More and more companies are considering localization as a way to stay competitive in today’s global market. Often it’s not a top-down decision, but rather something being requested by employees or customers in different markets. Even if you feel strongly that localization is the way to go, your bosses may not be so sure. That’s understandable. Localization is a significant endeavor and not one to take lightly.
This post is here to help you make your case.
Start with the WHY – Should you localize?
There are plenty of reasons for companies turning to localization, so a good first step is understanding your company’s WHY. What specific goals will they be able to achieve by localizing? What should be localized to reach those goals?
Some common reasons to jump on the localization bandwagon are:
- Reaching more people: The number of people who understand English well varies greatly by country. In certain markets, localizing will get a product or brand seen by millions more people.
- Providing a better customer experience: Even if English is common, localizing will allow you to give your customers a richer experience, customized to their specific cultural context and needs. It’s not just about the words, after all – adapting the tone, style, and even visuals can be crucial.
- Gaining a competitive edge: If other players in that market only cater to English speakers, localizing can help you differentiate your brand and give you a significant advantage.
- Getting more engagement: When you speak to people in their language, they feel like you’re talking to them directly. That personal touch can make a big difference in terms of engagement, whether it’s users engaging with your product or potential customers engaging with your ads.
- Enhancing the brand’s image: Creating a localized experience signals to customers that you care about them and their cultural circumstances – a valuable impression to make.
Still, it’s important to remember that taking your business international is a risk requiring careful consideration. Before you start advocating for your company to enter the wonderful world of localization, we recommend ensuring that:
- The product or offering you’re looking to localize is mature enough: Patience, young grasshopper! It’s tempting to try and launch a brand new product or feature in multiple markets at once. But if it’s still in its early stages, it could be better to focus on perfecting it in one market before expanding.
- You’re doing the research and getting the green light from local experts: The market research you did for your original market isn’t enough to guarantee success in a new one. So before you start creating your presentation, talk to people from the market you want to localize for. They can give you critical insights into whether your product is a good fit, what needs to be changed, and how best to reach potential customers.
- You’re doing true localization, not just translation: Localization is more than just translating your content into another language. It’s creatively adapting it to fit the local market, and a lot can change in the process. You’ll possibly have to simply rewrite some of your content, or you’ll need completely different features or a brand new marketing strategy. Be sure you can be flexible enough to give your new market a truly local experience.
- You’re not overexerting your product team to get it done: Consider the impact of localization on your current operations. If you don’t have the resources available, it may not be the right time to tackle this. That being said, remember that using the right localization management software can dramatically decrease your team’s workload and streamline the entire process. This can make localization possible even with limited resources.
If all checks out, localization could just be the right move for you. Now is the time to start making your case to the powers that be.
Making the case for localization
The first step is to convince management that localization is a good direction to consider, in general. This is an easy one, as localization provides great performance increases across the board. Whether you’re running an ecommerce store, building games, or developing apps, there’s data to support localization as a high-growth strategy.
Research done in the past decade shows that 78% of people are more likely to buy if an online store is localized to their language. And app localization? That can lead to a 26% revenue increase. But those aren’t the only benefits. Localization can also result in increased click-through rates, leads, and social media engagement.
Why is that? As we mentioned before, speaking to customers in their language helps you reach more people. While many speak English at some level, they’re not always fluent enough to manage a non-localized experience. Plus, localization is so much more than language. Providing a localized, culturally adapted experience builds trust and credibility for your brand. It’s enough to say that 40% of online shoppers claim they never buy from websites that aren’t in their native language.
This data alone can support your push for localization. But management may still be reluctant to invest resources in something unproven for your company. If that’s the case, you’ll need to create a more tailored argument.
Why localize?This infographic is full of data points to help you make your case to a variety of decision-makers. Download
Tailoring your message
The key to success here is understanding what management cares about. Different members of your c-suite will have different priorities, so you’ll need to adjust your message accordingly.
For example, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is likely more interested in increasing leads and conversions. At the same time, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) probably cares more about the bottom line and ROI. Meanwhile, your product team may be focused on ensuring a smooth development process that doesn’t overexert their resources.
Find out who the decision rests with (CMO, CFO, product), and tailor your presentation to their interests and goals. Include data specific to their department or focus area, and make sure you have a solid plan in place for implementation. Since it’s often a shared decision, you’ll want to be sure to touch on all the points that are important to each team.
Getting specific with KPIs
The next step is to get specific about what localization can do for your company. Here, you’ll start to look at objectives and KPIs your company has set for the future, and explain how localization supports those.
Talk to colleagues from relevant departments to find out what their goals and objectives are. Ask them what metrics they use to measure success and whether they think localization could help them achieve those goals. Then, use those testimonials to support your claims.
This is also an excellent opportunity to pull out some data. For example, if one of your primary objectives is increasing leads by 20% in the next quarter, you can explain how localized campaigns outperform English ones in both click-throughs and conversions. And if the product team is looking to improve their numbers, mention that localization can lead to a 128% increase in downloads. Our Reasons to Localize infographic can be a great starting point, as well as our blog post on the importance of localization.
Remember, the key here is to provide data related to your company’s goals. The more tailored your message is, the more likely you are to gain support for localization.
To seal the deal, ensure you have a clear idea of how much localization will cost the company and what the return on investment (ROI) will be. Include some specific details of how you think the company should move forward with localization. Should they translate their website? Create new social media accounts for each market? Hire a language service provider (LSP) or do things in-house? This information dramatically impacts the cost, timeline, and ROI – and it can help management get a fuller picture of the effort they’re considering.
You can also look at specific examples of how other companies in your industry have benefited from localization. Ask the aforementioned local contacts to help you find relevant data – they could have some good insights or examples to share.
Once you have all the information you need, put it into a presentation or formal document and present it to the decision-makers in your company. If you can make a strong case for how localization will improve specific KPIs important to your company, you’re much more likely to get buy-in from management.
For useful data points, download our infographic on making the case for localization here.
How do I make the case for localization internally?
Understand the objectives and KPIs your company has set for the future, and explain how localization supports those. Give some examples of companies that did well by using a solid localization strategy. You can also ask your local team for insights and feedback on how your product or brand is expected to perform when localized.
Where can I find data to support localization?
We prepared an infographic on making the case for localization here. These data points should help you support your case when you pitch localization to your team or superiors. Additionally, you can read through our detailed case studies to see how other companies in your industry have benefited from localization.
Why should we localize?
There are many reasons to localize your product. For one, it allows you to expand into new markets and reach new customers. Additionally, localization can help improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to increased conversions and ROI. Finally, localization can also help build trust with customers, who are more likely to purchase from a company that communicates with them in their native language. All of these factors can lead to increased sales and market share for your company.
Still have more questions?
Lokalise Academy has even more resources for planning and executing a successful localization process. You can also check out the blog for more tips on achieving growth through localization.