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  • Writer's pictureLyn Cruickshank

What pharma companies are doing to speed up content localisation

Content tips and hacks



It’s estimated that content localisation eats up 20-40% of the average pharma marketing budget.  The process can be slow and complex, and brilliantly inspired creative brand messages can get lost along the way.    Yet content drives localisation, the more relevant and authentic it is the greater the chance of cutting through and changing behaviour.


“The problem is that most content is created locally”


So, with less money to spend, how does pharma manage the global to local focus and improve content efficiency?


Here’s how omnichannel marketing specialists from top pharma companies are tackling the problem.


Go easy on modular content

Modular content is often seen as the solution to localisation.  But in reality it can just add another layer of complexity and extra workload as local teams try to figure out what to use and when.  Keep it simple, just a few key content blocks and send them out in an easy-to-use tool kit with clear guidelines.


Not too many segments

Continuing this theme, stick to a maximum four target audience segments.  More than this and the differences are likely to be subtle.  This will save unnecessary time creating a lot of content segments and multiple campaigns – plus you’ll end up with more robust results.


Hands typing on keyboard with multiple pops ups above showing icons of personas
Too many segments creates extra workload

Start with local journeys

Design your content strategy - and global content - based on local customer journeys.  This may sound obvious, but a lot of planning and ideation happens at above country level and doesn’t always take account of local needs.  Work with your teams to identify the key touchpoints they have in common and where and how they need to localise.    Do this before you create your hero content pieces.


“Brand strategy can be standardised, but customer engagement can only be done locally” 


Choose your focus channels

When it comes to localisation, less is more.  Don’t try to cover every format and every channel as they won’t all be useful at each stage of the customer journey. Pick the moments that matter and deliver killer content pieces that really add value to the customer experience.  Likewise, choose one or two focus channels that perform locally and are easy to activate – then optimise your content for these.


Save time with AI

Use closed-source AI to summarise and repurpose approved long form content into snappy, locally adapted assets.  Check your company has an AI guideline in place first and set some localisation rules – it might take a bit of trial and error, but AI is a fast learner!  You’ll still need to go through MLR but can certainly leapfrog a stage – or even two. 


…and experiment

Some pharma companies are now trialling AI tools to create new assets such as KOL webinars.  Quick and easy to produce and edit, you can translate into any language and some pharma clients are already working this shortcut.  What you lose in authenticity is more than made up for with the time and money saved in getting your messages out to the market. 


Finally, measure your progress

Each company has its own challenges and internal silos to navigate.  Setting KPIs and benchmarking current performance for content localisation will help to identify the real sticking points, as well as the opportunities to make process improvements. A simple localisation dashboard gives the evidence you need to challenge outdated processes and headline your successes.


Follow at least some of these tips, and you’ll be one the way to a more agile approach to localisation.  Which should leave you with more time – and money – to focus on gathering those all-important insights and planning your next content campaign.



For help with a content localisation strategy, please get in touch at

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