Over 75% of global consumers prefer to buy products that present information in their native language. Yet translation alone is not always sufficient to convey your message. To truly connect with local buyers, you must adapt the product or service as well as any associated marketing via a process known as localization. This will allow you to address the linguistic and cultural preferences of your target markets, as well as improve the market fit of your products and services.
By localizing your product or service, you’ll enjoy numerous benefits, including faster international expansion, increased customer trust, and an improved customer experience. However, successful localization, like any other business endeavor, begins with a solid strategy.
Why your organization needs a well through-out localization strategy
A localization strategy serves as your guide for preparing a product or service to launch in a new market. It involves:
- Establishing which teams will be involved in the localization process. Teams as diverse as Product, Marketing, and Human Resources may need to provide input at different stages.
- Determining metrics and KPIs for localization success. Customer acquisition costs, total localization cost relative to revenue, and customer satisfaction are just a few metrics that offer insight into how well a localization program performs.
- Creating a repeatable and scalable process based on those metrics and KPIs. This simplifies localization while also allowing you to demonstrate the value of your program and replicate its success in other markets.
Keep in mind that your localization strategy should be developed in tandem with an overarching international expansion strategy. Why? Because putting localization off until later can cause issues when your brand enters international markets.
Let’s say you want to introduce a software product in Japan. The development team would need to first prepare it for localization through a process known as internationalization. This allows the product to be adapted for different languages and regions without requiring engineering changes. While it’s possible to retrofit software to enable localization, the process is inefficient and can result in errors and a poor user experience.
You can save time and money, and increase your chances of international success by investing in a well-planned and executed localization strategy ahead of time. Here’s a closer look at four ways it can help you do just that.
Localization empowers your brand to expand and grow internationally
Globalization has made it easier than ever to reach a worldwide customer base. Yet as consumer choice increases, so does the competition among brands. Quality and reliability are no longer enough to attract and retain customers.
To successfully enter a new market, you must tailor your offerings and brand to local customer preferences. This not only distinguishes you from other international brands, it may also help you compete with local favorites.
Salesforce, a cloud computing company based in the United States, provides localized versions of its products and services, including its popular customer relationship management (CRM) platform. This improves the user experience and makes the platform more accessible to global business professionals. The company’s website also includes multiple language options, including Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Japanese, allowing visitors to access information in the language of their choice.
On the other hand, a lack of proper localization can harm your brand. Microsoft once released a Windows 10 update that caused problems for users who chose a language other than English for their operating system. Some apps crashed after the update, and some users reported problems with their keyboard layout.
Localizing a product or service ensures not only a better market fit, but also helps you avoid mistakes that could negatively impact how audiences perceive your brand.
Localization increases audience trust in your brand
When you enter a new market, your brand is often at a disadvantage. Unless it’s a globally recognized name such as Google, local consumers will likely know little to nothing about the products or services you offer. You’ll need to work harder to earn brand trust as you build a reputation in the new locale. Fortunately, localization can help you do it.
When you localize your content, you speak the language of your audience. This demonstrates your cultural understanding and makes it easier to connect with your brand. Although localized content may sound like a “nice to have,” it can make the difference between success or failure.
According to CSA Research, 60% of non-English speakers avoid making purchases on English-language-only websites. And 64% of them value content that is localized to their language and culture. In an era where content reigns king, brands can no longer afford to put off producing multilingual content for international customers.
With localization, you can go beyond translation to tailor your messaging to the needs and preferences of your target audience. Using a personalized approach will help ensure that your audience feels understood and valued, which can increase brand trust and loyalty.
Localization improves the customer experience
Customer experience has a lasting impact on how buyers perceive your brand.
Brands that offer a superior experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that lag on this metric. And 73% of consumers say that a good experience is key when it comes to influencing loyalty. If you want to reap the same benefits in a new market, you’ll need to localize the customer experience.
It begins with the pre-purchase stage. Customers, as previously stated, prefer product information in their native language. You’ll be able to highlight what local buyers care about most by localizing your website, marketing assets, and ad campaigns. Buyers in some markets, for example, may be more concerned with sustainability than with price.
However, the customer experience doesn’t end after someone makes a purchase. Customers expect ongoing communication—from order confirmation emails to product recommendations and special offers. Much of this digital outreach requires localization to ensure that it’s personalized to each customer’s needs and interests.
Last but not least, buyers need access to customer support services in their native language. Multilingual chatbots can quickly answer questions or resolve minor issues, which assures customers that your brand cares about their needs.
When you provide an exceptional experience at every stage of the customer journey, you’ll boost customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
Reach global customers in their language and culture
By tapping into the local language and culture, you’ll forge stronger consumer relationships and brand loyalty in the target market. That’s because localization is all about showing international customers that you care about their linguistic and cultural needs and are dedicated to providing an excellent experience. It adds a unique touch to a product or service that would otherwise be lacking.
Develop a winning localization strategy with Acclaro
Now that you’ve learned more about the advantages of localization, you’ll need a strategy to ensure a successful launch in any market. At Acclaro, we simplify what may seem like a complex process to help you scale global growth, and create lasting value for customers. We’ve created strategies that help the world’s leading companies succeed across cultures, and we’re ready to help you create yours.
Want to learn more about how Acclaro can help you achieve your business goals? Contact us today.