Localization should always be front and centre
There are plenty of statistics underlining just how important the global marketplace is for companies.
Fortune 500 businesses that translate information are 2.04 times more likely to record an increase in profits, while 60 per cent of consumers from non-English-speaking countries admit they very rarely make a purchase from English-only websites, according to the Common Sense Advisory.
This shows that businesses have to be thinking global in all of their operations to harness their economic potential. But despite this, a recent survey by Cloudworks found that nearly two-thirds of global marketers do not currently have a strategy in place for multilingual content marketing.
We’ve spoken before about how important it is to adopt a well thought out strategy for global marketing, as researching and benchmarking will greatly increase the chances of long-term success.
But how can companies put this into practice?
Think big picture
If a multilingual strategy is not part of your efforts from the start, you are always going to be playing catch-up. Think about what international markets you want to target and bear this in mind at the planning stage. Translating content after the fact will only stymie progress in new markets. For example, Coca-Cola has global appeal and operates in over 200 nations, but it treats all of its markets differently, as it recognises the unique needs of different countries. During this summer’s World Cup, its brand had individual pages that referenced local football celebrities to maximise customer engagement. By maintaining brand consistency, but adding local relevancy, the drinks maker has managed to build a hugely successful relationship with its consumers.
Focus on expertise
Every member of the localization process needs to have a clear understanding of their role. Having the best technology and processes in the world will only work if the right people are also involved. Intel, which recently created a video in 11 different languages as part of its latest product release, is clear about the need for expertise. “Your localization project calls for good project managers, translators, engineers and layout staff. Hire experienced translators armed with an excellent command of the source and target languages, as well as a good knowledge of your product’s subject area,” the company revealed in a blog. Most importantly of all, project managers need to be able to deliver results on time, on budget and within pre-established quality standards.
Choose the right solutions
Localizing content is about much more than simple translations. There are a host of localization solutions for boosting brand value, so it’s important you choose the right ones. For example, a fashion brand will be more interested in video, multimedia and e-commerce, as visuals have such an important role to play in the sector. On the other hand, medical groups will be concerned with localizing their product manuals into the necessary languages. Considering this sector is all about getting high-quality products and services to market ahead of the competition, having an efficient content creation process is invaluable.
The bottom line is that brands need to decide on a strategy that features the right technology, processes and people. Unless this is in place, going global will only ever be a pipe dream.