Localization in marketing — how to deliver the right message, regardless of location

Today, business professionals are operating in an era where they can engage with customers across the globe, regardless of the company size. Although technology makes it easy to connect across borders, many professionals are putting revenue at risk by not taking the time to understand the cultural differences of their customer regions.

What is a localization in marketing?

Localization in marketing is essential to reach out to international audiences. CSA reports that for 56.2% of consumers the ability to obtain information in their language is more important than price, while 65% of global market leaders believe localization is essential to boosting company revenues.

The saying, “all business is local,” has never been more relevant. Common Sense Advisory reports that 56.2% of consumers say that the ability to obtain information in their language is more important to them than price.

Business professionals are starting to recognize the significance of this, with 65% of global market leaders believing that localization is essential to driving higher company revenues. Despite this, a CMO Council study found that 63% of marketing professionals are not satisfied with localization efforts.

63% of marketing professionals are not satisfied with localization efforts.

Despite the dissatisfaction, the study also shows that 75% of companies only allocate a maximum of 10% of their operating budget to improving localization campaign adoption.

Effective localization campaigns require businesses to go beyond just translating websites and content into different languages. Business professionals also need to take currency and cross-cultural differences into account.

Given the fact that localization is accessible to all businesses, professionals in large and small companies can’t afford to ignore the technology. They need to embrace localization to remain agile against up-and-coming competitors and expand into new markets.

Bearing these things in mind, you need to take a strategic approach to incorporating localization into your marketing efforts. Let’s take a look at how you can take a strategic approach within your business.

Planning a localization marketing strategy

The first step for marketing professionals to implement localization is to have a team or individual take ownership of the translation efforts. It’s a task that can be assigned to an employee as part of their duties, or a Chief Localization Officer (CLO) could be brought into the company.

In addition to having someone take charge of the localization process, business professionals must consult experts that are familiar with the target market. After these consultations are complete, they can begin planning the implementation of their marketing localization strategy.

What is a localization strategy?

A localization strategy is what drives all your localization efforts and starts with having a team or individual take ownership of them. The next step is to consult experts that are familiar with the target market.

Such strategies revolve around localizing content such as UX/UI copy, landing pages, marketing emails, whitepapers, blogs, transactional emails, and so on. While content localization can’t be done overnight, or all at once, there are a few tips professionals can follow to ensure they get the most out of their efforts.

  • Ensure neutral language is used in content without metaphors or any regional connotations.
  • Remember that the customer always comes first. This means realizing that the goal of multilingual content is to better support potential customers.
  • Be part of the local community by showing locals that you genuinely care about them. This can be done by working with local non-profits to improve the community.
  • Know the communication channels used by the locals. Not everyone uses the same search engines or social media platforms, for example.

Since these tips can’t all be implemented at once, business professionals need to identify the projects that give the highest return on investment. This applies to both internal resources, and external localization technology vendors.

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Evaluating localization technologies

When choosing a localization technology vendor, business professionals need to clearly define the requirements of the marketing localization solution they plan to use. Once the teams have an idea of how they plan to use the solution, they can move onto other considerations such as:

  • Connectivity: Ideally, you need to be able to connect to your content repository/CMS without the middle step of sending/reformatting files.
  • Collaboration functionality: Contributors need to be able to work on content in the same location, without the need to share it via email/IMs.
  • Marketplace: Unless you’re working exclusively with your own in-house or community translators, seamless integration with a translator marketplace will be a significant plus.
  • Solution pricing: Last but not least, many localization platforms will cost a price in addition to whatever you will need to pay for translation itself, so you should carefully weigh any costs that might be applicable.

See also: Top translation software tools in 2019

Making sense of it all

As discussed earlier in this article, businesses need to localize all their content, regardless of the target market size. For example, Apple uses localization to tailor its autocorrect solution to the Australian dialect. The company does this, even though Australia is home to only 0.33% of the world’s population.

Apple tailors its autocorrect solution to Australia, a country that is home to only 0.33% of the world’s population.

The reason you can’t afford to neglect localization is because your rival companies already are, and the pie will only be enough for so many guests.

If you’re not sure how to get started with marketing localization within your business, just ask, and we’ll help you connect the dots!