already aware, China is one of the top emerging international travel markets. In fact, it’s been estimated by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) that by 2020, the number of outbound Chinese travelers will hit 100 million. “China has shown by far the fastest growth with regard to expenditure on international tourism in the last decade, multiplying expenditure four times since 2000. Ranking as the seventh biggest source market in 2005, it has since overtaken, respectively, Italy, Japan, France and the United Kingdom.” (Source: UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2011 Edition)
Not surprisingly, the U.S. is feeling the effect. “So huge is the Chinese travel market potential that major U.S. travel suppliers — including hotels and airlines, as well as major cities and even shopping malls — are sending sales representatives to China… And hotels in this country are now serving rice porridge for breakfast and seeking Mandarin Chinese speakers to handle the phones and check-in desks.” (Source: Chinese tourists visit U.S. in record numbers, January 2012)
For a company within the travel and hospitality industry, what’s the online equivalent of serving rice porridge for breakfast and hiring Mandarin Chinese speakers specifically so they can communicate with travelers? Continue reading »
I subscribe to many blogs but only sometimes read what’s published. Who has the time to read everything? So believe me when I say you should read John Yunker’s blog post, “Web Globalization in a Post-PC World,” in which he presents compelling facts and advice developed while publishing his “2012 Web Globalization Report Card.”
Not only does he address what’s on our collective mind about communicating with a global audience using a variety of technology platforms, but one of his examples is a company many of you can identify with – Hotels.com – chosen because they offer multilingual support (38 languages!) of four major platforms: desktop, mobile website, iPad app and iPhone app.
Expectations about convenience and availability have changed over the last few years – the emergence of new technologies is both a blessing and a challenge. The question used to be, “Do I need to translate my website?” The question we hear now is, “How will we transcend logistical issues of language and technology so we can communicate with our audience no matter what?” Continue reading »