Tag Archives: medical device marketing content

Eating Our Young: XML Eliminates DTP Revenue for Translation Providers…and That’s a Good Thing

You have to admit, William Blake had a flair for the bizarrely dramatic – consider his rendition of Kronos (father of the Greek gods) devouring one of the Olympians.
Translation companies might have the same reaction to eliminating DTP revenue as someone seeing this Blake painting for the first time. After all, DTP expense can account for up to 50% of the total localization budget for some manufacturers – that’s a lot of revenue for a service provider to give up.
We had a different reaction to XML for a few reasons:
> Two of the leading XML publishing systems, Vasont Systems and Astoria Development, are part of TransPerfect Medical Device  Solutions – we have the tools and know-how to implement these systems.
>  We know that approximately 50% of the error risk in a translation production process is due to formatting – eliminate formatting and you eliminate risk.
> It’s just the right thing to do: manufacturers are working to expand their markets by lowering unit costs so that they can serve more patients – helping them to lower costs is the same thing as expanding access to lifesaving devices for patients around the world.
So, yes, when it comes to DTP revenue we ARE “eating our young” – but it’s a good thing for manufacturers AND for patients.
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“Scots Wha’ Hae” and Radical Localization for Medical Device Marketing Material

‘Scots, wha hae wi Wallace bled,

Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,

Welcome tae yer gory bed,

Or tae victorie.

As a Celtic Studies major in college and one-time resident of Scotland, I’ve watched with keen interest the impending Scottish independence vote. After 300+ years of union, it’s shocking to think this vote is too close to call (with an incredible 95%+ voter turnout). However, it’s also a very good example of the persistence of regional culture and identity in Europe – and underscores the importance of localizing (not just translating) your marketing content.

Marketing messages designed for the US may not resonate (or even translate) into e.g. French, German, or Turkish markets. That’s why many manufactures are now looking at “radical localization” – a complete rewrite of marketing content for local markets – only “guided” by the English original.

Of course, in these instances, it’s important to have a control in place to ensure that the localized material is acceptable from a Regulatory point of view. This is where technology can help: TransPerfect Medical Device Solutions offers clients  validated technology (Translation Review Portal; TRP) for easy, online review and auditable commenting of translated material – there’s even a preview function so you can see your material in formatted context.

If you *do* need to translate your content into EU target languages, TRP also makes a great platform for your overseas contacts to review and comment on translation quality – there’s even a built-in grading and scoring system so you can track results.

So, whether it’s review of translation accuracy or review of “radical localization” for compliance, technology from TransPerfect Medical Device Solutions can help. And, if Scotland *does* become independent and requires Gaelic for labeling, you’ll be ready!  😉

P.S. Although, romantically, I would love to see an independent Scotland, I know from a practical perspective that continued union is in Scotland’s best interest: No thanks!

Don’t Get Yanukovych’d

Yanukovych_WEB-readyShortly after Yanukovych was ousted as Ukraine’s President, the Ukrainian Parliament repealed a recent law allowing the use of “regional languages” like Russian.  Language has long been been tied up with issues of nationalism and national identity and can often be something of a “land mine” (not to be indelicate in the current, tense, situation).

If you think that these types of language sensitivities don’t apply to the medical device industry, you’re wrong. On one recent client visit, I heard a story of how the company had sent Russian instructions to a location in Estonia…not realizing the reaction that it might provoke (after the Soviet domination of the Baltic States). The result? Even though an exemption could have been written, the client demanded everything in Estonian and at a significant cost. The moral of the story? Know the political implications of your language choices when doing business abroad.

A Localization Within a Localization

fortune-cookie-1

For everyone who wrestles with marketing translation (sorry, localization), you may appreciate this story (and short video) from NPR.

Turns out, many Americans living in China miss really good Chinese food…well, Chinese food as they remember it in America, anyway.  So, a couple of enterprising Chinese Americans opened Fortune Cookie in Shanghai – a restaurant serving up the Americanized form of Chinese food to US expats and curious Chinese.

Aside from the humorous aspects of this story (the Chinese staff had only seen the white take-out boxes in Hollywood movies, so took pictures when they first saw them in real life), it does hold a lesson for medical device marketers, and the lesson is this:  sometimes a US-centric message, if it’s the right one, can be adapted and succeed quite nicely in the local market. Not everything has to be created whole-cloth, in-country.

Iron Man Offers Lessons for Device Makers in China

Iron Man China

It’s not often we get to point to a comic book character for marketing lessons, but the recent release of Iron Man 3 provides important food for thought for device manufacturers.

China’s movie market is big…and quickly getting bigger. With 10 new screens opening every day and box office revenues rising 30% in 2012, China recently edged out Japan to become the world’s #2 movie market. In fact, China could surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest market within 5 years. So, it’s not surprising that Hollywood took the unusual step of modifying (“localizing” in translation jargon) the content of the movie. What is surprising is the extent of the modification/localization: “Tony [Stark] doesn’t have to do this alone…China can help.” Specific content, filmed with Chinese actors in China, was added in a nod to the importance of local taste.

This narrative might sound familiar to device makers. According to PharmaLive, China is expected to pass Japan as the world’s #2 medical device market between 2018 and 2020 and represent 25% of the world market by 2050. And, just like in the movies, China is demanding more localized content – especially for device marketing.

Our Crimson division has been very active in dealing with the challenges of translating device marketing content – you can read an informative post here: http://crimsonlanguage.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/something-fishy-about-device-marketing-translation/

Sometimes, however, manufacturers may want to opt out of the traditional “translation” paradigm. Instead of the endless back-end-forth with reviewers, manufacturers might instead consider producing content in-country that is custom-developed for the local market. Not translated, but created locally. Call this the “Iron Man” strategy.

More costly than simple translation or localization, the Iron Man strategy requires a strong relationship with a local advertising agency. It also requires back-translation of the finished piece in order to assure requisite corporate control. This can be facilitated by technology tools like the GlobalLink Translation & Review Portal.

Whether you’re interested in translation, localization, or the go-local, Iron Man strategy, EnCompass has tools and strategies to get you to success.