Why content creation is nearing a tipping point – and what you can do about it

Why content creation is nearing a tipping point – and what you can do about it Peggy Chen is the chief marketing officer at SDL.

Content creation is nearing a point where a machine-first approach is becoming a reality. This is largely due to the fact that going global has never been more important for companies, yet despite the opportunity that comes with accessing untapped markets and driving exposure in unchartered territories, expansion overseas is not without its challenges.

Deloitte Private recently launched its first global business survey, analysing the objectives and results of almost 2,000 private company leaders in 30 countries. The report found that private companies are just as reliant on overseas markets as their larger public counterparts, and that 57 percent of private-company executives said global trade is important to their supply chain, compared to just 16 percent who said it’s not.

A big piece of the ‘going global’ puzzle seems common-sense to many, but is something few are able to master. This is the ability to address customers in their native languages, which is essential to gaining their trust, loyalty and ultimately – business. Unfortunately, accurate translation, achieved at scale, is too often overlooked by marketers when it comes to developing a robust content strategy.

Due to the fact that creating, translating and delivering locally relevant content is no simple or quick task, humans acting alone are fighting a losing battle trying to keep up with the pace. Failing to meet these demands can lead to compromising the customer experience. So how do companies keep ahead of the tide in today’s market?

Keeping up with the internationals

The key issue when it comes to content and companies wanting to go global is sheer volume. According to the 2018 Forrester study, companies said they’re simply struggling to keep up with the growing volume and velocity of content they’re currently offering, with 93% saying they are even planning to increase this further within the next two years.

And while many think a ‘one-size fits all’ approach could help manage this volume, that simply doesn’t cut it for brands hoping to engage audiences in a more meaningful and lasting way. Not only do brands have to create content that resonates in multiple languages, but it demands expertise, precision, cultural awareness and crucially – speed.

Man and machine working together

Whilst a human approach to translation tackles many of the demands listed above, it is by no means a perfect solution. Judging the relevance of a phrase within new surroundings demands culture understanding, an awareness of the current political and social climate and a degree of empathy – all of which are taking into consideration by linguists. However, the ability to scale this skill can often slow down the translation process. In order to translate content both accurately and at speed, man and machine must work together.

By embedding machine learning technologies into the content supply chain, artificial intelligence (AI) can help achieve the balance needed to satisfy global audiences, and deliver empathetic, anticipatory, intelligent, respectful and real digital experiences.

In the same way that autonomous cars will change the need for parking spaces in the cities of the future, machine-first, human-optimised content supply chains will change our future digital landscapes in exciting new ways.

Introducing 'linguistic AI' into the content supply chain

By adopting a machine-first translation approach, companies can leverage AI to address these bottlenecks and ensure they’re presenting only the most relevant content to their customers, no matter which location they’re reading from.

One of the ways this can be achieved is by using Linguistic AI to help analyse multiple pieces of content within a remarkably short timeframe, uncover the most relevant content for audiences, suggest keywords and taxonomies and help determine where human involvement is needed specifically.

According to IDC, data professionals spend more time on governing, searching and preparing data than on extracting real value from it. And on average, they waste 14 hours per week because they aren’t able to find, protect or prepare data, with a further 10 hours lost building information assets that actually already exists.

By applying machine learning, AI and deep neural network expertise, content creators can quickly understand the context of in-depth source documents and automatically produce high-quality content variants at speed.

It’s not a question of if, but when

If enabled to do so, machines can free up time spent on the more mundane aspects of content creation, translation and delivery, enabling marketers space to focus on the creativity of their craft. It’s worth noting that Forrester research also reveals that eight out of ten companies believe that their content supply chain challenges impede their ability to deliver on business objectives.  With machines paving the way for humans to focus on assembling high quality marketing materials that have the power to drive forward their business objectives, this could well be a key way of combating the issue. 

For companies looking to retain and expand international audiences, and cater to their language needs by adopting the content supply chain of the future, the question must not be if they allow humans to work alongside machines, but when?

Read more: Get ready for the future content supply chain to be autonomous, brands warned

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person?

Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.  

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