Knowing the Drivers for Your Localization Strategy

Expanding your brand globally can prove fruitless if your new audiences have difficulty properly understanding your brand’s message. That being said, there is no formulaic localization strategy for marketers to follow—companies vary widely in how, what and who localizes content. Not to mention, when companies do have some sort of localization strategy in place, it can be difficult to recognize what are the key drivers for their strategy. Understanding how to rank these drivers gives marketers the ability to tailor their localization efforts according to the needs of the company that must be met. According to our 2015 State of Website Localization Report, survey respondents overwhelmingly selected Customer Experience as a key driver for their localization strategy, followed by Brand Consistency, Content Reuse, and Cost.

Customer Experience

Companies can enrich consumer experience by ensuring that users feel more comfortable by communicating with someone in their native language. Building rapport by creating a personalized and familiar environment leads to consumers feeling valued and more loyal to the company or brand. Not only are companies then able to retain more customers, companies will find that satisfied customers will be more willing to recommend their services to colleagues and friends.

Spain’s telecommunications systems face difficulties posed by the country’s different regions: such as the conflicting languages and added costs to make long-distance calls. Spanish telecom giant Telefonica recognized this issue and responded by abandoning their centralized support systems and localizing the customer experience. By operating call centers in each region, Telefonica has been able to better serve each local population by minimizing difficulty and costs. As a result, Telefonica has increased its standing with customers and against competitors.

Brand Consistency

When the localization of content is managed locally, your brand guidelines may be undermined and messages may become erratic in tone in the effort to reach a local audience. Messages that lose their consistency after being translated become confusing as consumers struggle to identify the brand properly. Throughout the translation and localization processes, it’s important to preserve your company’s brand while allowing for regional preferences. Having your LSP maintain a clear and concise message consistent across borders prevents disconnect between brands and consumers.

There are three key assets that improve your LSP’s ability to produce a consistent brand messaging strategy for your company: brand guidelines, style guides, and translation glossaries. Brand guidelines provide specific wording and terminology as well as the conceptual basis for the brand. The style guide helps ensure brand consistency in editorial and design by establishing best practices and providing details on execution. Your LSP uses your glossary to produce translations that are accurate and support brand messaging.

Content Reuse

Redeploying the “best of” content across channels and languages saves time, money, and resources. Collect reusable content in a systematic, ad hoc way to maximize your content marketing reach while at the same time minimizing the efforts needed. Finding existing pieces of content to “repurpose”, or modifying its meaning or format for a different use, is an extremely useful skill for all marketers to consider. Content managers can make the localization process more efficient by reusing content, thereby reducing the amount of content needing to be translated.

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Cost

Cost is a driver for over one-third of localizers. As many companies are eager to take their brand global, there are costs to consider, including costs both potentially minimized and incurred by implementing a localization strategy. Surely, localization minimizes the costs of losing audiences to global messages they can’t understand. On the other hand, employing a LSP means adding expenses to your globalization efforts. That being said, there are a multitude of translation options available to fit any budget, from automated machine translation (MT) to high-quality human translation.

Recognizing the drivers for your localization strategy will help your company tailor its efforts to reduce unnecessary time or costs as well as modifying objectives. If your company, like the vast majority, values customer experience, you should consider consulting an LSP to centralize your localization efforts to effectively reach your target audience. For more information or to receive an instant quote on Lionbridge onDemand’s translation services, visit our website!