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It’s great to have a phenomenal product and the desire for it to be accessible on a global level. But that means ensuring that your business processes are ready to meet your clients’ expectations in all your target markets.  For localization to be successful, however, it’s vital that you implement a company-wide strategy. This will greatly assist your localization team to achieve their goals and ensure high-quality work.

Several strands make up a successful strategy:

Corporate-focused:

This strand centers on the granular details of a company: How to differentiate yourself from your competitors, the finer details of your services or products, and the specifics of your target market.

Processes:

This strand focuses on what globalization processes should be or have been implemented in your organization. More specifically, it revolves around what those localization processes are or need to be for every department to ensure that localization is optimal across the board for each region targeted.

Content:

The content strand outlines exactly which content you want to be localized in order to reach your target audiences and ensure your customers have a phenomenal customer experience.

By implementing these three strands, you are successfully executing on your localization strategy, which will have a better chance of success. Let’s take a look at the advantages of integrating these strands on a granular level:

  • By thinking of the global picture from the outset of product (or service) development, you are in a much better position to cater for various markets from the get-go instead of having to adapt products later on, which could prove costly or impossible.
  • Excellent and high-quality localization means cooperation and collaboration between all key departments such as product development, marketing and sales. By getting them on the same page early, your localization efforts will be born out of teamwork, which means that those efforts are more likely to be successful.
  • ‘Ad hoc’ localization efforts are invariably disjointed, expensive and misaligned with company goals. Even ‘cost-effective’ ad hoc solutions turn out to be expensive if they mean making changes to services or products or recreating content entirely. That’s why a localization strategy that forms an integral part of the company’s product development is so important.

If the idea of implementing localization strategies makes perfect sense to you and you think it will transform your globalization efforts, then here are some things you can do to start implementing them.

See that localization is communicated to the entire company so that its value is seen across departments. Once there is understanding and buy-in from individuals throughout the company, strategies can be rolled out as part of the company’s overarching strategy. It’s a good idea to take a look at cold hard facts and figures when showing colleagues the value of localization. Take a look at what additional revenue might be generated because of localization, and then take a look at the localization budget vs. the return on investment due to localization.

It’s especially important to ensure that upper management sees the value of localization, so ensure that they understand the return on investment that it can provide. If you have them on board it will be infinitely easier to get buy in from the rest of the company and to get solid plans for localization woven into the fabric of the company’s primary business processes.

Once you have the key stakeholders on board, it’s crucial to explain to each of the departments how beneficial the process is if tasks are executed properly the first time. Localization can become costly when tasks need to be reworked or redone entirely. This can have a domino effect on different areas of the company. Making sure everything is done right the first time means that identifying exactly which markets your company will focus on right at the beginning is vital. Think carefully about which markets you want to target. Consider analyzing the value of each market to your company – both in terms of actual figures and where you would like to be into the future. Once you have analyzed them, apply a tiered rating. This will give you and your company greater understanding of which markets to focus on.

Once you have tiered the markets, do a content audit to determine what content is already available and then figure out which should be leveraged and localized for each tier. This is a big job and should probably be done in stages and department by department.

Keep in mind that the stakeholders that commission the implementation of localization are often not involved in the strategy. That’s why it’s so important that they understand the overarching themes, ideas, markets, and goals. You need to make sure that communication is clear and directed to those who will execute the tasks. It’s essential that everyone is on the same page and clearly understands what needs to be done.

If the localization strategies are poorly implemented or non-existent, you are probably going to see people scramble to complete last minute jobs. This means that things can’t run smoothly, processes can’t be customized and implemented across the board, and the right tools probably won’t be used. It will undoubtedly affect both the quality and the delivery of localized content.

Do you feel that implementing solid localization processes and strategies is definitely right for your company but not sure where to start or worried about how time-consuming it would be? Then contact us at Rubric. We can discuss your localization needs and the ample benefits of implementing the Localization Maturity Model, ensuring that your company is truly able to go global.
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