Building a Business Case for Localization

Your 2018 Localization and Translation Roadmap – Part One

In this new blog series, Californian-based Welocalize Business Development Director, Matthew Flannery, shares insights into some of the trends that buyers of localization products and services must focus on and build into their 2018 plans and roadmap. This week’s topic is Building a Business Case for Localization.

Building a business case for localization across the entire global journey and customer experience can be a challenge when budgets are swiftly allocated into other areas and there can be a lack of knowledge and education on the scope and importance of localization. More and more global brands are realizing that localization is applicable to every department across the whole global journey including legal, marketing, product development and testing, corporate communications, learning, post-sales support and much more. To allocate resource and budget, organizations and localization teams must build a business case.

Why localization matters

Common Sense Advisory (CSA) Research surveyed some 2,400 consumers in their report, Can’t Read, Won’t Buy: Why Language Matters on Global Websites, to understand the correlation between language and shopping behavior. Here’s what they found:

  • 72.1% of consumers spend most or all of their time on content written in their own language.
  • 72.4% of consumers mentioned that they would rather purchase a product with information available in their own language.
  • 56.2% of respondents mentioned that being able to obtain information in their own language is more important than price.

Globalization empowers people and brands, and makes a local marketplace global.

In CSA’s report, The Language Services Market 2017, it states that the market for outsourced language services and supporting technology grew 6.97% to US$43.08 billion from 2016 to 2017. The market will grow an average of 2.45% over the next four years, at a cumulative growth rate of 9.82%.

Build a Business Case

Building a business case for a localization program can be a tricky proposition and in some sectors, it is still an afterthought where content can simply “just be translated” to reach new markets. The first step in calculating return on investment for localization is to decide what market you want to expand into. Next step is to estimate sales revenue for your target language markets. Data including:

  • Population size and/or number of web or mobile device users in the target market.
  • Comparison of the market you’re targeting with the market you already know. For example, if the new market has twice the number of smartphone users as your home market, a correctly localized version of your app might attract twice as many customers compared to your home market.
  • Gather data from online tools like Google Global Market Finder and Google Trends to see how popular relevant keywords are in different languages. You may want to check out different versions of such tools for different regions where Google is not the main player. For example, Baidu is the primary search engine in China. Welocalize digital marketing agency, Adapt Worldwide has specialist teams dedicated to all the major international search engines. We recently added Baidu to our SEO global ranking capabilities.
  • Specific market or country regulations concerning online communications. In sectors such as healthcare and finance, you may find that regulations effectively prevent you from launching a localized version of your product unless you meet certain legal criteria. Welocalize has a dedicated Life Sciences division to help navigate the complexities of this sector and Park IP to assist with any legal language requirements and foreign filing.

To help provide expert insights and data, one of the most important aspects of the role of a localization manager is to partner with a specialist language service provider who can provide expert insights and deliver professional language services aligned to specific requirements and business objectives. Many organizations today turn to one provider who can address multiple localization needs and support their brand across the entire global journey. Organizations must focus on their core competences to serve their customers, therefore partnering with localization and translation experts to support global strategies and objectives makes sense.

If you require any support to build out your Localization Strategy 2018, then send me an email at matthew.flannery@welocalize.com

Based in Irvine and San Francisco, Matt Flannery is Business Development Director at Welocalize.