How to Grow a Technology Company Internationally

June 29, 2021

Your tech company needs to keep growing.

Is international expansion the right way to go to achieve that growth?

Many benefits can come when you grow your business globally. But, tech companies often make mistakes when they move into international markets.

The Harvard Business Review reports that “software companies regularly waste effort and forego tens of millions in revenue” when they try to break away from their home market.

A common mistake relates to the company’s global content. Companies often do not set up the right systems to tailor the user experience in their international markets. This can leave those markets feeling alienated and the companies lose sales as a result.

You can set your tech company up for success in the global marketplace by starting with a simple but powerful tool to align your global content.

Why expand your tech company globally?

The need to continue growing is a core driver for many tech companies in their move to global expansion.

James M. Bryski, National Head of Technology Banking at HSBC, explains that increasingly higher returns are expected by tech investors. He says “You need pretty aggressive sales growth and pretty aggressive balance sheet growth. You can’t do that in the U.S., where we’re growing at 2% a year.”

Global expansion is one tried and tested way for companies to keep growing and reach more people.

The benefits of a successful global expansion can be huge, including:

Expanding internationally can help you achieve growth to a magnitude that would only be possible otherwise by adding another product line or expanding into another sector.

The puzzle: How to create tailored experiences for global audiences

Many tech companies run into a problem when they expand internationally. They don’t know how to reliably localize their product and its associated content.

Do you need to translate all your content for the new market?

What aspects of the product need to be localized for it to be successful?

How can you tell if you are localizing the right things or just wasting your budget?

Such difficult questions can lead many tech companies to take a short-term view of their content localization needs.

They might assume that they don’t need to localize their product at all and just release it exactly as it is in their home market. Or, they might go with a cheap translation provider, thinking that “all translation is equal” (it isn’t).

When you take a short-term view of your localization, the user experience is often greatly diminished. This can be a problem because the user experience is doubly important when you’re working to reach a new global market.

The missing piece: Strategic global content

When we look at examples of tech companies that have successfully grown internationally, there is one defining factor from our perspective — they strategically localized their content.

Take Netflix, for example…

As Netflix grew globally, the company approached localization in a targeted and phased way. Their 3-stage internationalization process first involved only moving into a few new markets. This allowed them to learn early lessons around the best way to produce global content and hone their processes. With these processes in place, they were then able to roll out the service to many more countries quickly and efficiently.

This is also the type of benefit that our technology clients often see when we work with them strategically on their global content and localization processes.

The early work we do together ensures that the localization process is as efficient as it can be. After that, adding new languages and regions is easy.

It all starts by creating your global content strategy.

This strategy will align all the content for your products and services with your plans for global growth.

Types of translated content for higher global impact

What content might you want to localize for global markets?

Localization can apply to many aspects of a tech company’s output, including:

All of these types of content could apply to your company’s global expansion, but only some will be vital for your situation and strategy.

Which content should you focus on first to have a higher global impact?

The only surefire way to find out is to look at your global content strategy and work from there.

How to design the right global content strategy for you

With the right global content strategy, international expansion can become a key part of your tech company’s continued growth.

How can you start to build your global content strategy?

The quickest and most efficient way to develop such a strategy is to talk with someone familiar with the process.

You can book a free Global Content Strategy call with one of our strategists and find out more about our approach to tech localization on our technology industry page.

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