Localization is the adaptation of a product or content to a specific locale, market or culture. More than simply speaking in that target audience’s language, it involves the implementation of audience-specific graphics, terminology and formats.
The days of businesses being all things to all people are over. We’ve all received the direct mail piece that displayed our full names, which no one has ever called us, or used our last name as our first name. Now, imagine this scenario when you’re trying to reach a new audience by the thousands, or millions, that speaks an entirely different language. When mistakes happen with a new launch, there’s no “rewind” button.
The most successful marketing messages are those specifically targeted to its audience. Seth Godin, one of today’s most insightful marketers, explains:
“Anticipated, personal and relevant advertising always does better than unsolicited junk.”
This personalization applies to most forms of communications, from traditional marketing and product pieces to digital content, which is why localization is so important.
Customized, targeted communications
Expert localization allows for rapid growth into global markets while showcasing your company as professional, caring and customized for a particular audience.
Localization is often confused with internationalization. The difference is that internationalization is created by developers and allows localization to occur. Localization (abbreviated l10n, with 10 representing the number of letters between the L and the N) is created by translation teams, which can include in-country linguists and designers who are well-versed in their area of expertise.
Localization uses a translation tool (courtesy of internationalization) to translate text into the native language of your choice. Expert designers then craft a customized look and feel that matches the cultural idiosyncrasies in that target audience’s region.
When performed by experts, localization empowers companies to expand into new markets and communicate with potential customers as one of them—in their language, with their familiarities. It can help turn product launches, apps, websites, brochures and how-to guides into powerful tools to build your business across language markets. This way, your company can enjoy maximum engagement by overcoming cultural barriers. And when your customers are happy, everyone benefits. All you need is an expert team to help you.