Like an orchestra conductor, a brand manager coordinates many individual efforts into a unified, engaging, and memorable experience. This is especially true for global companies, where regional marketing content must align with the company's brand identity and accommodate local languages, tastes, and cultural norms.
If you are a digital asset management (DAM) administrator at an international company, you know this can be a complex and dynamic challenge! Let’s look at some configurations and features in the Widen Collective® that can help you manage multilingual content, enhance collaboration across regions, and ultimately create a cohesive brand experience.
Managing global content and global users
Widen customers with world-wide marketing efforts use these strategies and tools to keep their global content organized and easy to access.
The key to managing multilingual content in one system is metadata. In the Collective, all metadata fields and values, categories, collections, and filenames can be in any romance language — which means that any of these languages can be used to search for content. Specific multilingual metadata strategies include:
- Dependent metadata fields: Consider using parent-child metadata fields to make the same asset searchable in multiple languages. So for example, you could use the parent field for the English term, and the child (or dependent) fields for translations.
This multilingual metadata strategy also aids in content discoverability. These terms function as search filters, to narrow results to assets only in a specific language. And they power the Collective’s related asset feature, which finds and displays similar content.
- Metadata mapping from filename: Metadata mapping offers ways to automate and streamline metadata creation. One strategy is to map asset filenames to designated upload profiles, to populate metadata in a specific language.
So an asset named FR_PN00789, for example, could contain enough information to tell the right upload profile to complete certain fields — such as product type, color, and factory location — in French!
- Image recognition: You can also use artificial intelligence (AI) software to automate metadata creation. Image recognition tools integrate with the Collective and can be configured to identify a range of objects and attributes in images, in numerous languages.
Together, these metadata strategies ensure that multilingual content is organized and easy to search.
Templates and Portals
Both Templates and Portals applications in the Collective include multilingual tools. Templates allows you to design collateral with areas that can be customized — again, in several languages — to support regional marketing efforts.
And each portal — or curated selections of assets for a specific audience — can be a localized, branded experience. And in addition to romance languages, portals can be translated into several Asian languages.
Although the user interface of the Collective is only available in English, the dashboard (your site’s homepage) can be designed in any romance language. This includes all dashboard elements, like system messages, saved searches, and spotlight searches. And you can create multiple dashboards for permissioned roles to meet the language needs of different regions and audiences. If you require languages other than the romance languages, you can create images with text to act as buttons to lead your different global audiences to the content they need with one click.
This approach to dashboard design — along with multilingual metadata, templates, and portals — allows you to create many localized experiences within one DAM system.
Managing localized teams
Now that we understand how to manage multilingual content in the Collective, let’s look at strategies for managing and empowering multilingual users.
Permissioning tools are the key to creating language-specific experiences in your DAM site. These tools are structured around user groups with language configurations across these areas:
- Metadata: Tying metadata configurations to user roles allows you to control what content is available to each user. These permissioning options exist for every asset group and metadata field, so your French users only see French assets, with the metadata fields, values, and categories in French!
- Upload profiles: You are able to limit the upload profiles available to each user group to ensure their uploaded content has pre-populated metadata in the correct language.
- Templates and portals: Each user role can be configured to see these features in a designated language.
- Dashboards: Not only can you control the dashboard language for each user group, but you can also control the messages they see.
- Asset group flags: You can use asset group flags — or small icons displayed under each asset — to help users quickly and visually differentiate between asset groupings (e.g., “For use in EMEA Region only”), especially if users have access to assets for multiple regions.
- Alternative thumbnail images: Another way to create a visual identifier for regional assets is by using an alternative thumbnail image that includes small country flags to indicate regional usage options.
Together, these user-based permissioning options will help you meet content and language needs across your regional teams.
Most (if not all!) global DAM admins aren’t fluent in all of their company’s local languages. That’s why many global admins identify and collaborate with regional DAM champions.
These local champions often have administrative duties, such as creating metadata, deleting outdated assets, and managing users. And they work in concert with the global admin to ensure local marketing initiatives align with larger branding goals and guidelines.
This democratized approach to DAM management also helps ensure that governance policies are thorough, implemented consistently, and facilitate coordinated workflows. And DAM processes can be further streamlined with tools like the Collective’s Paths feature, which can automatically notify your regional DAM champions when new content needs to be translated or adapted for their audience.
Last but not least, let’s talk about user training — which fosters both initial system adoption and long-term user engagement across teams, regions, and cultures. Your training program can include a combination of internal classes, resources and guides, and Widen-led programs. To accommodate a range of time-zones and schedules, consider providing some of these options on-demand. And you can tailor your offerings by access level (“search and download” versus “upload and tag”) or region.
The strategies outlined in this article will help you align your DAM technology, people, and process into a unified operation. Although this is a big job, know that many other companies like yours have done it — and we’re here to help!
- Consulting services: If you need help defining a global content strategy, including the creation of a governance policy and roll-out plan, Widen offers consulting services for a range of engagements.
- Training: Widen University offers many on-demand and live training options to sharpen your admin skills around permissions and roles, metadata, and more.
- Support: Our Customer Support team is always available to help with specific technical questions. Widen customers can also join Widen Connect, our online user community, to get tips and best practices directly from your peers.
Or, just start by reaching out to our Customer Success team. They will be happy to talk through your specific content needs and be able to share similar use cases.